DUNCAN — During a regular meeting Monday, the Oklahoma Transportation Commission approved a $6.1 million project that will add a new, full interchange at the intersection of Duncan Bypass and Elk Avenue in Duncan.

“That intersection sees a lot of traffic and at certain time is pretty congested,” said Duncan Public Works Manager Buddy Hokit. “In the past, there have been several accidents and an interchange will make it a lot safer for travelers.”

Construction is set to begin in 2025 as part of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s Eight-year Construction Work Plan.

The contract approved by the commission is for primary engineering and preparation of plans for construction of a new full interchange at the intersection which is about one mile north of the Beech Avenue interchange.

“Currently, Duncan Bypass and Elk Avenue meet at an at-grade intersection, so this project will provide a much safer intersection with a bridge and ramps to accommodate growing traffic volumes,” said Cody Boyd, a spokesperson for ODOT.

Many around Duncan consider the intersection dangerous, including Jonathan Vaugh, a Duncan resident who says he hopes the interchange will make the area safer.

“Putting the interchange in is long overdue,” said Vaughan. “Almost every time I hear there is an accident, Elk and 81 bypass is the intersection I have in my head instantly. Hopefully the interchange will prevent the tragedies that often happen there.”