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Stephens County leaders excited for future transportation

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

DUNCAN, OK (KSWO) - One local mayor said he has high hopes for the future following a meeting about long-term transportation plans in southwest Oklahoma.

Tuesday, state and local government officials were in Stephens County to meet with a room full of mayors, city managers and community members, all giving their opinions about what, exactly, needs to be done in their hometowns.

If you've driven through Stephens County, there's a good chance you've already witnessed one of Tuesday’s widely discussed topics...

"I'd like to see the Duncan Bypass have four lanes versus two lanes,” said Marlow Mayor Brad Boles. “There's a lot of traffic that goes through the Duncan Bypass. And, for the Marlow side, Highway 29 from Marlow out to I-35 is a really dangerous highway. Anyone that's driven down that, you've got a lot of windmill traffic, a lot of oil and gas activity and it's a very narrow two-lane highway."

Boles was just one of about two dozen people who packed into a room at the Red River Technology Center to meet with state officials about their roads. There wasn't an empty seat in the room, which Boles said is exactly how it should be.

"The state can give us what they think they should do but at the end of the day, the stakeholders in this area have the most information,” Boles said. “You talk to different business owners, different organizations, city municipalities and if you put all your heads together you can get a really good game plan. And like anything, when you have more people pulling together you have more opportunities for success."

That local expertise is exactly what Tom Zigler with ASCOG was looking for when they set up these meetings.

"They have knowledge of some areas that are important to them as far as transportation,” Zigler said. “They know of sections of roads or interstates that there are safety issues or there are concerns. Maybe it's a low water area."

Boles said he is thankful for the opportunity to meet and work through the plans so early in the process and that Tuesday’s meeting gives him high hopes going forward.

"I'm just excited about the future of southwest Oklahoma,” Boles said. “We have a great place to live here, a great lifestyle, and just improving our infrastructure needs with transportation can only be a benefit going forward.”

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