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Leavenworth Trail residents unhappy with project conditions

By: Steven Powell Email
By: Steven Powell Email

BRYAN COUNTY, OK -- Road crews began making needed repairs to Leavenworth Trail in Bryan County back in February.

But residents who live along the road say they're enduring dangerous - and confusing conditions - while work continues.

John Mueller, Leavenworth Trail resident, said he's fed up.

"Well it's damaging vehicles. My son had a wreck about three-quarters of a mile up here, he slid off the road in the mud and hit a culvert pipe, did $2,700 worth of damage," he said.

Road crews started reconstructing the area of Leavenworth Trail around Scissortail Road in February.

John Winters, ODOT contract engineer, said it's now in the final phase of a three year project.

"It had a lot of potholes in it and failures, and they're just putting a new surface down by reconstructing it," he said.

But residents like Mueller are unhappy with the way ODOT is handling the project.

"That vehicle there my mom and dad drive, it's not set up to drive through 12 inch deep mud. It scrapes the bottom the whole way," he said.

Crews have blocked off the section of road between Scissortail Road and Highway 69 - forcing residents to take a detour that takes them through inches of soft dirt.

It's this stretch of road where Mueller's son crashed last week.

And he said the detour routes are not marked.

"As far as I know, you're suppose to set up proper detours and handle the traffic flow, and that has never been done, not from day one has the traffic flow been handled properly," he said.

Mueller said they had to call an ambulance twice in the past month when his father had heart problems.

"It's life or death. And twice, it was 45 minutes before an ambulance was able to get here for my dad," he said. "And that's just not acceptable."

Winters insists the conditions are safe.

"Like I said, we don't have a lot of detour signs up, but we have a road closed sign on each end. And it's closed to people that don't live on the road," he said.

Mueller disagrees.

"The people out on this road, they all drive small cars. And it's especially treacherous to them, trying to get in and out like that," he said.

ODOT said the project costs $2.1 million. They expect the project to wrap up by the end of May.


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