Widgets Magazine
  • Roads being built around U-Haul in Bricktown after failing to obtain right-of-way

    The eastern section of the new OKC Boulevard opened earlier this year, with direct entrances to and from the neighboring freeways.

    The segment dead-ends at Shields Boulevard until the remainder of the roadway ultimately follows the entire footprint of the old I-40 corridor, and the only existing exit isn't an exit at all.

    The traffic light and full intersection at Oklahoma Avenue is currently barricaded and motorists are blocked from using what would be direct access to Bricktown.

    After failing to obtain the required property to connect the intersection in a direct line to Oklahoma Ave., work has now started to circumnavigate a property currently owned by U-Haul.

    As seen from above, U-Haul currently uses the area directly west of Harkins Theater for vehicles and parking.

    The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) is building the boulevard but it was the responsibility of the City of Oklahoma City to obtain the right-of-way to connect to Oklahoma Avenue.

    After months of failed negotiations, work has now started to build access that would take motorists west then up Compress Avenue on the west side of U-Haul, then back east to Oklahoma, or to the east and directly into a parking area behind Harkins.

    A spokesperson for the City said they still hope to acquire the U-Haul right-of-way. The work-around -- which may be temporary or permanent -- should be complete in the fall.

    Before the boulevard construction, access roads under the old I-40 followed the Compress alignment but a decision was made to move the intersection to Oklahoma Avenue under the assumption a deal could be reached with the U-Haul owners.

    Preliminary work has already started on the center section of the boulevard which will run directly north of the under-construction MAPS 3 Scissortail Park and the proposed convention center and Omni hotel. Contracts for full construction are set to let this November with the entire remainder of the project taking about 1.5 years.

    For full plans for the boulevard, see our summary here.

    Tune in to KFOR-TV tonight at 5PM for more information and footage on this story from our news partners at Channel 4. KFOR reporter Lacey Lett contributed to this story.

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