Commuters along U.S. 169 in Owasso are a few years away from seeing the highway widened, but city and state officials are still moving forward with plans for construction.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is working with the Owasso Chamber of Commerce and the City of Owasso to expand two miles of the roadway from East 66th Street North to East 86th Street North from four to six lanes starting in 2024.
The eight-year plan, totaling $8.5 million, will help alleviate congestion along the busy freeway, which sees around 50,000 vehicles per day, said Oklahoma Department of Transportation Secretary Tim Gatz, who spoke as the keynote at Owasso Chamber’s September luncheon on Wednesday.
“When you look at the type of traffic volume that the 169 corridor carries, and not only that, but another aspect that we pay attention to is the growth that Owasso and 169 North is experiencing, it becomes a priority corridor for us,” Gatz said.
Drivers don’t have to wait long, however, to see ODOT break ground on the first stages of the development. It plans to begin a full reconstruction of the East 76th Street North bridge sometime in 2021, estimated to cost around $11.8 million.
ODOT’s impending widening project comes about five years after the organization put the final touches on its $44 million expansion of U.S. 169 at Bird Creek, in which crews demolished the large bridge just south of Owasso to make room for six lanes.
“… That was a result of a project that was accomplished with stimulus dollars back a decade about,” Gatz said. “So again, that was the Department of Transportation placing a priority and a focus on adding that capacity as an example of our commitment to the 169 corridor.”
Additional ODOT projects in the area include three improvements along SH-20: a widening east of U.S. 75 near Collinsville set to begin in late 2020; a widening and relocation at Keetonville Hill scheduled for a 2021 bid; and a realignment east of Keetonville Hill set for 2021 and 2022 bids.