BA Expressway to get new lights on Broken Arrow stretch
BY ZACK STOYCOFF World Staff Writer
Monday, December 24, 2012
12/24/12 at 8:11 AM
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BROKEN ARROW - Motorists can expect a lighted drive through most of the city's portion of the Broken Arrow Expressway within months, officials said.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has hired a company to install streetlights on a 1.95-mile stretch of the highway east of Aspen (145th East) Avenue, which will leave less than a half mile of the city's four-mile portion unlit.
The project, administered by ODOT using $210,000 in federal funds awarded to the city, is expected to begin in January or February and will take 60 days, ODOT spokeswoman Kenna Mitchell said.
Broken Arrow City Engineer Thomas Hendrix said the project "basically finishes" lighting the portion of the expressway under the city's jurisdiction, as areas more than a half mile west of Aspen Avenue are under Tulsa jurisdiction.
Crews installed streetlights from east of Lynn Lane (177th East Avenue) to Kenosha (71st) Street late last year, he said.
"We feel it will help reduce accidents and make a better driving experience to have it all lighted," he said. "You can drive that stretch of the highway that's been lighted and it's just a tremendous difference in the visibility."
The latest work is funded by a Federal Highway Administration program to improve access to hospitals, Hendrix said.
St. John Broken Arrow at 1000 W. Boise Circle is just north of the Broken Arrow Expressway interchange at Elm Place (161st East Avenue), which is at the eastern extent of the portion to be lit.
"We determined - and got federal highways to agree - that improving the lighting in that stretch would also improve access to the hospital," Hendrix said. "It was a special appropriation for improving access."
Under the ODOT-administered contract, Oklahoma City-based Midstate Traffic Control will install 44 poles, each with two lights, Mitchell said. The poles will be spaced between 70 and 100 feet apart in the center of the highway.
It is normal procedure for ODOT to administer contracts for local projects funded at the federal level, Mitchell said. The state will oversee and inspect the work and Broken Arrow will assume maintenance once the lights are installed, she said.
Hendrix said lighting the expressway has been a city goal for at least two years.
Once the new lights are installed, the only unlit stretch in its jurisdiction will be between Aspen Avenue and Tulsa's city limits about a quarter-mile west of the road.
The Broken Arrow Expressway ends just east of the Wagoner County line, where it becomes the Muskogee Turnpike. Broken Arrow does not administer that portion of the expressway, Hendrix said.
Original Print Headline: BA Expressway to get new lights installed
Zack Stoycoff 918-581-8486