ODOT to shut down, reconstruct U.S. 271 due to land shift in Push Co.

PUSHMATAHA COUNTY, OK -- Several hundred Pushmataha County residents will need to find an alternate route to work.

Starting at midnight Tuesday, ODOT will close down U.S. Highway 271 near Clayton, to reconstruct the highway that officials say could be dangerous for drivers.

ODOT officials say that U.S. 271, near Clayton, has been an ongoing problem over the past decade.

They say the shifting land has forced to them to make repairs on the highway every year but this time they're going to completely rebuild it hoping it will solve the problem for good.

"We have an area that is exhibiting a slide in the roadway on the slope," said ODOT Chief Engineer for Divison 2, Brent Frank. "Basically the slope is giving so the roadway is moving down the hill, if you will."

Officials say they will be reconstructing part of U.S. 271, just north of Nashoba and just south of Clayton, for the next 40 days.

They say they noticed the problem getting worse over the past few weeks when they leveled the highway and saw that a crack already appeared in the road, and was quickly growing.

They say they will completely excavate the land around the highway and back fill it with rock to allow for drainage and stability.

County commissioners say this closure will affect several hundred Pushmataha County residents who work in the Clayton area.

They say they are working with Rayonier Timber Company and have been granted a temporary easement, allowing locals who live along U.S. 271 to have access to a temporary route that will save them a lot of gas and time.

"It's a two mile road through there, just a temporary road," said Pushmataha County Commissioner, Michael Brittingham. "Instead of having to travel 100 miles around, it will give them a little quicker access. It won't be a smooth road but it will be a lot shorter."

Officials hope to at least one of the lanes completed and open in the next 40 days.

All drivers are suggested to take State Highway 2 during the duration of the project.


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