Claremore Planning To Elevate Train Track

Monday, September 30th 2013, 11:51 pm
By: News On 6

Claremore may soon have a solution to its railroad roadblocks. The city is putting $300,000 toward plans to elevate the train track.

It's rush hour, you're eager to get home and the only thing standing in your way is a train.

"You can come to town, hit a train. Go back, hit another train," said Claremore resident Tina Clark.

Thirty-four trains per day run through Claremore. Anyone who lives there probably knows the track splits town, often denying drivers access to the other side. 

"It's part of the process," said Tony Jenkins of Claremore. "What you really need to strive to do is: don't get upset with the trains, plan a little bit better and maybe you won't have the issue." 

The city is coming up with a plan to raise the tracks and allow the road to go under. The catch is, it's only going to happen right at Country Club Road across from Walmart, which is not nearly as busy as the downtown area.

"We still believe in supporting our downtown business district, but we're also looking at developing some other areas and creating some diversity for the traffic," said Claremore City Manager Jim Thomas. 

The overall $30 million plan will expand Country Club Road to four lanes and connect it to Highway 20. City Manager Jim Thomas hopes this will allow the southern end of town to become a mecca for development. 

Back in 2000, plans were created to elevate the tracks and ease the flow of traffic, but those plans ultimately failed because of lack of funding.

"They just need to do it somewhere. They need some sort of bypass at the end of town that goes all the way around is what I would think," said Tina Clark.

Thomas says agencies like ODOT and lawmakers are all working with the city to make this dream a reality, and he's confident the city will get enough money to elevate the track. 

"This is going to be a game changer for Claremore. This is a legacy project for the Thomas administration," he said.

City Manager Jim Thomas says his office and ODOT plan to have public forums soon.