The $17 million Interstate 40 Radio Road interchange in El Reno, Oklahoma, a public-private partnership between the city, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Chesapeake Energy, has officially opened after a nearly four-year process.
Chesapeake Energy announced in 2012 that it would pay the state’s part of the construction costs and secure right-of-way to add the interchange.
Construction began last November and the project included reconstruction and widening of the existing Radio Road Bridge over I-40 and adding new ramps. What is described as a “companion project” was performed by El Reno that included widening Radio Road between the interstate and SH-66 to accommodate the anticipated traffic using the new interchange.
“Thanks to the partnership between Chesapeake Energy, the City of El Reno and ODOT, we’ve addressed another bridge and provided interstate access that will benefit businesses and drivers,” says Gov. Mary Fallin. “Highway access is one of the top-rated factors by businesses when looking to invest in a new location, so this interchange will help Oklahoma attract new companies and new jobs.”
ODOT says the interchange is the newest access point added to I-40 since the John Kilpatrick Turnpike connection near Yukon was built by the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority more than 10 years ago.
“Adding a new interchange to I-40 would have ordinarily been beyond the financial resources available to ODOT,” says ODOT executive director Mike Patterson. “Chesapeake Energy created a challenge and an opportunity, but they also brought the solution by providing the matching funds and right-of-way necessary to make this project a reality.”