Traffic Talk: Road work questions keep flooding in

Don Gammill: Oklahoma City officials hope work on Western Avenue between Covell and Danforth will improve drainage.
by Don Gammill Published: June 9, 2014
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The work — and the need for more answers, apparently — continues on a heavy traffic area in north Oklahoma City.

On Saturday evening of Memorial Day weekend, we had a terrific downpour around 6 p.m. I was traveling south on Western between Covell and Danforth. When I arrived at Danforth (192nd), I wanted to turn east but realized due to the construction the road was flooded ... there were a number of cars backed up trying to come west from Santa Fe but (they) could not proceed. In a previous column, you had mentioned they were lowering Danforth road between Western and Santa Fe and we had noticed the road being lowered several feet from the previous elevation. I cannot for the life of me understand the value to lowering that road. It seems to be inviting flooding on a road that previously did not flood. I have lived in the area since 1994 and I just don't understand the rationale for such a move. I hope you can explain and tell me we will not continue to experience flooding in this area as we did this past weekend whenever this construction project is finished. As a side note, during the lowering of the road level at the corner of Western and Danforth, the gap between the road and the fall off seemed to be over three feet and created a potential accident hazard, especially during night time and ice which this past winter we seemed to have more snow and ice than usual. Why there was not a concrete barrier near the turn (on Danforth from Western heading east toward Santa Fe) where a significant accident could happen is beyond me. They did have concrete barriers along a good portion of the road once you were on Danforth but not in the critical turn area.

Jerry

Thanks for the letter, Jerry. Here’s the response from Shannon Cox, public information and marketing manager for the Public Works Department, city of Oklahoma City:

“In regard to the drainage, the drainage on Western naturally flows north to the creek north of NW 192,” she says. “The Western intersection is lowered to eliminate the intermediate high point, capture the storm runoff and drain it to the creek.

“As for the lack of barriers at the turn, this was due to utilities taking longer than anticipated creating a gap in the time when we were to switch from the south to the north and unfortunately we did not have barriers in place.

“Thank you for bringing these concerns to our attention.”

By the way ...

Shannon also has some information in this area:

Mr. Gammill, could you find out what is being done to repair the road in front of the new Cesar Chavez Elementary school at 600 SE Grand? The city has done an amazing job with the median and landscaping but the road just to the west entrance is horrendous! So many potholes and uneven road that I have so to slow down and maneuver to avoid damaging my front end. I thought it would be fixed before the school opened but nothing. Any chance you can get the scoop?

Linda

Shannon says:

“This work is being planned for later this summer. I do not have an exact date as of yet, but it is on the books.”

Thanks for the note, Linda.

Enjoy your week and drive safely.


by Don Gammill
General Assignment Editor and Columnist
Don Gammill is general assignment editor and columnist. A native of Ponca City, he graduated from Central State University (now the University of Central Oklahoma). While in college, he was a sports stringer for The Oklahoma City Times....
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