Traffic shifts to southbound lanes on U.S. Highway 69 in McAlester

James Beaty, McAlester News-Capital, Okla.
·2 min read

Apr. 23—Those who thought traffic couldn't get any more congested due to the ongoing construction along U.S. Highway 69 in McAlester may decide to reevaluate.

That's because more changes are in store, beginning Monday, along the highway, which is also known as the George Nigh Expressway where the highway winds through McAlester.

Northbound and southbound lanes of U.S. Highway 69 will be converted to one lane, south of the U.S. Highway 270 overpass, between South Fourteenth Street and Village Boulevard in McAlester, according to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

It's set to start at 8 a.m. on Monday, April 26, and continue through September, weather permitting, ODOT said.

Plans call for all traffic to be shifted to the two southbound lanes, while construction is underway on the northbound lanes and a bridge that is designed to ultimately allow traffic on the service roads to pass under it, when completed.

Access to Village Boulevard is to be maintained and the J-turn north of Village Boulevard is to remain open, ODOT said.

ODOT is advising there will be delays in the normal traffic flow, suggesting drivers should allow plenty of extra travel time, expect delays or locate an alternate route.

The final phase of the U.S. Highway 69 reconstruction project in McAlester was awarded to Allen Contracting for $32 million during an Oct. 5, 2020, meeting of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission.

Work on the project is expected to continue for approximately another one and one/half years. Estimated time of completion for the project is by fall of 2022. Phase 2 of the project includes:

—Reconstruction of U.S. Highway 69 and South Peaceable Road south to near S. Fourteenth Street.

—Reconstruction of the frontage roads from just south of Wade Watts Boulevard to near S. Fourteenth St.

—Removal of two temporary on-ramps, with one of the ramps on northbound U.S. Highway 69 at S. Peaceable Road and another on southbound U.S. Highway 69 west of Comanche Avenue.

—Eventually, elimination of the J-turn north of Village Boulevard, although plans call for it to remain in place for now.

—Construction of an overpass south of Village Boulevard, with a road eventually stretching under U.S. Highway 69, which is to be raised on pillars at that section, to connect residents to Peaceable Road.

ODOT previously awarded a $13 million contract to Koss construction for Phase 1 of the project in 2017. That brings the combined cost of Phase 1 and Phase 2 to a total of $45 million for the u.S. Highway 69 project in McAlester.

Koss Construction completed Phase 1 of the project during the summer of 2018.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.