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Road projects put on hold in Washington County after state budget challenges

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Posted at 4:38 PM, May 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-31 17:38:33-04

DEWEY, Okla. -- State budget challenges are affecting drivers in Washington County.

With $230 million diverted from Oklahoma's road and bridge fund over the last two years, multiple projects are being placed on the back burner.

Those who live on County Road 1300 said the stretch of road has always been a safety hazard. With resealing they've noticed improvements, but homeowners are concerned with the long-term impact.

"I was afraid it was really going to hurt my car because it was so rough. Most of the people on this road will tell you that too. It was dirty. The dust and stuff just flew," Virginia Barnes said.

Commissioners saw similar problems along bridges, like the one over Daniels Creek.

"That was a one lane bridge right there and it was really treacherous and a dangerous deal," Commissioner Mike Dunlap said.

Repairs were made possible by a donation through the Cherokee Nation. Dunlap said often the legislature does not understand these projects are budgeted over years.

"I think it's a little bit confusing sometimes for the legislature. They look at that and see there's a pile of money sitting there that hadn't been spent. That may not be the case. The money's been budgeted but not spent yet," he said.

At this point, many projects are being pushed back a year, and commissioners have created an eight-year plan to meet the needs of the community.

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