ODOT fixing potholes; flooding relieves severe drought conditions
According to the Oklahoma Mesonet, between 6 to 9 inches fell across the area in seven days as flooding closed area roads and two state highways until the water receded and Oklahoma Department of Transportation crews could make emergency repairs.
“We have three crews working in the McAlester area,” said Annahlyse Meyer, a public information officer for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
Numerous drivers complained of tired and vehicles damaged by the potholes on U.S. 69.
Anyone who suffered damage can contact the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, Division of Capital Assets Management at 405-521-4999 to file a claim — which is not a guarantee for reimbursement.
But the rain didn’t bring just bad news for the area.
According to data from the Oklahoma Climatology Survey, Pittsburg County was between 6 and 8 inches below normal rainfall since mid-October and was under severe drought conditions.
Due to the rainfall, county commissioners let the burn ban that was in place expire last week — but that doesn’t negate the wildfire risk.
In a press release from Oklahoma State Forester George Geissler, conditions are still conducive to sustaining wildland fire.
“We are still in our winter fire season, and we could find ourselves right back in high fire danger within a week or so,” Geissler said.
“The rain just gave firefighters a break from the extreme fire behavior that necessitated burn bans.”
Road Construction Projects Abound in the Ohio Valley
Road Construction Projects Abound in the Ohio Valley.
Repair work may begin next week on the U.S. 22 Veterans Memorial Bridge between Steubenville and Weirton after the deck and an expansion joint were damaged by a piece of equipment that fell off a truck late Wednesday evening.
The equipment first hit an expansion joint on the bridge and then damaged the concrete bridge deck.
One lane of Ohio 7 was closed because of concerns about debris falling from the bridge.
The bridge will be limited to one lane eastbound until the repair work is completed, Khalifa said.
∫ In Ohio County, drivers can expect various lane closures in both directions of Interstate70 between the Dallas Pike exit and the Pennsylvania state line as a result of a paving project.
This project is expected to be completed by April 21.
One lane of traffic in each direction will be maintained at all times.
The alternate route for southbound traffic is the U.S. 250 Extension to Jefferson Avenue, Seventh Street and W.Va. 2.
Traffic will be maintained during non-working hours with traffic lights.