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TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Oklahoma Department of Transportation released a letter to the City of Tahlequah stating the choice of Alternate 1A was selected as the final alternative for SH-82 improvements.
According to the letter, the improvements will begin at Bertha Parker Bypass in Tahlequah extending north and west of the Gideon Community in Cherokee County.
“Existing SH-82 has narrow or no shoulders and several sharp curves and rolling terrain, which result in inadequate sight distance to see oncoming traffic or turning traffic. These factors contribute to a substantial accident history,” the letter states. “Based on the analysis of traffic and safety performance, completion of the divided 4-lane loop around Tahlequah, impacts to homes, businesses, and the environment, and public and agency input, ODOT selects Alternative 1A for the south segment, which begins at the end of the Bertha Parker Bypass in Tahlequah and extends north to W. 710 Road, and Alternative 7 for the north segment, which begins at W. 710 Road and extends north to Gideon.”
After two public meetings in 2013 and 2015, that presented 12 alternative alignments for highway improvements, and other comments were received ODOT selected Alternative 1A for the project.
After that selection the City of Tahlequah and Cherokee County requested that ODOT reconsider a hybrid alternative of 9-5, which combined two previously presented alternatives. However, 9-5 “did not provide enhanced performance in meeting the purpose and need or overall reduced impacts,” the letter states.
Planning and Development Director Clinton Johnson said this decision has been a long-time coming and the City is glad to be able to move forward with a plan that will coincide with that of ODOT.
“We’re happy that a decision has been made. Now we can begin the process for determining for how it will impact our community. We’ll incorporate ODOT’s decision into our comprehensive planning process and look forward to sharing said plan with everyone,” said Johnson.
For questions about the chosen plan visit www.odot.org. For information regarding the City of Tahlequah call 918-931-1803 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.