POTEAU – State Rep. Lundy Kiger, R-Poteau, this week met the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) division engineer for House District 3 to receive updates on upcoming highway construction projects as well as to present several requests from local citizens.
“I’m grateful for the time our local division engineer took to update me on area transportation projects and his willingness to evaluate several of the requests I’ve received from my constituents,” Kiger said.
The first stop was on the highway at Shady Point where traffic from Latham Road intersects Highway 59. The paint has worn off where there are two lanes going east for traffic to turn left toward the north, while traffic wanting to turn right or south should not have to wait. Kiger said plans are being discussed to repaint the strips and signage to keep traffic from backing up to the west on Latham Road.
The second stop was Sunset Corner on the five-mile west new four-lane road. Kiger said right-of-way is being discussed with landowners. And they looked at the eastbound lane where cars now come to a four-way stop. He said they discussed whether there would be a safe way for eastbound traffic wanting to turn south toward Poteau to continue moving without stopping and backing up traffic. This would require new paint and cones to divide the two lanes for a short distance to keep westbound traffic turning south to stay in that lane without moving to the outside lane too quickly.
The third stop was in Pocola to look at two service roads and discuss with neighbors the party responsible to make repairs to part of the road that is very rough. That patch is on the south side of Highway 112, while a broken tin horn on the north side on the road to Tri-State Speedway falls down and creates safety hazards for motorist as well as damage to vehicles and tires.
Kiger also brought up a possible four-lane portion of Highway 112 south through Pocola that was discussed at a city council meeting a few months ago. Kiger said he and ODOT are requesting to be on the June 19 City Council meeting agenda to look at another option that could be developed sooner to help traffic congestion.
Bids will be let out this month on the new turn lane at the junction of Highway 9 and 112. Bids should be accepted in July with construction to begin shortly after. This will help eliminate backed up traffic from the east from Fort Smith and create two turn lanes to the south on Highway 112 toward Poteau, Kiger said.
Kiger and the engineer also met with Dennis Peterson at the Spiro Mounds on a possible joint project that he said he would discuss later in more details as soon as more progress is made. This project would be designed to increase the number of tourists to the Spiro Mounds as well as all of Eastern Oklahoma, he said.
Lundy Kiger represents District 3 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which includes part of LeFlore County.