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38th Street construction starts in September

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LAWTON, Okla. - After a little bit of a break, Lawton drivers will soon have to work their way around another major street construction project. This one is on Northwest 38th Street between Gore and Cache road. 

It's more than an inconvenience for those who live on 38th. The city is meeting with them Thursday, to help them prepare for a headache that will start next month, and could last a year.

The project engineer says the road is so awful at certain points there is very limited visibility and that has caused several accidents.

The reason the city is holding a public hearing now is because the project is a total reconstruction of the road and they want homeowners to know what to expect.

Project engineer Jonith Grundmann says it is supposed to take 240 days to complete, so it'll be a major adjustment to their regular routine for quite a while.

"We're taking an existing four lane street and widening it to five lanes, so it will basically have a center turn lane," said Grundmann.

She says many car accidents have occurred on 38th Street.

"A lot of rear end (collisions), I understand.  When you're going northbound because of the housing additions, that road doesn't have very good sight distance."

To fix that, crews will flatten that stretch of road to make it smoother. But to deal with the natural slope, retaining walls will be built along side of the street.

Grundmann says the project will be finished in phases. The first will be to revamp the Gore Boulevard intersection.

"For east bound traffic, there is going to be a new turn lane to turn south, and for westbound there is an existing turn lane but it's kind of narrow and we're going to widen that a little bit," said Grundmann.

Then the contractor will move on to the main street between Gore and Cache.  Grundmann says that mile-long stretch of 38th will be closed off to anyone who is not a resident of those neighborhoods.

The city hopes you use 52nd Street or Sheridan instead of driving through the residential ones.

"Those streets are not made to handle the kind of traffic, and also people park and so there is usually only one lane. And if you have a lot of traffic, two-way traffic it's not going to work," said Grundmann.

Grundmann says the city is offering an incentive. If the contractor gets finished early, then he will receive a thousand dollars a day for beating the deadline.

There will actually be two meetings Thursday on the project. Both are at St. Paul's Methodist church on 38th. The first is for residents, at 4pm, and then a meeting for the general public will start at 6pm. 

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