Atoka Co. Man Upset About Pipeline Truck Traffic - - No One Gets You Closer

Atoka Co. Man Upset About Pipeline Truck Traffic


ATOKA COUNTY, OK -- Construction continues in Texoma on the Keystone pipeline, and some workers recently moved to Atoka from Prague, Okla. Now, one man says an increase in truck traffic has him worried about driving safety.

The yard where the pipeline workers are staging is just inside city limits, and the resident is concerned about the encroachment on a county road on the south side.

There are already plenty of trucks on Highway 69/75, but resident Donald Dingle says now they are on his road, even after he asked officials to stop them.

"What did they say?" we asked. "There would be no big trucks on Community Chapel Road," says Dingle.

Dingle says the yard set up by Michels Corp. to work on the Keystone XL oil pipeline is generating traffic on the small road. "When these trucks pull out, the cars can't get off the highway, it backs up and somebody's gonna be seriously injured," says Dingle.

Commissioner Phillip Culbreth says he won't close the second gate to the yard -- on the border of city limits -- because he would not want that if it were his business.

"I recommended that the commissioner put up a no-truck exit sign there coming on to Community Chapel Road, and that then they can go out onto the highway," says Atoka city manager Don Walker.

As soon as they finish one part of the pipeline, workers are on to the next. In Coal County, one section appears to be finished, and the entire project could be done by this summer.

In addition to temporary business from workers, Coal County commissioner Johnny Ward says he is expecting $2 million dollars per year in taxes on the pipeline, mostly for schools.

"If they lay the line in 2013, we'll collect tax money in 2014, and actually it will be assessed by the Oklahoma Tax Commission because it's an international pipeline," says Coal County assessor Cherry Hefley.

"There's a lot of people living in some of the hotels and motels, most of these people live in travel trailer type things in RV parks," says Walker.

Meanwhile, Dingle says he wants a solution before things get busier. "I have no problem with them doing this project, whatever they gonna do, but it's gonna be done and the roads are going to be safe."

Work at the yard was rained out on Thursday and the foreman was not in. Culbreth tells us after Dingle's complaint, he will ask the company to use the gate that is on the main highway.