$8 million project underway for Dwight Mission Road

Sequoyah County Commissioners approved a utility relocation agreement Monday with the Sequoyah County Water Association for an $8 million road project which will include a bridge on Dwight Mission Road, engineers for the project said.

Rebecca Alvarez, engineer for Guy Engineering of Tulsa, said the five-and-a-half miles of road construction will be from I-40 to Pinhook Corner or 1020 Road. The work will be a combined project funded from Sequoyah County, the Cherokee Nation and the state with Cherokee Nation supplying much of the funding.

“This will be a complete rebuilding road project,” Alvarez said.

“From I-40 to U.S. Highway 64, we will be adding a four-foot shoulder and an overlay. From U.S. 64 to 1020 Road, we will do a complete rebuild and it’s going to include a bridge due to the flooding that occurs on the road mid way between the highway and Pinhook Corner.”

Plans for the road repair and resurfacing project have been underway for some time, Steve Carter, District 2 Commissioner and board chairman said.

“We started talking about it four years ago. Two years ago, I was able to apply for federal money to follow guidelines enforced by the EPA and the endangered species protection so we could begin the clearing,” Carter said.

Carter said the county has a couple of local contractors who are clearing out trees currently.

He explained the county has a certain amount of time in between the bat maternity season to remove the trees. According to a nationwide service which provides information on the protection of bats, removing bats during maternity season is not only “inhumane” but is also illegal and a person can be prosecuted or heavily fined.

“There’s a lot that goes into getting things ready for roadwork so it’s not something that can be done pretty quickly, but we hope to get the letting started in June,” Carter said.

“We’re clearing the area right now and we have plans to demolish the old Remer’s Slaughter House on U.S. 64 once the district attorney gets all his appraisals he needs to make a decision,” Carter said.

The commissioners awarded a bid last month to have the abandoned building demolished.

However, the action is contingent upon approval from the Sequoyah County District Attorney because of a “stop demolition” case currently pending in court.

Carter said the case is on hold but once all the appraisals are in, the county can begin demolishing the building.

“The owner will get his money. It’s just up to the court how much, but we can go ahead and demolish the building once we get the go ahead. It can’t be used for anything anyway. It was condemned a few years ago,” Carter said.

Alvarez said once construction gets underway, residents living along Dwight Mission Road will still have access to and from their homes.

Construction is expected to begin this summer and plans are to have the roadwork completed by fall, Alvarez said.

Sequoyah County Times

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