Repairing Potholes In Historic Route 66 In Claremore

Sunday, September 20th 2009, 5:34 pm
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

CLAREMORE, OK -- More road repairs are coming to northeastern Oklahoma, this time it's state Highway 66 in Claremore.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation begins a multimillion dollar repaving project Monday.

The mother road is getting a major makeover.

"Everybody knows the significance of Route 66. And everybody drives it," said Brant Shallenburger, Claremore Mayor.

As Route 66 passes into Claremore, road conditions break down and it can break your car down.

"You can count on knocking your tires out of alignment every year," said Rose Rusnam, a Claremore resident.

Potholes, cracks and rough patches -- the city's mayor says the construction is long overdue.

"It's a historic road. A lot of tourists come down this road. Everyone who goes through Rogers County uses this highway to get through. With the rise in the turnpike costs, it's going to get that much more use," said Brant Shallenburger, Claremore Mayor.

ODOT slated the Route 66 rehab for 2011, but engineers bumped up the project by two years.

"It's certainly a needed project on State Highway 66," said Paul Green, an ODOT engineer.

"You're dodging potholes. You got cars everywhere. You know, it definitely does some damage to your car," said Chris Hayes, a Claremore firefighter.

The construction will cause traffic headaches. One lane in each direction will be closed. The $4.3 million project will take six months to finish.

"We're going down and patching some of the bad concrete underneath, so those potholes won't reoccur. We're also putting a fabric reinforcement under the overlay, just so we know it stays in place," said Paul Green, an ODOT engineer.

Because Route 66 is a state highway, the project is fully funded by ODOT.

"Construction is everywhere, so we might as well get some here," said Chris Hayes, a Claremore firefighter.

ODOT says half of the project will be finished by the end of November. Another section of Route 66 will be repaved beginning next spring when the weather is warmer.