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Duncan Bypass work almost complete

Duncan_After six months and almost $3 million in renovations, the Duncan Bypass work is nearly complete.  It opened in 2001 when parts of Duncan were less developed.  Once development in the town increased, the City of Duncan decided to add four additional on and off ramps to Beech Road.  Officials say so many churches have been built along Beech Road - and that with the growing popularity of the Territory Golf Club meant the increased traffic required additional entrances and exits.  City officials say that ideally they hope construction will be complete by the end of March or by early April, but so far they say the only potential setback will be weather conditions. 

While roadblocks, warning signs, and slower traffic may be annoying to drivers now using the Duncan Bypass, Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) Resident Engineer Jerry Harwell says the temporary inconvenience will put a stop to a bigger one.  "Anyone that was on the Bypass that would like to go either east or west on Beech had to go to Bois D'arc and get off there - get on and circle around."

The most difficult part of groundbreaking now is finished, and Harwell says the most important part is underway.  "At Beech we have done the paving on the two west ramps and we're getting ready to start the paving on the two east ramps," he said.  He says once workers have paved the ramps, work won't stop but drivers will have easier access to Beech.  "It won't actually be totally complete by the end, but it will be to the point where we can open it to traffic," he said.

While construction lanes on the bypass are narrowed, and the speed reduced, Harwell says some restrictions still will apply until everything is complete.  "The speed limit will still be lowered there, and we ask people to be mindful of that - especially at night," he said.  "Be extra careful when driving in that area because it is tight to get through there."

Harwell says there has been congestion while construction has been underway, so they are not allowing any wide loads on the bypass.  ODOT says many drivers don't seem to realize the speed in the construction zone has been decreased from 65 miles-per-hour to 45 miles-per-hour.

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