If you’ve travelled along Highway 66 the last few days, you’ve noticed that the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) wants you to know there’s a public hearing on Tuesday night to discuss plans to work on the road. They have two electronic signs – one in Luther going west, and one by Pops coming east flashing the meeting information.
In it’s media advisory, ODOT says …
The proposed projects will address poor pavement conditions, insufficient drainage, safety issues such as narrow lanes and a lack of road shoulders as well as reconstruct two SH-66 intersections at Hiwassee Rd. and Indian Meridian Rd. Construction is currently slated for 2017, 2018 and 2019 with an estimated $10 million total investment in the SH-66 corridor from just east of I-35 to Luther.
These projects will take into account the historic nature and the heritage tourism benefits that Route 66 provides to this area. In these proposed designs, ODOT also has taken into consideration construction costs, right-of-way and environmental constraints.
Those of us who drive Hwy 66, which is pretty much all of us in Luther, know the road so well. The narrow bridges, the lack of shoulder, the beloved historic spots, the passing zones and those intersections at Hiwassee and Indian Meridian (we also know exactly where the speed limit changes to 45 mph!). The Boundary Restaurant at Indian Meridian is reportedly in an easement of the road which raises questions for the owners. Just this weekend, there was an accident at that intersection.
The meeting will be held Tuesday evening at 6 in Arcadia at the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church on Odor Street. An ODOT spokesperson says engineers will present up to four plans when it comes to repairing the road through Arcadia. The plans range from a straight overlay with no changes, to creating an eight-foot shoulder, and curbs and gutters in the section that passes the Round Barn. Public input is desired. None of the plans call for adding lanes to the highway.
Also of interest, ODOT will be working on Hwy 66 on the east side of Luther between Dobbs and County Line Road. That’s a $5.2 million project for 2017 to work on a bridge and the shoulder.
ODOT says there will be no road closings during any of the construction on Hwy 66, only lane closures.