The widening will occur in two stages, with the first project beginning in June and resulting in a wider highway from 24th Avenue SE to 36th Avenue SE. About a year later, the state will begin a widening project on SH 9 from 36th to 72nd, O'Leary said.
Long-range plans call for SH 9 to be widened to the Pottawatomie County line, although no funds have been budgeted for work beyond 72nd, O'Leary said.
Immediate steps to improve safety include putting feedback trailers that record motorists' speeds at SH9 and 120th, U.S. 77 near Franklin Road, and at 48th Avenue NW and Tecumseh Road, which is another accident-prone area, O'Leary said.
Speed trailers are an educational device designed to increase motorists' awareness of how fast they are traveling, O'Leary said.
One long-term improvement under development is the installation of a traffic signal at 48th NW and Tecumseh, he said.
“Any fatality accident is one too many,” Humphrey said during a recent city council meeting.
East Norman resident Bobby Stevens addressed the council at the same meeting, calling on council members to write the governor and legislators to draw attention to the need for improvements on SH 9.
“You're going to have to come together as a whole or a lot of people are going to die out there. Put some stoplights up, put in some turn lanes, no passing signs. Do something. This is a dangerous highway,” he said.
Stevens said he has come before the council with safety concerns about the highway “many times before. You all know how bad it is. I know how bad it is. Something is going to have to be done about it.”