The Edmond Sun

December 13, 2012

4 projects up for design for Covell

James Coburn
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Four separate design projects costing $766,396 were agreed to by the Public Works Committee this week for amending the design of the Covell Parkway. This money is an additional cost to the $2 million infrastructure improvement that the city has committed to the I-35 infrastructure projects, said Steve Manek, city engineer.

“It’s not getting any cheaper,” City Councilwoman Elizabeth Warner said.

The traffic study will accommodate traffic infrastructure for the development of a $25.5 million Hilton Garden Hotel and conference center to be located on the northwest corner of Interstate 35 and Covell. Development of the $15 million Summit Sports Complex will be at the northeast corner of I-35 and Covell.

“There is a tremendous amount of traffic volume in that area that we were not designing for,” Manek said. “Two lanes with left turns would be great, but it’s very possible we will need three lanes, dual left-turn lanes and right-turn lanes with a full build out of all those corners out there.”

The first phase of the Covell project extends from the Fairfax Business Park to the southbound I-35 ramps. Federal funds through Association of Central Oklahoma Governments will be sought to offset an estimated construction cost of $10.85 million, Manek said.

The second amendment is from the east side of the I-35 interchange out 600 feet past Air Depot, with an estimated construction cost of $5.5 million. This area has never been included in design work, Manek said.

“The third phase with the proposed development is we need to have dual turn lanes on the northbound off ramp,” Manek said of the estimated construction cost of $900,000. An application for federal funds will be made for this project, he said.

Manek said the I-35 off ramp may need to be widened partially before reaching the interstate. “That’s a whole different set of challenges and that is not what was called for in the study,” he said.

The widening of Sooner Road from the Covell intersection north to the bridge is the fourth phase of the project, with a construction cost estimate at $1.3 million.

“We have the intersection of part of Sooner Road under design. This is going to be the tie for roadway plans for this project so we can get that done quicker,” Manek said.

An environmental assessment of all of the projects is not to exceed $90,000 of the total $18.5 million construction cost, he said. Waner figured the design work would be about 4 percent of the project cost.

“We need to get these ready so we can start the right-of-way acquisition and the utility locations,” Manek said.

The City Council will consider the item Dec. 20. | 341-2121