Love County land owners show concern over possible ODOT project

LOVE COUNTY, Okla. (KXII) - The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has a project planned to rebuild Highway 32 from the intersection with Highway 77 Scenic to the Hickory Creek Bridge.

Larry Vaughn lives less than a hundred feet from Highway 32, east of Marietta, where ODOT plans to add shoulders to the existing highway

He's concerned that it will bring traffic that much closer to his house.

"It reduces the buffer we have on our home," Vaughn said.

A tentative right of way, the area beyond the pavement, marked by orange flags, is now just feet from his house.

He said he has been in negotiations with ODOT but has not reached an agreement, making an countering offers.

He said about $40,000 would be enough to pay off his home and move.

"The ideal agreement would be they buy me out or pay the original offer that I gave them to move the residence further back on the property," he said.

Vaughn said his neighbors are also feeling strain with the potential road widening and giving up their land.

One neighbor owns storage sheds and will have to move them for the new right of way, potentially losing business.

Another, a rancher, is losing about four acres of grazing land for his cattle.

"So you're looking at having to provide other means of nourishment for the cattle or you're looking at having to cut you herd," Vaughn said.

The shoulders will be eight feet wide on either side and include rumble strips for safety.

ODOT spokesperson Madison Schein said ODOT is still negotiating with landowners in the area.

"This is not something we take lightly at all," Schein said. "We go through extra precautions and details and figure out everything we can before even approaching this step."

ODOT said anyone with concerns is encouraged to call their right of way division at (405) 521-2661.