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December 16, 2012

ODOT discusses Highway 20 bypass

Projected route could be only timely alternative to alleviate traffic concerns


Oklahoma Department of Transportation continues to make the State Highway 20 project a priority as part of the eight-year plan.
Recent news stories and questions prompted an informal meeting to bring clarity to the current planning process that will impact the city of Claremore.
Deputy Chief Engineer Gary Evans and Division 8 Engineer Randle White joined Claremore City Manager Jim Thomas and Public Works Director Daryl Golbek for a discussion Friday.
ODOT is revisiting an environmental study that was done in 2000 that would realign Highway 20 to the south, connecting with Highway 66 near Flint/King roads.
The expansion could include an overpass located at the intersection of Highway 20 and Highway 66 near King Road.
These plans have not been finalized and public hearings could be held next year.
The eight-year plan includes funding for a right-of-way assessment that is scheduled to occur in 2014.
“I have not seen any dates on the public meetings yet, All I can say is their goal is to have the assessments done by 2014,” Evans said.
Evans continued to explain that numerous alternative routes were reviewed in 2000 and that this route was preferred.
If this plan is not approved, then ODOT will go back to square one and the process that started in 2000 would start allover again, Evans added.
“I don’t want to go back to square one, going back takes a lot of time,” Thomas said. “The problem is not going away.”
“We look 30 years into the future when planning,” Evans said. 
The current alignment would have a difficult time handling the traffic volumes that will exist at that time, according to Evans.
For this plan to be approved, ODOT would need local support including city officials and final approval from the Federal Highway Administration.
Evans stated that the proposed route would end at Highway 66 near Flint road, featuring a loop onto Highway 66.

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