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Lee Boulevard Project Complete in Lawton

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LAWTON Okla_ Say goodbye to bumpy driving on Lee Boulevard between Deyo Mission Road and Highway 115; the long-awaited reconstruction project is finished.

Comanche County Commissioner Don Hawthorne cut the red ribbon to make it official. He was joined by officials from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Comanche Nation tribal members and the Former District Three Commissioner Susan Ulrich.

The $5.3M roadway has been undergoing improvements since 2012. During that time, crews have made significant improvements to the five mile stretch. Comanche County Commissioner Don Hawthorne said it's a dream come true.

"It gives me really a sense of pride that it came together," Hawthorne said. "The road turned out better than I expected it to, and it's a tremendous project. It's a tremendous feeling of pride to have accomplished."

Planning for the Lee Boulevard Project began under Susan Ulrich in 2004. She was in Hawthorne's position then. She said the road needed to be improved, because it was dangerous.

"Actually, we had deaths on this before the road was done," Ulrich said. "So, that was my biggest concern."

Road officials say crews reinforced the old pavement with new asphalt. Then, they laid a few extra layers on top in order to give it this finished look.

Oklahoma Department of Transportation officials say laying down the material for the road was easy. They say doing that while it was still heavily traveled was a different story.

"We said the road was closed, but we had to leave it open for the people coming through," ODOT's Jerry Harwell said. "It was hard working with the traffic coming by quite high speeds at time, trying to protect our workers and our people."

It is hard work Hawthorne said he's glad to see finished.

"At times throughout the project, you're thinking, ‘Are we ever going to make it?' So, it's outstanding," Hawthorne said.

One Faxon resident who attended Tuesday's ceremony said seeing the road's progress is amazing.

"It's wonderful," LaVoice Satepauhoodle said. "That's good. We don't have to worry about it getting stuck or pushing the car and it's not rough like it was in those days."

Commissioner Hawthorne said he is working on finishing Old Cache Road to Lawton and Meers' Porter Hill Road. He said there is no date on when those two projects will be finished.



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