Improvements Coming to US 69/75 Corridor Thanks to $62 Million G - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Improvements Coming to US 69/75 Corridor Thanks to $62 Million Grant

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BRYAN COUNTY, OK – Thanks to a federal grant, a busy stretch of highway going through Bryan County will soon be upgraded.

Construction will change parts of the roadways from Calera to Durant.

It’s no big secret; highway 69/75 from Calera to Durant is bustling with traffic.

"Real, real busy," said driver and Calera resident, Matt Stubblefield.

"It’s congested; it piles up a lot," said driver, Phillip Lemmones.

Often times causing driver’s minds to drift.

"It could be a lot safer," said Lemmones.

"It could definitely use some improvements," said driver, and Denison resident, Jessika Jones.

"Pretty bad with wrecks," said Stubblefield.

Thoughts, most motorists passing through this Bryan County highway say they've had, often wishing it could be safer.

"You can hardly go across the highway and go onto the other side of town without coming to red lights, they're busy," said Stubblefield.

“People get caught up in the traffic, it could be dangerous,” said Lemmones.

“Last time we were here, it was really bad, I tried to take a back road to get around and I couldn’t, said Jones.

But soon a four mile stretch of the US 69/75 highway will be fast tracked into a safer and smoother ride for drivers.

ODOT recently received a $62 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for upgrades.

"It’s going to be good for us," said Stubblefield.

"It’s going to help the people coming through town and stuff," said Lemmones.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation says they've been aware of the safety issues and congestion surrounding the major freight corridor for some time, but didn’t have the funds to fix it, until now.

According to ODOT, between 2010 and 2014, 63% of collisions have happened near intersections in areas near this highway.

"There are so many trucks, so with this being just two lanes, you really have to pay attention," said Jones.

Thanks to the large grant, improvements including on and off ramps will be added to the frontage roads between Chickasaw Road in Calera, to US-70 in Durant.

Interchanges will also be added to help with the flow of traffic.

Shifting gears, and taking this highway into the fast lane for improvements.

"Hopefully they can get a good detour, while they're working on it, so we're not just sitting in traffic for hours or even thirty minutes, and we can get around it easily," said Jones.

As of now, ODOT says if all goes as planned with their engineering and environmental studies, they hope to begin construction by 2019.

ODOT Executive Director, Mike Patterson released a statement about the grant below:

“We are thrilled to hear of the news of the FASTLANE grant, which will be a huge benefit to Oklahoma but also to nationwide commerce and safety,” Mike Patterson, executive director for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, said. “Thanks to the continued efforts and leadership of Senator Inhofe, this grant will help in upgrading US-69 for access and added connectivity. This grant is the answer to a long standing need that previously lacked the necessary funds. Construction of these grade separations between Durant and Calera will greatly improve traffic safety and the efficiency of freight traffic along this entire corridor, which connects many Oklahoma and regional industries to the nation.”