LAWTON, Okla._A road construction project that has been in the works for the last several years is finally making some headway.
The expansion of Southeast 45th Street between Lee and Gore Boulevard is in the preliminary stages of construction; as the city has obtained right-of-ways, and utility companies have begun moving lines and piping, to free the way to road construction.
The $6 million expansion will be 80-percent paid for by ODOT, leaving the City with 20-percent of the costs that are covered under a voter approved CIP.
The preliminary design plans show widening the mile and a quarter stretch of road between Lee and Gore to five lanes.
"The center lane would be a turn lane, and then we have a sidewalk on both sides, and a bike lane on the outside lane," Mohammad Azim, Civil Engineer, said.
Azim said the widening will help ease traffic from MacArthur High School and promote economic growth on the City's east side.
"We did a traffic study into the future, 2027, and based on that projection it was recommended that we have this 5-lane project for future traffic conditions," he said.
Azim said the project's time line is dependent on how quickly the utility companies, like AT&T and Centerpoint Energy, are able to remove and re-lay their lines.
"Some of these lines are very, very deep and the utilities are very close to each other, so it will be an effort," Azim said.
Each company will file in and do their shifting separately, so as not to step on any toes, and Azim said that could take at least 6 months.
"We are noticing some of the companies are behind in preparing their plans, so we'll have to see how it turns out," he said.
Once those lines have been moved, road construction can begin and Azim said in order to alleviate as much congestion as possible during road construction, the roadway will be worked on in sections, one half at a time.
"There could be brief interruptions, but very brief, but the goal is to allow access at all times," he said.