Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Work will start in January on Norman's Main Street bridge SPUI

December 5, 2012

Construction will close lanes in coming months

NORMAN — At the beginning of the new year, the City of Norman can expect to start undergoing some changes.
City officials expect construction to begin in January on the Main Street interchange and Canadian River bridge. The lowest bid was awarded last month for the construction on the Main Street bridge, which will be completely replaced.
“It only happens every 50 years,” said Shawn O’Leary, director of public works for the city. “It’s pretty significant.”
The bid was approved at $29 million and will be a joint venture between two firms which O’Leary said was “unique.” The two firms working on the project will be Manhattan Road and Bridge and Allen Construction.
The structure is currently a cloverleaf interchange but it will be replaced with a single point urban interchange (SPUI). There is only one other SPUI in Oklahoma that has just been finished in recent months on I-40 and Morgan Road in west Oklahoma City.
“It’s safe, it’s efficient, it handles traffic well and it’s actually cheaper,” O’Leary said.
Since the bridge has two structures, he said during construction of it they will be able to keep traffic flowing on one structure while the other is being worked on. Of course, that’s not without saying that the construction will be disruptive to interstate travelers and inner city travelers he said.
“Like any major construction project there will be certain lanes out of service at certain times,” O’Leary said.
He said he expects the project to take approximately 18 months.
Canadian River bridge:
The second project expected to begin in January involves the widening of the Canadian River bridge. It is currently an eight-lane bridge that will be turned into 10 lanes.
The bid for that project was awarded to Sherwood Construction Company at $15 million. O’Leary said this project should be fairly simpler and less disruptive because there are multiple lanes involved.
“Essentially we’re just adding one lane on each side of the existing bridges,” he said. “It’s a little simpler in scope but it’s still a major project.”
O’Leary said the proximity of the Main Street project to the Canadian River bridge project is about one mile so the two construction zones will really be merged together into one large construction zone.
“We’re doing everything we can to minimize inconvenience,” he said.
The Highway Commission and the City of Norman are working closely with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to try to minimize as much inconvenience as possible he said.
This project will also take approximately 18 months he said.
Lindsey construction:
While many people may be more concerned about the possible closure of Lindsey Street in the future, O’Leary said they are still about three years out from that portion of the project.
“Lindsey will be the last of all the interchanges to be completed,” he said.
However, since the bridge on Lindsey Street is only one structure, it would be much more feasible to take the whole thing out of service. It wouldn’t be like the Main Street bridge that has two structures, allowing traffic to continue to flow while still under construction.
“That’s one of the challenges ODOT and its design team is facing,” he said. “We’re exploring every opportunity to keep that from happening.”
O’Leary said, of course, they wouldn’t like to have the bridge out of service at all because it will affect citizens and merchants of Norman but they are still several months away from making that decision.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hacked account

My Google account was hacked. Wow they were thorough. They sent an email to all my contacts, as best as I can figure, plus my Blogger account here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

City of Norman Parks & Recreation Master Plan

It's a fair sized bit of reading but interesting and well thought-out.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Questions about the Pisces Project

I sent the following email to Ms. Nancy Yoch. She is listed on the "About Us" page at I'll let you all know what she replies.

Ms. Yoch,

I read the article in Abner magazine about the Pisces Project.I write a blog at http:// I have a couple of questions please for you about the article.

1) What demonstrable need in the Norman community as a whole would this project address?

2) How does that need compare against other needs the City and/or District have at the current time and short-term future?

3) The article says there are about 125 children at a time being trained in the Sooner Swim Club. Who else, specifically, has been identified that would benefit from the new complex versus using existing facilities in Norman?



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

OCS director to discuss Oklahoma winter weather

taken from today's (2/16/2011) Norman Transcript:

OCS director to discuss Oklahoma winter weather

Jeff Basara, of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, will discuss recent work titled "Snow and Ice -- Causes and Trends in High impact winter Weather in Oklahoma at the March 3 Science Cale meeting.

Dr. Basara is the director of research at the OCS and one of the architects of the micronet instrument array deployed in Oklahoma City.

Science Cafe Norman will meet at 7 p.m. March 3 at the Norman Public Library at the corner of north Webster and Gray in norman.

The meeting is open to the public.

The Friends of the norman Public Library will provide snacks and coffee. Questions shoudl be directed to Sean Crowell at

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

First Snow of the Season for OKC Area?

Possibility of snow next Monday/Tuesday 12/6-7. Current probability is 20%.