OKLAHOMA CITY — A project now one year in the works has an end in sight.
Last summer, construction began on MacArthur Boulevard between NW 178th and 206th Streets in an area that is flood prone. According to District 3 Ray Vaughn, they are now about 90 percent done and expect to wrap up by mid to late August.
“There’s a three box bridge north of the large bridge, and it’s still under construction,” Commissioner Vaughn. “This morning when we were out there, they were bringing the road elevation up to match the bridge so there’s still a lot of dirt being moved.”
Some residents who live near the construction, like Drew Jaramillo, say the past year has been frustrating.
“It’s a pain having to go all the way around all the time,” Jaramillo. “I work in Edmond, so like, having to go miles out of the way, it adds 15 minutes to your drive.”
Commissioner Vaughn said the entire area is considered a “flood way.”
“When it rains, it will flood and nothing can be built there and course roads that traverse there go underwater,” Vaughn said. “In the past, it actually closes down the Deer Creek School system when it floods in that location, so that was the goal, was to get that bridge up and out of the Deer Creek flood way.”
For the past year, parents and drivers have had to use alternative routes like Meridian and Rockwell to get kids to and from Deer Creek High School and the other schools. It’s an issue Vaughn said he’s actively working on with the district.
“They’re anticipating that the bridge will be finished. If not, they’ll continue to use the routes that they did last year,” he said. “When we have a couple of inches of rain, which we have gotten in the last couple of weeks, it’s generally about a two to three day delay on construction work because the soil had to dry out.”
Whether the project will be completed by August is something Jaramillo said he’ll have to see to believe.
“They just now closed this [part] two months ago, so I don’t see that,” he said. “Then they’re doing another phase up there too, so I don’t think it’s 90 percent done.”
Vaughn said they’re also going to work on bringing a roundabout to an area near NW 178th and Meridian, but that will not happen until after this project is complete.