In 2015, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority and government officials announced the initiative “Driving Forward: Investing in Oklahoma’s Future.” The goal was to support economic development and to ensure the future of travel in Oklahoma is safe and easy. To achieve these goals, a plan was created comprising six projects along the I-44 corridor with a total estimated cost of $892 million.
MKEC Engineering, Inc. was chosen to work on a section of the Northeast Oklahoma County Loop project between SE 44th Street and Reno Avenue. The new Kickapoo Turnpike alignment will connect I-40 to I-44 in eastern Oklahoma County, reducing the travel time between Tulsa and Oklahoma City.
To complete this large-scale project we surveyed several miles of roads and creeks with the LiDAR services of Quantum Spatial. Based on the results of the survey, we then designed a four-lane divided interstate, two interchanges and eight bridges with help from consultants Atkins North America, Jacobs Engineering Group, and Kleinfelder.
The design of this project required 1.3 million yards of soil to be moved, enough to fill 130,000 dump trucks, more than 8,000 cubic yards of concrete, and 1.5 million pounds of reinforcing steel to construct the bridges. Even with the immense amount of materials required, we minimized the impact on surrounding homes, existing properties and the environment through surveying, analysis and careful design.
Construction on this project began in January 2018 and is expected to be complete by 2020. The entire “Driving Forward” initiative is anticipated to be complete by 2021. You can find updates on the official project page from the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.