52nd Street getting a facelift - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

52nd Street getting a facelift

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -Deteriorating roads and streets is one of the biggest concerns for residents in the city of Lawton, and the city recently announced it will rebuild Southwest 52nd Street. 

The street will be expanded to three lanes from West Gore Boulevard to the rail-road tracks located about a half-mile south of Gore. It will include north and southbound lanes with a turning lane in the middle. 

City council approved the plan to rebuild the street at Tuesday's meeting. The project cost 3 million dollars and will be funded through the city's 2015 Capital Improvement Program.

Several residents who told me they are all for the new improvements because the roads desperately need to be fixed.

Jody Sherry has been living in her home off Southwest 52nd street for 50 years. Over time she says the street has deteriorated and it becomes busy with traffic before and after school. 

"I understand that the road needs to be widened so you know I have mixed emotions about it truly," said Sherry.

Sherry said while she doesn't like changes and how it may affect her property, she knows the improvements are necessary.

She's not the only one who feels they are needed.  Ward 8 councilman Doug Wells said residents have complained about the condition of the road and damage it causes to their vehicles for over a decade and he has been trying to resolve the problems for the last 8 years. Wells said the street has a long list of problems.

 "This road has been disastrous for 15,20 years. Not only do you see the bumps and stuff but it damages tires when school starts or lets out it's just jammed with traffic and its one of the busiest streets in town," said Wells.

Wells added the new improvements wouldn't change much in the area, but widening the road will take 4 feet of space on each side of the road, which will be taken from resident's property. That is something that really concerns Sherry.

"It would certainly take every bit of my side yard.  Well first It would de-value the property and it will also make a very difficult arrangement and you cant go to far across the street because of the school," said Sherry. 

For the past 18 months the city has been working with Lawton Public Schools to make sure there is enough space needed while giving the district the property it needs for bus stops. 

"Eventually we will go out further more the west side of the road than the east side of the road because we don't want to affect all of the houses over here and the west side of the road is basically school land but there is no homes involved so it  shouldn't affect any building involved," said Wells.

While the construction will create some temporary headaches and inconvenience, Wells said these changes will result in a vast improvement and help traffic flow. The bidding process has started for construction companies to make improvements.  Wells said he expects construction to start in the summer and should take about 9 months to complete.

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