3 minute read

Traffic signal construction at the crash-prone intersection of S. Klein and Oklahoma City Boulevard is underway and scheduled to be completed at the end of February.

This comes after Free Press called attention to the dangers of the intersection, already developing into a collision hot spot the first few days after the boulevard opened in August.

After our live crash scene photography and exposure of police statistics, the City of Oklahoma City prioritized adding a signal at the intersection.

Surprise

The perils of the spot took Oklahoma City and Oklahoma Department of Transportation (OKDOT) engineers by surprise as motorists started using the intersection much more than anticipated.

dangerous intersection
One of the two autos involved in a crash September 17 at S. Klein and Oklahoma City Boulevard. Brett Dickerson/Oklahoma City Free Press

Original plans called for the intersection to be monitored for increases in traffic but to not signalize it until a later date after the hand-off to the City from OKDOT.

But, a combination of design factors where Western, Reno, and Exchange come together near the OKC Farmers Public Market and Classen caused overloaded streets west of Classen and north of the boulevard.

Warranted

Eric Wenger, City Engineer and Director fo Public Works for the City of Oklahoma City updated Free Press Wednesday on further developments of the area around the intersection.

He said that when they did the study which was later approved by the Traffic Commission October 21, they found that conditions had already developed at the intersection that warranted installation of traffic signals.

“Some of the warrants for signals can be due to traffic counts, or turning movements,” said Wenger. “For others, it can be warranted because of the number of pedestrians.”

“One of the warrants that we don’t like but is a factual reality is an accident warrant – if it has a number of accidents within a certain period of time,” Wenger said.

He said that Klein and OKC Boulevard “definitely met the conditions for one or more of those warrants” for signals to be installed.

Oklahoma City Boulevard and Klein
A rebar reinforcement cage is lowered into the hole where one of the signal pole concrete mounts will be poured. Devon Tower downtown is in the distance. (Brett Dickerson/Okla City Free Press)

Traffic reconfigured

Significantly, the auto traffic flow will be reconfigured in the area once OKDOT has completed plans for the city streets leading up to the boulevard around Klein Wenger said.

Sheridan will be restriped to make it two-way traffic between Klein and Classen. Currently, Sheridan is one-way westbound from Western past Klein.

Also, Wenger said the short hop from the boulevard south to Reno on Klein will become two-way which should give people many more options for getting onto the boulevard westbound or eastbound.

Oklahoma City Boulevard and Klein
Contractors began work in earnest to install traffic signals at Oklahoma City Boulevard and Klein Avenue. (Brett Dickerson/Okla City Free Press)

Installation process

Wenger said that they did all of the layout last week and are pouring the concrete bases this week.

They expect to put in the cabinet pads and electronics in the week of February 10.

Poles are scheduled to go up February 14 with the whole installation and other installations along the boulevard before OKDOT officially delivers the project to the City.


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