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Tillman County meets on improvements for transportation plan

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

TILLMAN COUNTY, OK (KSWO) -Roads, sidewalks and overall safety improvements could be in the near future for four area counties. It's all part of a long-range transportation plan for Southwest Oklahoma

The first of several meetings was held in Tillman county Wednesday to allow residents and officials to discuss the planning process with state and local government officials.

Tillman, Cotton, Jefferson and Stephens County are part of the main focus for this fiscal year. Comanche, Grady and Caddo are on the list for next year.

Narrow roads, no sidewalks and dangerous intersections are some of the main concerns residents and officials in Tillman County pointed out on the map for ODOT, ASCOG and SWODA.

Kent Smith, Tillman County's District 3 Commissioner says it's refreshing to get a say in ways to improve transportation around the county.

"We have a safety problem as I see it North of Granfield because a section of eight bridges that are very narrow and you take agriculture equipment through there and it's dangerous," said Smith.

Smith says he realizes the state is facing a budget shortfall, but hopes by presenting their concerns with the roadways and safety, ODOT will make not just highways a top priority, but also Southwest Oklahoma county roads.

"The highways affect county roads because of access," said Smith. "There's going to be a couple highways closed in Tillman county the next 5 years for maintenance and that's going to put a strain on county roads because people will use them to bypass the construction site."

Tom Zigler, the Community Economic Development Director for ASCOG says although these plans won't necessarily go into effect right away, ODOT will look over all the information and decide the amount of funding these projects will receive. They will begin making improvements within the next 20 years.

"If ODOT doesn't know, it's kind of hard for them to realize what's going on out here, so this is one of those things where we are going to give them feedback on what are the needs in each one of these counties," said Zigler.

ASCOG and SWODA are also giving out surveys for anyone to fill out about transportation or areas of concern in your area for the regional transportation plan.

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