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Okmulgee County residents concerned about dust kicking up on unpaved road

Posted at 5:46 PM, Aug 01, 2019

OKMULGEE COUNTY, Okla. -- Residents on Twin Hills Road in Okmulgee County say thick, white dust kicking up from an unpaved road is causing safety concerns in their area.

Residents living in the area say the problems started in 2009 when the Twin Hills school burned down, causing heavy trucks to travel on the road during the clean up.

"It’s real washboard-y and makes it very dangerous, we have people flying down that hill 75, 80 miles an hour," said Qualls.

Part of Twin Hills Road off Highway 16 was paved back in 2014, funded by Muscogee Creek Nation.

"It went a mile of the black top and then it stopped," said Qualls.

Homeowners say the dust on the unpaved stretch is unbearable.

"It’s like you’re looking at fog, just white, thick, powder, dust every where," said Qualls.

Qualls says the low visibility from the dust causes dangerous situations for drivers.

"I was going maybe 25-30 right here but it kicked up so much dust that as I was turning into the driveway I looked up and boom there was a maroon car right behind me," said Qualls.

Ron Ballard, Okmulgee County Commissioner of District One agrees that the dust is bad. He said the county is in negotiation with Creek Nation, and they estimate repairs costing about $7 million.

"You can’t be outside it really cakes up in your lungs, it makes it hard to breathe," said Qualls.

A spokesperson for Creek Nation says the remaining five miles of Twin Hills Road is in the design and environmental phase. Once approved, construction will be done in one to two mile increments based on available funding. Phase two is expected to begin in 2020.

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