Residents have mixed emotions about SE 45th project

Residents have mixed emotions about SE 45th project

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -Construction is officially underway on Lawton's Southeast 45th Street to make it a five lane road between Gore and Lee Boulevard.

Right now it's only two lanes, but when it's finished it'll be four with a turn lane in the middle.

The street will also have a 5 foot wide bike lane and a 6 foot wide sidewalk on each side.
The project is expected to cost 8 million dollars with ODOT paying 80 percent and the City of Lawton the remaining 20.

Construction crews are still in the early stages. They just started expanding the road a little towards Gore. Residents in the area say they have mixed emotions about the expansion, but they all agreed the street needed a facelift, just maybe not to this extent.

Betsy Lawrence and her home day care, Tiny Tots University is right in the middle of the construction going on on Southeast 45th.

"I'm not sure I am ready for all the traffic issues," said Lawrence. "I am certainly not comfortable with how close the property line comes up to my home."

The city told her she won't have access to her driveway for awhile once they start expanding the road. She was worried it would affect her business, but she says her clients will just have to park on the side of her house and walk up to the front to drop off their kids.

"I see more positive than negatives," said Lawrence. "I really do and they're compensating us for what they're doing. So, it's not like they're just running in here, running over us."

Lawrence says she will really enjoy the sidewalks and bike trails. But, not everyone on the street agrees.

"I don't like it at all," said William E. Dixon.

Dixon says he wishes the project would just be a new 2 lane road, not 5 lanes.

"It definitely needs some improvement, but it don't need that much improvement and especially to inconvenience all these people," said Dixon. "It's going to go up in everybody's yard and move the street even closer. It's enough noise already "

Dixon and Lawrence are glad however the city is working to better the area.

"There's always negative to change because we always want to resist change but I think this project is going to far outweigh the negatives," said Lawrence. "I am going to be happy when people come in and see a nice street."

The city says this project should take around 9 months to complete. And they believe there will always be at least one lane open on 45th during construction.

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