Several ODOT projects to finish this year

STEPHENS COUNTY, OK (KSWO) - Several Oklahoma Department of Transportation highway construction plans are set for completion in the coming months, but more will soon get underway.

A project began at I-44 and Rogers Lane in Lawton in February and officials say it is on schedule and will hopefully be complete by the start of 2019.

Another project is set to kick off in late May on Highway 29, East of Marlow. Oklahoma Department of Transportation Division 7 Engineer Jay Earp said that area will be under construction for several years.

"There's a series of 5 different projects that will be let between this month, we're going to bid and hopefully award the first project here in May of 2018, and then we'll have consecutive construction all the way to the county line with the last project we anticipate to let in 2022," Earp said.

Earp said the area sees a significant amount of traffic from both oil field workers and those heading East to connect with I-35.

"We're excited to make a lot of safety improvements on that corridor. Add shoulders, cut down the hills and fill in the valleys there to make better sight distance," Earp said.

Earp said ODOT is also nearing completion on what he called the 81-Spur, the area of Highway 81 just West of the Duncan Bypass. That should be complete by late this summer. O-DOT is also hard at work replacing the red river bridge, connecting Oklahoma to Texas in Jefferson County.

"The current bridge is a narrow truss bridge, the bridge deck is not in good shape, it's a maintenance problem to repair the potholes and the increased traffic from Texas into Oklahoma and Oklahoma into Texas is really taxing on the old bridge," Earp said.

Earp said he hopes the new, wider bridge will be complete by late this fall. Construction will also be complete by late summer on a bridge in Cotton County.

"On US-277 North of Randlett, there is place is our load posted bridge in Division 7 that carries highway traffic. We're currently building a new series of bridges next to the old bridges over the Deep Red Creek," Earp said.

Earp said many of the projects they are working on now and in the future are about widening the highways and adding shoulders for safety. He said as of right now, over 1/3 of the highway in Division 7 remains without any kind of shoulder, which is extremely dangerous.

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