Five million dollars of emergency money is on its way to a Rogers County road. Highway 20 started sliding down Keetonville Hill after heavy rain earlier this month. News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports ODOT approved $5.1 million in emergency funding to fix the stretch of road.
Heavy rain caused the ground to shift, sliding a 500 foot section of the road. Word that repairs will be made is welcome news to many drivers.
"That's great because it's an inconvenience if we have to go to Claremore. It's a long way around. So that would be wonderful," said Jeff Summers.
The contract was awarded to Muskogee Bridge Company. They'll replace pavement on the highway and do slope repair work. Two retaining walls will be built along the road, one at the top, anchored 30 feet down. And another wall halfway down the hill.
"More than pleased. I've been very concerned about it," said Jim Brassfield.
Brassfield lives at the top of Keetonville Hill. He's glad to see plans in place to reopen the road.
"The population has exploded from this point of Keetonville hill all the way towards highway 169. It's been a major growth and has a huge effect on a lot of people," said Brassfield.
Ten thousand cars a day travel down the section of Highway 20. With that kind of use, there are hefty financial incentives for the contractors to finish the project as quickly as possible.
The first incentive is to have the road open to traffic in 60 days, with a bonus of $18,000 for each day they finish early. Contractors could also earn a bonus of $9,000 a day by finishing a substantial part of the project in 90 days.
The money to pay for the repairs will have to come from existing ODOT funds, but is eligible for federal reimbursement.
You can track the progress of the construction on a special section of the ODOT website.