CN roads program to wrap up three road projects by spring

02/25/2018 10:00 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Roadwork begins on Phase 1 of E0850 Road off of Bell Road in Honey Hill in Adair County. The Cherokee Nation’s Roads Program is expected to complete the .75-mile project by May. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
The Honey Hill road project leads to the Honey Hill Free Holiness Church located in its namesake community in Adair County. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Nation’s Roads Program has 38 projects in its Transportation Improvement Program inventory with three projects expected to be complete by or in springtime.

The Honey Hill project, located in Adair County on E0850 off Bell Road, is a total of 3.75 miles with a cost of nearly $3.8 million. Workers were expected to obliterate the old road, widen a new road and install drainage structures, ditches, new fences and signage. The project was expected to be complete by May.

Because 0f past complications in road construction, adjustments needed to be made when planning and designing a road project, officials said.

“Several years ago we went and tried to build the entire length of a project, and we had some issues with some right-of-way, so what we did was we phased it into two phases. The way we lay a road out is little different than one might think. We lay a road out from south to north, and then from west to east,” CN Road Program Director Michael Lynn said.

The Leach/Kenwood project involves an overlay of 11.4 miles of road on N4540 that connects the Leach and Kenwood communities at a cost of $3.9 million. Some construction has already been finished.

“We’ve gone in and replaced some drainage structures. We built some new box bridge type structures for drainage. Then we’re going in and overlaying the whole 11.4 miles from around Leach all the way up to Kenwood that will tie into Kenwood Road just east of Kenwood community,” Lynn said.

The project is expected to end by early spring.

The third project is Moonshine Road in Sequoyah County that runs about 5 miles north of Vian off Hwy. 82 and west to Hwy. 64. This project is 8.5 miles long, costs $2.5 million and is near completion.

Lynn said construction consists of replacing guard rails, improving drainage structures, tearing out of old head walls (walls built at pipe openings to support the road and protect it from the erosion of flowing water) and replacing them with higher head walls to make them safe for drivers and overlaying the road.

“One of the things that we’re doing with this job that we have not done on any other job is, and it is a safety feature that we’re adding, is we’re adding what we call a centerline rumble strip,” Lynn said.

Rumble strip grooves are being added to the centerline and striped.

“It kind of serves two purposes. The grooves serve as an audible warning for the drivers. If you go left of center you’ll hear and you’ll feel it in your steering wheel when you do it. It also helps in low light conditions and in the rain. You’ll see the upside of the groove. It gives you a better view of the stripe in rainy conditions,” he said.

Other projects include the northeast Fort Gibson project, which is 6.9 miles of road between Tahlequah and Muskogee; White Oak Road in Craig County, also known as north-south 4340 road, which is 4.3 miles; Ross Street in Tahlequah that connects to the W.W. Hastings Hospital expansion; and eight projects that require right-of-way easements before construction can begin.

A project is prioritized if it serves tribal facilities, public schools, bus routes, if there is trust or restricted land along the road route, and if the tribe is looking to develop property along the route, among other criteria. For more information, call 918-453-5731 or email
About the Author • 918-772-4223
Lindsey Bark grew up and resides in the Tagg Flats community in Delaware County. She graduated from Northeastern State University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication, emphasizing in journalism. She started working for the Cherokee Phoenix in 2016. Working for the Cherokee Phoenix, Lindsey hopes to ...


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