Added cross-over barriers planned for Cimarron Turnpike
BY BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau
Friday, November 30, 2012
11/30/12 at 7:16 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority agreed Thursday to spend an additional $7.8 million to prevent cross-over accidents on the Cimarron Turnpike.
The agency awarded a contract to Duit Construction Co. of Edmond to construct cable barriers in the median along two sections of the turnpike. The installation of cable barriers at another location on the Cimarron Turnpike was recently completed, said Jack Damrill, OTA spokesman.
"We began an aggressive campaign last year to install barrier systems throughout many areas of our system," Damrill said. "We started on the Indian Nation (Turnpike), where we had seen several cross-over wrecks, and then systematically identified other areas and will continue to do that over the next couple of years."
Traffic volume and accidents are used to determine where the barriers will be placed, Damrill said.
The cable barriers are cheaper than the concrete barriers that are used on some of the other toll roads, including the Turner Turnpike, but are just as effective, said David Murdock, the Turnpike Authority's chief engineer.
Barriers were first installed on the turnpike system in the mid-1990s, when concrete ones were installed on the Turner, Will Rogers, much of the H.E. Bailey and the north section of the Muskogee turnpikes, said Tim Stewart, OTA deputy director.
The concrete barrier project was completed in 2001, he said. "Then we quit doing any until a little over a year ago, when we began putting up cable barriers," Stewart said.
The first cable barriers were placed on the most heavily traveled sections of the Creek and Kilpatrick turnpikes, Stewart said.
The cost of the completed cable barrier projects totals a little more than $5.8 million, he said.
Cable barrier projects awarded or in the process of being awarded total slightly more than $17 million, Stewart said.
Albert C. Kelly Jr., Oklahoma Turnpike Authority chairman, said the number of lives saved by the barriers is substantial.
"One lost life is too many," said Gary Ridley, OTA director and state transportation secretary.
In unrelated action, the agency approved a nearly $3.6 million contract to rebuild a bridge on the Turner Turnpike near Chandler.
The bridge is safe but deteriorating, Stewart said. The construction is expected to be complete in late September, he said.
It also approved slightly more than $3.5 million to rebuild the westbound and eastbound ramps at the Turner Turnpike's Wellston exit.
The project is expected to be complete by mid-August, Stewart said.
Original Print Headline: Turnpike plan to add $7.8 million for barriers
Barbara Hoberock 405-528-2465
This cable barrier was recently installed on the Cimarron Turnpike near Hallett. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World