Claremore Residents Unhappy With Proposed Realignment Of Highway 20
CLAREMORE, Oklahoma - Hundreds of people packed a public Oklahoma Department of Transportation meeting in Claremore Thursday night.
The state is proposing a new realignment of Highway 20 that would go through south Claremore and Rogers County and would require tearing down some homes.
The meeting was packed with many people wondering if they'll have to move. ODOT said they don't have the answer, but what they do know is that this is all about safety.
Ron Underwood moved to his neighborhood seven years ago, and he's enjoyed every minute.
"It's quiet, you know, pretty homes, pretty drive to and from, a lot of different things. It's quiet where the grandkids can run and play and you don't have to worry about them," he said.
But Underwood’s subdivision, Riverwood Crossing, sits exactly where the new Highway 20 is proposed to go through.
Underwood and about 200 others showed up to a public input meeting to ask questions.
Some of them got heated.
"Why would you take this blue line within 30 yards of Rose Glen and right through new subdivisions right up the road? It doesn't make any sense," one person said to applause.
ODOT is proposing a $42 million project - basically a new Highway 20 between Franklin and Route 66.
The project has been in the works for nearly two decades, but now it's in ODOT's short-term plan.
City Manager Jim Thomas said the project is necessary to keep traffic moving safely between Claremore and Owasso.
"Our goal in support of ODOT is to ensure that our residents can travel back-and-forth to Owasso, and residents in Owasso can travel back-and-forth to Claremore," Thomas said.
ODOT said it's still too soon to say how many homes will have to be torn down, that's why they want to hear from the public.
Kenna Mitchell with ODOT said, "We're here today to tell everyone, ‘Hey, this is what we're thinking. Tell us what's in the corridor, tell us what we need to design around, how to best design for traffic, and will be moving forward with that.’"
You can submit comments to ODOT online over the next two weeks.