The City of Stillwater and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation are working together on a major widening and improvement of north Perkins Road, arguably Stillwater’s most congested commercial corridor.
The $13.4 million ODOT-funded project will widen the street, add turn lanes, build medians to control turning traffic, add a multi-use path along the west side, add a sidewalk along the east side and add traffic signals at the entrances to Lowe’s and Buffalo Wild Wings.
A majority of the construction will focus on the stretch of Perkins Road extending from McElroy Road to Lakeview Road and is projected to begin in 2021.
The City of Stillwater has budgeted $3.4 million from its one-half cent transportation sales tax fund to cover its share of the project, which includes design, utility relocation and right of way acquisition. The city has contracted with Pinnacle, an Oklahoma City firm that is currently acquiring rights of way and easements along Perkins Road.
The City Council approved an expenditure of $610,544 on Nov. 18 to compensate the owners of seven different parcels for granting temporary and permanent easements and right of ways.
When the project was first introduced in 2015, project engineers said the north end of Perkins Road saw about 14,000 cars each day, with closer to 19,000 going through the intersection of Perkins and McElroy Roads.
“It’s a high-accident corridor,” Russell Beaty of Olsson and Associates said at the time. “A majority are turning accidents. “The median eliminates it (turning left) from being an option.”
Residents who reviewed the initial plan agreed that something needed to be done and indicated they favored adding more turn lanes. Several said they avoided the area because of the congestion and stop- and-go traffic.