Elm Street widening project expected to be completed by end of 2023
Jenks residents made it loud and clear they are ready to see their roads improved in their passing of the Aug. 25 bond issue with more than 71% of the vote.
The largest and most expensive of those projects is the widening of south Elm Street to five lanes from 111th Street to 131st Street with walking and biking paths along the sides of the road.
The Elm Street widening will cost $16 million, which is more than 75% of the total bond amount.
Now, the question from many Jenks citizens is when they can expect the project to begin and when it will be completed.
Jenks City Engineer Chris Robinson said he is anticipating the entire project to be completed by the end of 2023.
“Utility relocations are nearly entirely designed,” Robinson said during Tuesday’s Jenks City Council meeting. “The designs for the area around 131st and Elm are being updated since we are widening it to five lanes the entire way. The utility relocation plans are being adjusted.”
Companies, who have different utility and power lines underneath Elm Street have signed agreements to relocate and extend their casings.
The plan is for those companies to begin those relocation projects in October or early November if the weather cooperates and to be completely done by the end of the year or early 2021.
“I am being a little cautious with the timing because PSO (Public Service Company of Oklahoma) needs to move two miles of electrical lines and they have a lot of underground lines to relocate,” Robinson said. “I am thinking it will take an entire 12 months from now for them to complete the relocation.”
Robinson said the City of Jenks is currently going through right of way acquisition and they have nearly half of the right of way packets to send out for offers.
“We just need to make sure we are offering adequate prices for the square-footage we are asking for the right of way,” Robinson said. “We are still working on the offers for the two largest parcels, which are for the sections south of 131st Street on the west side of Elm Street. There are two owners there, and that will be tedious to make sure we ask for the correct value and negotiate with them. On the right of way acquisition, I am hoping to get those done by March of 2021.”
Robinson said he is anticipating construction on Elm Street to commence in January of 2022.
“Our design engineer believes he can get everything in place and ready to go by June of 2021,” Robinson said. “I am being a little more cautious on it. He is being a little more aggressive with his timetable. Either way, we will push to get this done as soon as possible. I have estimated about 20 months on the time frame for construction, which anticipates a wet winter and spring.”
Robinson stated that he expects the construction documents to show a quicker time on construction, but he added the usual amount of rain delays that typically happen within a year.
“We are also designing in the construction plan a phased approach, so there will always be two-way traffic open on Elm Street,” Robinson said. “This project will not start prior to 111th and Elwood being completed.”
The 111th Street and Elwood Ave. intersection project is schedule to be completed in February of 2021.