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Road work creates mass of activity on West Gore

The extensive work associated with the Southwest 52nd Street expansion project has meant a mass of activity on and around the west Lawton arterial.

Parts of the $6.1 million road construction project by T&G Construction have been under way for weeks as the City of Lawton and the construction firm continue a project that, by its end in late 2018, will expand Southwest 52nd Street into three lanes between West Gore Boulevard and the railroad tracks one-half mile to the south. Tony Mensah, project engineer/manager for the City of Lawton, said the project has seven distinct parts: building a two-lane deteriorating road into a three-lane road with two travel lanes and center turn lane; installing sidewalks on both sides of the new road; stormwater drainage; relocation of a waterline and sewer line; installation of a traffic signal light; and signage and striping.

The work being done this month reflects several of those project categories, Mensah said, explaining that while some road work has been done, contractors also are working on utility relocations. The order of those projects will follow a "critical path," he said, adding that most utility work will have to be completed before the road can be paved (although the road grading and subgrade work can be done as utility work is being done).

Sanitary sewer line work began months ago with the first phase located along the south side of West Gore Boulevard between Southwest 51st and Southwest 52nd streets. That sewer line is installed and while cleanup work still is underway, Mensah said, work also has begun on a sidewalk between Southwest 51st and Southwest 52nd streets. The completed sewer line will tie into a sewer line that will be installed along Southwest 52nd Street, Mensah said, explaining that line will be taken as far south as Eisenhower Elementary School.

Work on that project was temporarily put on hold after a gas line was found and will resume once that gas line is moved, Mensah said.

Waterline work also has begun, he said, of a project that will install waterline on the west side of Southwest 52nd Street. The new waterline will tie into the Wolf Creek waterline, meaning the line will run from the railroad tracks on Southwest 52nd Street to the bridge that crosses the Wolf Creek channel on Northwest 53rd Street, tying into a waterline that exists just south of the Wolf Creek channel. The work necessary to tie those lines together is the reason the northbound traffic lane on Northwest 53rd Street is blocked just south of the bridge and drivers are being diverted into the center turn lane.

Mensah said the city is having to relocate the water and sewer lines because the old lines would be under the traffic lanes of the new  and wider  Southwest 52nd Street.

The stormwater drainage project will install an extensive drainage network from the railroad tracks to Wolf Creek, necessary because of more water runoff in the area. Mensah said the work has started with box structures in the vicinity of the Grandview Sports Complex south of Eisenhower Elementary School and line also has been laid between Country Club Drive and Southwest 50th Street.

That stormwater system will be installed on the east side of the street, starting at Wolf Creek and crossing the site of Fire Station No. 5 before going under Gore Boulevard to continue south along Southwest 52nd Street. City officials have said that extensive drainage project is one of the factors in the cost of the half-mile project.

The Lawton Constitution

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