Plan For Highway 70 Bypass in Durant - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Plan For Highway 70 Bypass in Durant

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DURANT, OK---You've probably wondered what's going on with all the construction just north of Choctaw Casino. Michelle Gillespie reports.

It's a $30 million project eight years in the making a new Highway 70 bypass that will circle around the southern part of Durant. 

The hope: to make the fastest growing rural city in Oklahoma a bit larger and more efficient.

"We're the fastest growing rural community in Oklahoma," says Tommy Kramer, Director of the Economic Development for Durant.

Durant's population has grown more than 10 percent over the past eight years.

"As your city grows, your traffic grows," says Kramer.

And that's the idea behind the new $30 million Highway 70 bypass.
The plan: to build the bypass beginning at Highway 70 on the east side of Durant, circle around the south part of the city, just north of the Choctaw Casino, run over Highway 69/75 and connect back up to Highway 70 on the west side of the city.

An O-DOT financed project designed to keep semi-trucks and agricultural vehicles off of Durant's Main Street.

"It will free up parking places, less traffic of non-shoppers and it's going to make our business district in Durant more business-friendly," says Kramer.

The Highway 70 bypass will provide a quicker route around Durant but still give a considerable amount of access to the downtown area.

"What really makes it an asset is the ability to get off in several different locations to come into Durant," says Durant City Manager Jim Dunegan.

And Durant city officials hope that one day, their city will grow and stretch all the way out to the new bypass.

"It frees up areas that are virgin agricultural land and we'll be able to use that land for industrial parks, commercial development like retail shops, all for the future expansion of our city," says Kramer.

Durant City Manager Jim Dunegan says he expects the Highway 70 bypass project to be completed within the next three to four years. 

Michelle Gillespie, KTEN News.