Claremore City Council approved the first phase of a $30 million plan to create an east-west corridor by expanding Country Club Road during its meeting Monday.
“This is a game changing project and should excite the people of Claremore,” Claremore City Manager Jim Thomas said. “I believe if we can make it convenient for people to travel east to west in the area, it will open up economic development.”
The project will include a railroad grade separation or elevated track at the intersection of Country Club Road and State Highway 66.
It will serve three main needs of Claremore — transportation, public safety and economic development, according to Thomas.
The overpass would improve traffic flow and promote economic development, according to Thomas.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) recently released plans to connect State Highway 20 to the south of Claremore connecting to King Road. That plan would push Owasso traffic to the south toward Verdigris, according to Thomas.
“I like Owasso. It is a nice community. It is in the shadow of Claremore, but I want the people of Owasso coming to Claremore,” Thomas said.
The plan will open up approximately 750 acres of undeveloped land in the area.
Transystems Inc. has contracted with the city to facilitate the plan and preliminary reports should be completed by May 1. The city will save money in the planning stages of the project by reusing previous engineering studies. This elevation will not impact any other crossing or the downtown area, according to city officials.
“This is a project I have been working on since the first couple of weeks after coming to Claremore,” Thomas said. “I want people spending money in Claremore.”
The city has been working with ODOT and other groups to facilitate this plan and the city’s future transportation and economic development needs, Thomas said. City officials hope to recapture ODOT funding that was previously dedicated to Claremore’s elevated track project.