Share the road: Bike path expanded to section of Cache Road

Share the road: Bike path expanded to section of Cache Road

LAWTON, Okla._You may need to give yourself a little extra time in your morning commute Monday if you use Northwest Cache Road near Fort Sill Boulevard.

Starting at 8:00 a.m. Monday, construction will begin on Northwest Cache Road on both the inner eastbound and westbound lanes near Northwest Fort Sill Boulevard. Those lanes will be closed for two weeks while crews work on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities Project that began in June.

The goal behind the multi-million project is for drivers to share the road with pedestrians and bikers, and the project is almost complete. Construction on the last of the four routes throughout the city starts Monday on Cache Road.

Johnith Grundmann, a civil engineer with the City of Lawton, has followed all phases of the project.

"It has shoulders, we're going to take the shoulder off. We are going to put on a curb and gutter. We're going to have a little grass section, five to six feet of grass, and then we are going to have a 10-foot wide side walk," Grundmann explained.

It's a path similar to the ones previously placed throughout the city.

Beginning at Greer Park, the path wraps around the park and spills out onto a neighborhood on the northwest side, which then leads to downtown Lawton. From there, it goes to Elmer Thomas Park and eventually ends up at Rogers Lane, right beside Highland Cemetery; leaving everyone plenty of room on the road.

"In the state of Oklahoma, bicycles are supposed to ride in the road with traffic. They're suppose follow all the traffic requirements a car follows," Grundmann explained.

The project began in January and has seen some delays, and construction inspector Glenn Hinton says there could be even more.

"When it's freezing outside, the concrete is not going to set properly [and] you have an inferior product. Yesterday they were out here doing a little bit, but we knew the rain was coming. You can't really excavate, so you dig a hole, then you fill it up with water…it sets you behind even more," Hinton explained.

The construction on Northwest Cache Road is expected to be wrapped up by November 9, but that date is dependent upon the weather.

Federal grants are pending, and the city may receive more funding to continue to expand the bike project further.