Lawton_If you've driven down Rogers Lane in Lawton, east of I-44, you've probably experienced the traffic at a standstill, or the flooding. Those are just two reasons Lawton's City Council met to vote on improvement plans in a special council meeting Tuesday night.
About 10,000 cars travel down Rogers Lane between I-44 and Flowermound each day. And in less than 10 years, another 2,000 more. Not to mention yet another 6,000 if Key Gate closes. Councilman Jay Burk said this widening is definitely needed, "This is long term planning this is something that we need to look at for the next 5-10 years, too. This road is going to be a major expansion, another major thoroughfare for east Lawton."
Council hopes to fix that problem with one big change--to go from 2 lanes of traffic to 5 and add a few traffic signals. Then there's the next problem--flooding. When Cache Creek overflowed 2 years ago, city officials were forced to close Rogers Lane. "At one point east Lawton was basically cut off from the rest of the city. You'd hate to be sick or something happen to you during that time."
So engineers made several flood correction proposals to minimize the effects of a damaging flood. And the price tag keeps getting higher. "We don't even know a true dollar amount yet. This is just a design phase to be able to figure out what we're going to do with the road."
Finally there's the issue of the trees that line much of Rogers Lane. And how to balance the environment and costs. "We can't save every tree, but at the same time we get the road we think we need, we eliminate some of the flooding, we also get the aesthetic looks of it. We we're able to get that look and to keep what east Lawton is known for on that road on Rogers Lane, that Canopy effect."
Council voted to keep the canopy effect on the westbound lane by keeping the northern trees in their same place and creating a median where the southern trees are. So engineers will work on a plan that moves the eastbound lane south of that tree line.