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Crews begin work on State Highway 20 after months of delay due to utility interference.

Construction on State Highway 20, also known as Patti Page Boulevard, has restarted after months of delay because of conflicting gas lines.

The $4.6 million project was halted in April because of safety concerns after construction crews hit a gas line three times and found gas lines in two other areas.

Oklahoma Natural Gas Public Relations Manager Liza Steger said 1,200 feet of Oklahoma Natural Gas’ pipeline needed to be relocated between Seminole and Oak.

“We’ve completed the west side of Wewoka and are working to finalize the east side of Wewoka by Dec. 14,” Steger said. “Our crews have been working extended hours and Saturdays to complete this project as efficiently as possible and are currently on track to finalize the project by Dec. 14.”

ONG completed work from Highway 66, also known as Lynn Riggs Boulevard, to Wewoka Avenue and have begun work from Wewoka Avenue to Maiden Lane.

Oklahoma Department of Transportation Public Information Manager T.J. Gerlach said the contractor has started back on the project and will continue where they left off by removing concrete pavement from Highway 66 to Wewoka Avenue.

“The plan right now is for them to work west of Wewoka Avenue while ONG completes work,” he said. “With winter approaching, we don’t have a good estimate of how long the remaining work will take to complete.”

Gerlach said the streets that were closed prior to the break in work will be closed again.

“Some of the roads that will be closed currently have temporary access,” he said. “This temporary access will remain for everything east of Seminole until ONG completes its work there and our contractor continues to these areas.”

Gerlach said the city had requested to keep the following streets open to traffic: Cherokee, Florence, Seminole, Dorothy, and Maiden.

Claremore City Manager John Feary said what was thought to be an eight to nine month delay turned out to be half that what they expected.

“We’re certainly extremely happy and grateful for the expedited nature in which ONG stepped up and worked with ODOT once we realized there was a problem,” Feary said.

Feary said the city is extremely pleased with the working relationship with ODOT and ONG.

“Both entities really stepped up and understood while it’s ODOT’s project and ONG’s infrastructure, they understand how potentially crippling something like that could be to small businesses and the community as a whole,” he said. “They went out of their way to have additional crews brought in. We’re just very thankful.”

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