West Gore Boulevard closed for repairs

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Starting on Monday, part of West Gore Boulevard will be closed for a month for some much-needed repairs between 74th Street and Crystal Hills Drive. If you've driven down West Gore between 67th and 82nd Street, chances are you probably hit a pothole or noticed the crumbling asphalt.

"You can see the road has just failed. It's sinking into the ground," Sean Fortenbaugh, Lawton City Councilman said.

Fortenbaugh stepped into his role just this year, and that was one of his top priorities.

"Because I talked to lots of people in the neighborhoods and that was one of their main deals," Fortenbaugh said. "They kept getting flat tires and cars kept getting damaged."

The $80,000 project on part of the street is just a band-aid on the bigger problem. Building a new road on West Gore between 67th and 82nd street is on the 2015 Sales Tax Extension. But expected funding from Oklahoma Department of Transportation isn't available.

So the city has asked for a 80-20 split on the project. The city would pay $1.6 million of the $7.9 million project.

"We have not received that yet," City Manager Jerry Ihler said. "But we have requested it, and I do know that our highway commissioner Mr. Burgess is working hard to get that money."

Ihler said the road overhaul design is about 35 percent finished. They even had a meeting with ODOT on those plans a few weeks ago.

"They look at the plans to determine if have we designed and set enough area aside to acquire the proper right-a-way to design it," Ihler said.

But a start date is still quite a few years away. If everything goes to plan, construction could begin in 2 to 5 years.

To Fortenbaugh and his ward, they are just counting down the days.

"This fix we are putting in right now will easily get us through the five years, I think," Fortenbaugh said. "So instead of spending a fortune on potholes replacements and repair we can just fix it once, and it'll be good for many years."

The short-term repairs happening right now will shut off thru traffic between 67th and 82nd street until March 19. The City asks drivers to avoid detouring through the neighborhoods in that area while construction is going on.

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