Just over $81 million in highway building and improvement projects are included in the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s 8-Year Construction Work Plan for Rogers County.

The most significant projects on the list, in terms of impact on Claremore, are the mile-long portion of the much talked-about Highway 20 Claremore bypass and interchange designed to connect South Highway 66 to the Will Rogers Turnpike (Interstate 44) and the nearly four mile section of 88 that will connect to the east side of the Turnpike and 20/66 interchange.

All listed projects have “dedicated funding” in the 8-Year Plan.

Cole Perryman, ODOT spokesperson, said since the 8-Year Plan has been put in place, the state has kept above a 90 percent completion rate on scheduled work in the plan.

“It (the 8-Year Plan) is a way to manage projects through the federal process of environmental study and provides a mechanism so projects are let on a consistent basis,” Perryman said. The 8-Year Plan is reviewed on an annual basis and as construction prices fluctuate ODOT goes back and looks” at how projects can be phased in, with the available funds.

This connecting segment of the south Claremore bypass project is the only portion of the highway realignment included in the 8-Year Plan.

Following is a brief description of the current projects on the 8-Year Plan that directly impact all of Rogers County.

The I-44/193rd Street interchange at State Highway 167 is of interest to Claremore residents, many commute this route to Tulsa on a daily basis.

Besides the Turnpike to 66/88 project, the realignment of Highway 88 south from Will Rogers Memorial could prove to be a significant boon to Claremore’s future economic growth.



US 169

The 169 project consists of a five-mile utility relocation along US 169 in the far northeastern portion of the county. The ongoing highway improvement effort will help extend the four-lane federal highway from Talala to the Nowata County line.

This $2 million project should begin as early as November of this year.



I-44/193rd Interchange

The Catoosa project involves land acquisition and utility relocation for addressing the dangerous I-44/193rd Street interchange at Highway 167. This is a $21.8 million project.

Work on this project should begin as early as November of this year.

More funds will be needed for grade, drain and surface portions of this project.



Highway 88

Highway 88 work, the most recent addition to transportation improvement priorities, is up for funding in the amount of $21.7 million.

Right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation work is slated for bidding as early as August 2007.

Work will take place both east of the turnpike and inside the city limits.

The rerouting of Highway 88 will create a new travel pattern through Claremore.The highway redesign calls for realignment south through the city diverging from its current northwest-southeast alignment along 20.

No dates or funding are in the 8-Year Plan for final grade, drain and surfacing of the upgrades are yet available.



HIGHWAY 20 BYPASS

Although the Highway 20 bypass has been on the drawing board for nearly 10 years, only the interchange at 66 and 20 and a short 1 mile connecting the four-lane to the Turnpike and future Highway 88 improvements is in the 8-Year Plan.

The first utility relocation is set for bid in January 2007. Just over $28 million is set aside to complete the 1.04-mile connecting four-lane and interchange.

Other portions of the proposed Highway 20 bypass (specifically west of 66 to Keetonville) are not addressed.

While the redecking of the Verdigris River bridge on Highway 20 near Keetonville is not in the 8-Year Plan, newly available funding means it has been made an immediate priority for the county.



HIGHWAY 412

Bridgework is funded for the Verdigris River overflow approximately 6.5 miles east of Tulsa. This project will cost $25 million.