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Construction delays causing local businesses trouble

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Posted at 6:52 PM, Nov 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 08:26:28-05

CLAREMORE, Okla. — For nearly 3 months construction along a portion of Highway 20 in Claremore has remained untouched after the discovery of shallow gas lines.

The 4.6 million dollar road project on Highway 20 between Route 66 and I-44 is still down to two lanes and a portion of it remains torn up making access to local businesses difficult.

Drip Claremore is a locally owned coffee shop and sits in the middle of this construction Both entrances were demolished and replaced with temporary gravel making getting to the shop more difficult. The owner of Drip Al Soto said when the construction began his business started to suffer and now with the delays, it’s even worse.

“It didn’t affect us the first days and then the next week numbers just tanked, i mean really tanked," said Soto.

He said to get customers back in he went to social media.

“People stepped up, numbers came up for a couple weeks but then since then it’s been back down to you know, we’re about down to 15 percent week over week on average," said Soto.

He said because the road is in such bad shape and getting to the shop is so difficult people have reached out to him and apologized but say it’s just too much.

“Some people are just avoiding this part of town all together because they’re afraid of getting in a car wreck. often the road has been blocked because of these gas leaks, it’s happened three times. we’ve had big potholes open up and cause vehicle damage. It’s been a mess, “ said Soto.

2 News spoke with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Their spokesperson said work should resume next week on the portion west of Wewoka avenue, to allow Oklahoma Natural Gas to relocate the lines.

We also spoke with ONG. Their spokesperson said as of November 17th, they’ve relocated the gas lines on the east side of Wewoka and the west side should be completed by December 14th.

A spokesperson with ODOT said they don't know yet when the project will be completed.

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