Gilcrease rendering2

This rendering shows the planned Gilcrease Expressway extension west of downtown. Courtesy/Oklahoma Turnpike Authority

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority on Tuesday awarded a nearly $261 million contract for construction and financing on the west leg of the Gilcrease Expressway.

The contract went to a partnership involving AECOM, an engineering and construction firm based in Los Angeles, and Duit Construction Co., based in Edmond.

The other proposal came from a partnership between Manhattan Construction and Sherwood Construction at a cost of nearly $273 million.

Work is expected to start by the end of the year, said Jack Damrill, an OTA spokesman.

It is expected to be finished in February 2022, said Tim Gatz, OTA director and transportation secretary.

The toll road will include a bridge over the Arkansas River. The toll schedule has not been determined, Damrill said.

The project consists of construction of 5 miles of new, four-lane highway beginning where the existing Gilcrease Expressway connects to Interstate 44 just south of West 51st Street and ends just north of U.S. 412 at Edison Street.

It is part of the Driving Forward program, an expansion and improvement initiative for six turnpikes.

The need for the corridor in west Tulsa was identified more than five decades ago, Gatz said.

“It was part of the original Tulsa Expressway Master Plan that was done in 1961,” Gatz said.

In 2010, lawmakers added the Gilcrease Expressway extension to the list of authorized turnpikes.

“I look forward to getting the project under construction,” Gatz said.

The project is a public-private partnership involving the Indian Nations Council of Governments, the city of Tulsa, Tulsa County, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. Private partner AECOM-Duit will be providing nearly $125 million in short-term financing while it conducts the construction project, according to OTA.

Another part of the Gilcrease Expressway extends north to the Tisdale Parkway, Gatz said. Work is progressing on making that stretch four lanes, he said.

Right-of-way has been acquired, and engineering has been done, he said.

“It is a very, very important segment of the Gilcrease loop,” Gatz said. “It was just more than we can handle right now. We will continue to stay focused on that because it needs to be completed, also. We just don’t know how to do it right now.”

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Barbara Hoberock


Twitter: @bhoberock

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