The Creek Turnpike Widening project featured design and plan production for widening nearly eight miles of roadway from four lanes to six by adding two lanes along the center median. The project called for limited traffic disruption despite the need to widen 20 bridges. Further, the timeline to design and let the project for construction was compressed from the original 15-month design effort to eight months to meet the needs of the client, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority (OTA). Environmental concerns that limited construction on certain project segments to specified months of the year had to be factored into the project design and the suggested sequence of construction.
Design activities, coordination with affected public and private agencies, and communication with the OTA were streamlined. Special attention was given to designing a solution that would minimize the impact of construction on traffic. The Benham team employed the innovative solution of strengthening existing pier caps with fiber wrap composite products, allowing most of the existing bridges to be used and preventing the need for temporary bridges or closing additional lanes. Four lanes of traffic (two lanes eastbound and two westbound) and all interchange access to and from the Creek Turnpike remained open throughout construction. Only minor disruption to cross-street traffic was required during the overhead placement of bridge beams, and widening occurred without any interruption to the toll-collection capability.
OTA was able to open this nearly eight-mile stretch of the Creek Turnpike on schedule. The mainline median widening transformed the existing 46-foot-wide median from an open, depressed grassed median into a paved median consisting of an additional traffic lane and inside shoulder in each direction. In addition to increasing capacity, additional lanes and the installation of a concrete median barrier improved the safety of this Creek Turnpike segment. Aesthetically pleasing sound and screen walls built to benefit the residential areas along the widened turnpike have been viewed favorably by the public.
From its very beginning, the partnership between Benham, a Haskell Company, and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation...