ODOT reduces speed limit on dangerous Highway 70 section in Marshall County, plans further improvements

Published: Dec. 7, 2018 at 10:03 PM CST
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Drivers in Marshall County will need to be alert for the lower speed limits on Highway 70 near Texoma Casino.

Oklahoma Department of Transportation reduced the speed limit from 65 miles per hour to 60, after considering many factors like traffic patterns, accidents and average speeds.

Kingston Mayor Charlotte Matchen said the change is a step in the right direction

"Right now, I am happy with what ODOT is doing," Matchen said. "I think they're really trying to help."

However, Matchen said the biggest improvement is yet to come to the deadly area, which has claimed the lives of two Texoma truck drivers in the last year and a half.

Glen Smith died in Sept. 2017 when his tanker truck rolled. Scottie Roper died in a similar wreck when his tanker truck rolled while swerving to avoid a car making a turn.

"I, personally, want to see those turn bays in there," Matchen said. "I think that is going to solve a big, big part of our problem."

ODOT officials said the department will begin construction on turn bays in mid 2019.

The turn bays would allow cars to turn into Texoma Casino or on Knobb road without slowing down traffic on the highway.

ODOT believes the turn bays will be an improvement to the lower speed limit and flashing intersection signs, which were added in October.

"So, we are really excited about making some changes in this area and we know the citizens are too," ODOT Spokesperson Mills Leslie said.

ODOT said it is still working on the locations and number of turn bays.

The speed limit will remain at 60 miles per hour after the turn bays are complete.

ODOT does ask for drivers to do their part and obey the new speed limit, especially when construction begins.

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