Morning congestion could be taste of things to come for NW Oklahoma City intersection

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Wednesday morning backups at Western and the Kilpatrick Turnpike were worse than usual.

"Last night, the traffic cabinet was struck by a vehicle, unfortunately, it took out the traffic signal, we had to place it on four-ways stops," said Shannon Cox.

The accident made an already bad intersection worse. Crews were at work Wednesday morning installing a temporary signal at Western and the Kilpatrick.

Area residents are no strangers to backups at the crossroads.

"Even just coming home from work, I texted my husband, I'm like this is the intersection I'm at, he's like did you stop on the way home. No, it just took me that long to get off the Kilpatrick, get through there and get up to our home," said Edmond resident Chaney.

"Growth has been pretty extreme over the last eight or 10 years," said Tim Gatz, executive director of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.

And, most of the growth is north of the turnpike.

Housing in Edmond, both off Western and Santa Fe, has grown the load at the intersection to more than 67,000 cars a day. That's on par with typically bad places like Penn and Memorial as well as May and Memorial.

But, now development is heavy south of the turnpike including a medical center, restaurants, entertainment - and now Costco, a mega shopping destination, will no doubt increase the traffic load.

"Economic development and the growth in that area has certainly added to the traffic volume both on the surface city streets and on the turnpike network. We would not expect that to slow down with the type of development that is coming in there," Gatz said.

So, are there plans in place to deal with the increased volume?

"At the current moment, we don't have any plans to widen that intersection," said Shannon Cox of the City of Oklahoma City.

But, both the City and turnpike officials said not to rule out future projects to help with the congestion.

"The city has some really smart traffic engineers, and certainly the turnpike and our engineering team is willing to work with them to try to come up with solutions," Gatz said.

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