Orange cones span stretches of pavement, as the overhaul of Kickapoo Street, a project that began in February 2013, remains sluggish. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation expressed recent flooding is the latest punch to the construction timeline.

EDITOR'S NOTE: An in-depth look at construction on Kickapoo Street, the project’s updated schedule and responses from local officials.

Orange cones span stretches of pavement, as the overhaul of Kickapoo Street, a project that began in February 2013, remains sluggish. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation expressed recent flooding is the latest punch to the construction timeline.

While the projected completion date has regularly encountered setbacks, ODOT Assistant Resident Manager Gary Grant is confident certain street sections will open soon.

“We had a little hindrance with the weather here lately, but they’re moving along pretty good,” Grant said.

Significant progress failed to reach fruition by the arrival of the traffic-inducing International Finals Youth Rodeo, an early July event at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center. At the latest city commission meeting, City Manager Justin Erickson addressed continued road closures.

“We did meet individually with representatives from ODOT and talked about our concerns and the traffic that was going to come because of the rodeo and they were striving to make that happen,” he said. “We all have good intentions, but we’re just not quite there.”

“Quite there,” however, could be around the corner. Grant noted an upcoming section opening.

“Kickapoo Spur… we should have completed to Arby’s, everything up to there,” he detailed. “It will be open up to four lanes in the next [week].”

Grant added his forecast for the entire project.

“Hopefully everything will be done by [October],” he said.

City Engineer John Krywicki is suspicious of that projection.

“I don't see how that date can be met, especially the way ODOT is allowing the contractor to just skip around from one location to the other, without requiring the contractor to complete what they had tore out and started,” he said.

Krywicki listed the intersection at Independence Street as an example.

“But since [the city is] not paying the contractor and ODOT has construction oversight and control of the project,” he explained, “we do not have much influence over the day-to-day operations of the contractor, nor can we direct them in what to be working on before they tear something else out.”

The contractor, Haskell Lemon Construction, did not return a request for comment by press time.

In March, ODOT Resident Manager Archie Moore, aware of construction’s impact, said crews are making a special effort to provide safe access to all businesses.

“We’re costing them some money right now,” he said. “At the same time, when we get done, I think the city is going to love it.”

Once the widening project is complete, the street will feature a design of a four lane with a turn lane.