There are instances when someone will ask why the county improves one area versus another. For instance, someone asked why we paved a particular mile section when it is a “dead-end road,” rather than the area they were interested in seeing improved. There really is purpose to our method of operation. According to state law, “It shall be the duty of the board of county commissioners in each county to construct and maintain as county highways those roads which best serve the most people of the county.” While the person had a valid question, the road which we paved is accessed by other section line roads and has an average daily traffic count of 600. The road the individual was interested in having paved had an average daily traffic count of 242.
By visiting the website at commissiondistrict2.com, you will find a list of traffic counts for many of the roads in District 2.
When we apply for road funding through state and federal programs, there are many factors besides population to consider. Some of the criteria is whether the roadway is designated by the Federal Highway Administration as a major collector, whether it is located in the Oklahoma City Area Regional Transportation Study Plan (OCARTS), what condition the roadway is in and what is its accident history. We work within the boundaries of all these restrictions to improve as many
roads in the district as possible.
Last year we received a $69,500.00 Rural Economic Action Plan (REAP) grant to repave one mile of Midwest Blvd. from SH 33 north. Our grant application was in competition with 28 municipalities and 11 county districts, all of which are members of the Association of Central
Oklahoma Governments (ACOG). We submitted four applications for four different projects, the maximum allowable. We ranked Midwest as fourth in priority but it scored highest largely due to population. For REAP purposes, population is computed using a five-mile radius which does
not cross municipal, county or district lines. The lower the population, the more points are awarded since the focus of the grant is to help “rural” areas. Since Midwest Blvd. borders Guthrie city limits on the west, it made the population count low.
In preparation for paving Midwest, we have ground up much of the old chip seal surface and are working to compact the road base. Our plans are to pave the mile sometime next month.
On the website you will find a list of other road projects which are in the process of being funded, or which have been funded and are in the process of meeting state and federal requirements before going to bid.