Muskogee Puts Stimulus Dollars Into Road Repair

Saturday, July 11th 2009, 6:51 pm
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

MUSKOGEE, OK - Muskogee County accepted more than $800,000 for a road repair project near the new hospital. County leaders say the new roads will create jobs and give a boost to development.

The Muskogee hospital is still in its infancy, but is already making an impact around the neighborhood.

"There is always someone during the week running up and down the road, there's not really a quiet time anytime during the day where the roads are not being used," said Simeon Gibson, homeowner.

There's a lot more traffic, but the roads are in awful shape.

"The road itself is pretty full of potholes," Gibson said.

Now Muskogee County is getting an $850,000 stimulus grant to re-pave two miles of roadway that leads from Muskogee's busiest corridor to the hospital door.

"This project is not only going to improve the infrastructure, but it's also going to provide access for patient care for generations," said County Commissioner Gene Wallace.

The money will be used to overhaul the drainage along the side of the road.

"Even just right here at the corner of my driveway, I've got a huge puddle that stands for up to four or five days after a good rain," area homeowner Simeon Gibson said.

"If there's any major, any major issue in rural areas, its drainage," said Wallace.

County Commissioner Gene Wallace says it's important to be aggressive in pursuing stimulus funds.

He hopes the new hospital will spur nearby residential and commercial development.

"It will certainly produce jobs on the short-term, but most importantly, it will certainly provide job opportunities for the future," the county commissioner said.

Wallace says this $850,000 stimulus project is by far the largest in Muskogee County. Simeon Gibson says the project is deserving of the hefty price tag.

"If it's going into roads and improvements for the general public, for our use, then yeah, I think it's a good thing," Gibson said.

The money for this project comes from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Wallace says roughly 40 people will be put to work over the next year for this repaving and drainage project.