THE VILLAGE, Okla. -- A reconstruction project for a busy metro road that has been in the works for years is expected to begin within the next week.
"It's no secret that Britton between Penn and May is not the greatest stretch of road in the metro," said Village mayor Sonny Wilkinson.
I think the traffic count on Britton is about 20,000 cars per day on that stretch."
The project, which will be managed by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT), involves the complete rebuild of one mile of Britton Road between Penn Ave. and May Ave. According to Mayor Wilkinson, this is the largest road construction in the city's history and is expected to take approximately 10 months.
The total cost of the project is $4 million with $3 million funded by federal money and roughly $1 million coming from the Village, Wilkinson said.
"We’re not adding lanes to the road, so it will still stay two lanes with a center turn lane down the middle of it. We’re adding a 10 foot multi-pass, I believe it’s on the north side so that people can have an easier path to run to the lake or bike to the lake or just go on a walk," he explained.
Lane closures will be separated into mutiple phases:
- Phase 1: Close the westbound lane on Britton Road from Village Drive to May Avenue
- Phase 1A: Close the westbound lane on Britton Road from Penn to Village Drive
- Phase 2: Close the eastbound lane on Britton Road from Village Drive to May Avenue
- Phase 2A: Close the eastbound lane on Britton Road from Penn to Village Drive
"The reasoning for that is that it will help us move through the project probably a little quicker. It’s safer for the workers instead of keeping both lanes of traffic and then kind of work on one lane," said Wilkinson. "It will be a little of a headache, we know so there will be some detours and some route changes that people have to be aware of but I’m asking everybody in the Village, everybody who frequents those shops who don’t live in the Village, to really keep in mind that those businesses are going to need our support."
Business leaders including Grant Napoleon, general manager of the Britton Street Antique Mall on Britton Road, said several local businesses have voiced their concerns about the construction and have met with the Village city council.
"For us, traffic makes all the difference," Napolean said. "The big issue in most of our minds is that the traffic will only go one way and that cuts down the half of your traffic. I know when I go out and travel somewhere there's construction, I’ll go up another mile and around to avoid it and that’s my concern."
However, Napoleon told News 4 Sunday he felt optimistic knowing the closures were be done quarterly and in phases. He said he plans to be proactive about getting the word out about his business to continue attaching business.
"Simple little signs, it could be a banner or a little stick sign that says we’re open during this phase," he said.
For more information about the project, click here.