Claremore Daily Progress

State/Nation

July 18, 2013

Hwy. 266 expansion stops short

CLAREMORE —

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation hosted a public meeting Tuesday to receive public comments and answer questions about the four-lane expansion of State Highway 266.
Several members of the property development community voiced their concerns that the project is not inclusive enough to address traffic concerns.
The first phase of the project will include right-of-way work and ODOT officials report that both of the existing lanes will remain open during the construction phase.
The roadway will be expanded in the next four years to include four driving lanes, 12-feet wide each, a center lane of 16-feet and shoulders 10-feet wide on both sides of the road.
Three existing bridge structures, two span bridges and a box structure will be impacted by the construction.
The roadway will only be expanded at this time to include the railroad crossing just east of 145th East Avenue.
Intersection improvements for 129th East Avenue and 145th East  Avenue will be included in the project.
The railroad crossing will also be widened to meet the railroad requirements and ODOT will be working with the railroad on the improvements, Division 8 Director Randall White said.
The project does not include continuous four-lane expansion from State Highway 169 to the Tulsa Port of Catoosa.
ODOT is unable to secure funding and environmental clearance to continue the project throughout the area at this time, according to officials.
Approximately, 10,000 vehicles travel the roadway daily.
ODOT officials said that the existing condition of the roadway and traffic safety concerns warranted their attention.
With traffic flow expected to increase to about 16,000 a day by 2035, the department opted to make the project a priority, according to officials.
Public comments at the meeting were limited. 
However, local landowners, developers and Rogers County Commissioner Mike Helm voiced their concerns.
The project does not include the future expansion of 177th East Avenue that currently dead ends at the Patriot Golf Course in Stone Canyon.

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