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Daycare Owner Worries About Highway Project

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The owner of the center says at least two children suffer with seizures and a number have allergies. The owner of the center says at least two children suffer with seizures and a number have allergies.
Tony Harris worries barricades could limit access to the center in an emergency. Tony Harris worries barricades could limit access to the center in an emergency.
An alternate route that would bypass much of the construction has been mapped out. An alternate route that would bypass much of the construction has been mapped out.

A Green Country business owner wants the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to hit the road.  News on 6 anchor Latoya Silmon reports a daycare owner along Highway 66 says a construction project could interfere with the safety of the children at the center.

The owner of the Acme Learning Center says at least two children there suffer with seizures and a number of them have allergies.  He worries that if one of those kids has an emergency, responders wouldn't get to them fast enough.

ODOT says it's a step in the right direction.

"What we're trying to do is replace the bridge. The bridge is structurally deficient which translates into a tremendous amount of maintenance work to keep it open and functioning," said ODOT's Randle White.

And, ODOT says concrete barriers will protect crews and people in the 21,000 cars that travel up and down Highway 66 everyday.

 "You have a median there so they're not head to head. We'll be moving the southbound or westbound lanes into one lane on the northbound.  You'll have one direction of traffic northbound and one direction southbound and they'll be separated by that median barrier," added ODOT's Randle White.

And, it's just a matter of time before those barriers make their way to the front of Acme Learning Center.  The owner says if that happens, he fears for the safety of some of his students.

"They're going to shut off all the entrance, the southbound entrance to our facility," said Acme Learning Center owner Tony Harris.

And, with some of 55 children suffering from allergies and two who have occasional seizures he worries how it will affect emergency response time.

An alternate route that would bypass much of the construction has been mapped out.  It will allow access to the center and cut down response time.  

Acme doesn't want to take any chances.

 "It's scary. It's real scary.  All it takes is one child to have an accident," said center owner Tony Harris.

Tony Harris says he has a number of other solutions for ODOT.  He plans on sharing them with a local senator at a chamber meeting on Friday. 

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