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Changes coming for Rogers Lane?

Lawton_The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) has proposed major changes for Rogers Lane in Lawton, such as wider intersections and safer ramps for drivers to use when entering and exiting the roadway.  City leaders say changes are necessary because of the increase in traffic volume around Fort Sill due to growth from the last Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round.

Several intersections could see changes such as Interstate 44, Ft. Sill Boulevard, and Sheridan Road plus 52nd Street.  The city says most of the changes would be for public safety, but proposed construction at Key Gate area also is a factor.  

Lawton City Manager Larry Mitchell says if part of the Key Gate area were to be closed for construction of on and off ramps, traffic still would need a route to enter and leave post.  The traffic could turn around at I-44 and Rogers Lane intersection, but Mitchell notes that is a problem "because it's very short.  It's a small intersection, there's very little turning movement stacking at the intersection so that would be a major problem, I think, for the city and I-44."  That is why ODOT is talking about widening it, but that is not all.  The department is looking at the safety of the rams entering and leaving Rogers Lane at Ft. Sill Blvd. and Sheridan Road.  "It allows traffic to merge versus crossing lanes of traffic.  Right now, if you're coming out of Ft. Sill at Sheridan, you have to cross traffic-you've got to cross four lanes of traffic to make a left-hand turn." 

Mitchell says the post may even move its security checkpoints back to allow more room for incoming and outgoing traffic.  At 52nd Street., ODOT has drafted plans at Ft. Sill's request to make it a primary entrance for large trucks and other shipments entering the post.  Mitchell says, "That would mean some major modifications to the intersection, it would mean a wider right-hand turn lane so that trucks can make that turning movement."  He stressed, "One problem that could arise with the modification of the 52nd St. intersection are these large electrical transmission poles that were just installed this fall.  AEP tells the city if they have to be moved, it could cost one-million dollars per pole, for a total of about five-to-ten-million dollars."  Mitchell notes who would pay for the work.  "It's a state highway, both Rogers Lane and I-44...and therefore we think the majority of the project cost should be borne by Ft. Sill, (the) Department of Defense, and the Department of Transportation."

ODOT tells 7News it is still conducting traffic studies at this time so these are just preliminary proposals so far.

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