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May 8, 2013

A Country Club Connection: Council considers road expansion with overpass ‘game changer’ for city

CLAREMORE —

Claremore leaders are moving forward with plans to create a connection between South Haven Road and Lynn Riggs Boulevard through the expansion of Country Club Road.
TranSystems presented a preliminary plan Monday to the city council, six weeks after approving the engineering study. The plan is moving forward as Claremore City Manager Jim Thomas prepares to present the plans to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation on Thursday.
City officials are thrilled with the timely response of TranSystems and believe ODOT will be very receptive” to the project, said Thomas.
The long-term goal is to use the connection to offer an alternative to the re-route of State Highway 20, bringing traffic through Claremore, not around the city, according to officials.
The project will cost approximately $27 million and will include a road grade separation at the intersection of Country Club Road and Lynn Riggs Blvd.
The railroad separation at the intersection will provide for vehicle or pedestrian traffic to travel safely beneath the railway, according to Thomas.
The project plan outlines the elevation work and road expansion that will be necessary to meet specifications.
The process will require the city to purchase right-of-way, one business and several homes to complete the project. Although officials are in the planning stages, Thomas highlighted his plan to host public meetings to address any concerns with the project.
Recognizing the significance and need for an alternative route through Claremore, Thomas said he is making the issue a priority.
“It is critical, I am committed to this project. I believe it is money well spent,” Thomas said.
The expansion will open up 750 acres for business, retail and residential development, according to Thomas.
Additionally, Thomas said he has received positive feedback from business leaders and developers on the project’s potential impact. 
“This is a game changer for Claremore,” Thomas said.
TranSystems has contacted BNSF Railway for project approval, however no response has been made at this time.
The plans from the downtown Claremore elevated railway project were used to provide specifications for compliance with ODOT and BNSF standards.
Officials anticipate positive participation from both organizations.

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