The public is invited to an open house meeting about State Highway 51 between Tahlequah and Hulbert on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 5-7 p.m., in Hulbert Community Public Library, 210 N. Broadway.

This meeting is to inform the public of the proposed improvements; solicit input; and answer questions regarding construction activities, sequencing, and scheduling.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, proposes to make safety improvements to SH-51 from Hulbert, extending east about eight miles to Tahlequah. This segment of SH-51 is a two lane, open-section, minor arterial facility with 12-foot-wide driving lanes and 4-foot shoulders. Current traffic volumes are estimated at 5,712 vehicles per day, and are projected to increase to 7,956 VPD by 2039.

This portion of SH-51 has steep slopes, a substandard horizontal curve, limited sight distances, poor pavement, and narrow shoulders. Due to safety concerns, ODOT proposes to lessen the slopes, upgrade the substandard curve, reconfigure driveways and entrances, improve driving surfaces, and widen the shoulders. The purpose of the proposed improvements is to correct roadway deficiencies, enhance safety, and efficiently accommodate traffic.

ODOT is developing design plans for improving this segment of SH-51, while taking into consideration the cost of construction, right-of-way and utilities impacts, and environmental constraints. The proposed improvements include widening and resurfacing the highway to create two, 12-foot-wide, paved driving lanes with 8-foot wide shoulders on existing alignment.

The highway would remain open during construction, and access to residences and businesses would be maintained.

All comments need to be received by Sept. 3. Submit comments or questions to environment@odot.org; mail, ODOT Environmental Programs Division, 200 N.E. 21st St., Oklahoma City, OK 73105-3204; fax, 405-522-5193; Tim Vermillion, ODOT project manager, 405-521-2676, environment@odot.org; or Geoff Canty, 405-761-1225, geoff@ccenviro.net.

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