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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Crews put finishing touches on SH 18 widening project

  • Meeker area residents who live along SH 18 are glad to see the completion of a nearly 4-mile road widening project that is now in the finishing stage as crews place new sod along the highway.
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    Meeker area residents who live along SH 18 are glad to see the completion of a nearly 4-mile road widening project that is now in the finishing stage as crews place new sod along the highway.
    Ladonna and Bill Welborn live in the area of the wider two-lane portion of the project and are happy to see it completed.
    “We’re tickled about it,” Ladonna Welborn said, adding it’s nice to drive on a new, smooth road. “We’re very pleased.”
    She said crews are watering the new sod for the first seven days so it shouldn’t be too be long before their front yard — and the yards of many others along that stretch — is back to normal.
    Betty Garrett, who lives on the new four-lane section closest to U.S. 62, said crews put sod in her yard Tuesday, but she’s also glad the noisy construction phase is finally over.
    “It’s nice not to be awakened so early,” she said, adding the new four-lane in front of her home also will take some getting used to as far as additional traffic is concerned.
    “Now we’re just adjusting to the change and getting out onto the road,” she said, adding she does a turnaround in her driveway rather than backing out. “In time, we’ll all adjust.”
    The Oklahoma Department of Transportation worked on the $7.1 million paving and widening project that included widening from a two-lane to a four-lane a one-mile section of SH 18 from U.S. 62 south. After that, the road was widened to include shoulders on both sides of a new two-lane road.
    Larry Clore, ODOT spokesman, said Tuesday that crews are finishing up final touches with the sod, but they’re also completing clean-up work along the construction route before wrapping up their time in Meeker.
    The roadway is mostly a “super two-lane,” Clore said, which is a two-lane with wide shoulders.
    While some area drivers have been curious why the entire area wasn’t made into a four-lane, Clore said a traffic count study for that revealed a four-lane wasn’t warranted on the southern end of the project.
    The actual construction part of this project began just over a year ago.
     

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