Recent information updates from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation have provided more clarity regarding the realignment of Hwy. 20 around Claremore.
ODOT officials contacted the Claremore Progress to clarify previously published information claiming that the initial reports were incorrect.
Division 8 Engineer Randle White and Public Information Officer Kenna Mitchell do not agree with published reports; however, both are unable to provide enough information to dispute the sources.
After further discussion with officials, it was determined that the route around Claremore is not considered to be a “loop” by ODOT officials, despite the reports that it would travel along the southern border of the city and not through downtown Claremore.
Sources within ODOT have provided additional information about proposed route and White personally acknowledged that the area in question is included in the environmental studies.
The route is proposed to split from the current five-lane section of Hwy 20 west of Keetonville near 206th Street. It will then run southeast toward East 490 Road and down Keetonville Hill.
After the roadway passes down the hill in the new alignment it will reconnect near the existing bridge over the Verdigris River.
Following the existing roadway, it will travel east until it reaches NW Franklin Road. At that point it will follow a path southeast through the countryside and behind Catalayah Elementary School.
The highway will connect with Rt. 66 between Country Club and King Roads, according to White.
Although White would only verify a general direction of the roadway, other sources provided clarity regarding the proposal.
It should be noted that this is only the proposed route and environmental studies are still being conducted.
The route follows closely with other proposals including ODOT’s own proposal it released in 2000.
White was questioned about the plans including the potential for public hearings about the project.
“We held a public hearing back in 2000,” White said.
White also stated that a future public hearing would be dependent on the current environmental study and if the area of impact has changed since 2000.
Claremore officials, when contacted, said they were unaware of any discussions that would take Hwy. 20 south of the city. City officials could not provide any information about the proposal, as they said they have not received it from ODOT.