MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

March 30, 2009

Stimulus work set to start

By Liz McMahan

A bridge over Cloud Creek in Muskogee County’s District 3 will be the first project in the county funded through the president’s economic stimulus package, commissioners said Monday.

The commissioners signed the paperwork to take the final step toward the Oklahoma Department of Transportation letting the $438,449 project for bids in May.

District 3 Commissioner Dexter Payne said his was the only “shovel ready” project turned in for the first $26 million of economic stimulus money designated for county roads.

District 1 Commissioner Gene Wallace said the state hopes to receive an additional $9 million for county road projects. Districts 1 and 2 should have projects ready to submit for that round.

Papers also were signed at Monday’s meeting for paving 1.5 miles of Butler Road, which is between Muskogee and Oktaha. Under that agreement, the Creek Nation will provide $437,466 for materials and the county will provide the labor. The road leads to Butler Creek Church, which is a Creek church, Wallace said.

Commissioners also signed documents for reimbursement on a bridge on 11th Street at a cost of $23,686.

In addition to the agreements signed Monday, Payne said work should begin within the next few days on paving 5.5 miles of Skelly Road near Haskell.

The county cleared the right of way for that project. The Creek Nation is paying the $4.5 million to have the work done, Payne said.

Reach Liz McMahan at 684-2926 or lmcmahan@muskogeephoenix.com.