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Sidewalk project getting underway in downtown Comanche

Published: Jun. 8, 2021 at 6:08 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 6:17 PM CDT
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COMANCHE, Okla. (KSWO) - After years of planning, a sidewalk project in Downtown Comanche is finally set to get started.

Years of wear and tear are now being felt in downtown Comanche.

“The sidewalks you can see are in really, really bad shape. People are tripping and stumbling, especially our seniors. They struggle to walk down that sidewalk. We’ve had wheelchairs going down the middle of the road because they don’t feel it’s conducive for wheelchair traffic. It’s a major need,” said City Manager Chuck Ralls.

Over the coming months, the problem will go away.

“We’re going to replace the sidewalks from 1st street to 5th street. We’ll also be going north and south a little bit on 81 and on 2nd street to kind of do some tie-ins there,” Ralls said.

“It’s going to allow better access for your pedestrians, a pedestrian-friendly corridor, allow access to your shopping centers down there, make sure we’re in ADA compliance for those pedestrians as well,” said Duncan Residency Resident Engineer Colton Roberts.

Tearing up the sidewalks will also bring other improvements.

“We’re also going to upgrade the light poles, the planters, the underground utilities. We don’t want to have to get in here with a new sidewalk and tear it up to fix the utilities so there’s quite a bit of work going in with this,” Ralls said.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is handling the project, which is expected to take 120 days. It will cost just under $1 million.

“The city has contributed %150,000 of that, a portion is from the state, a portion is from the federal. It’s been a great partnership working with them, you don’t see a lot of collaboration between local, state and federal government but it’s been a great partnership,” Ralls said.

While the project is underway, changes will be made for parking downtown. Ralls said they will have parking on one side of the road closed at a time but will ensure one side remains open at all times. He said all of the businesses will be able to stay open throughout the project as well.

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