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District 3: Road and Bridge Report


Don Hawthorne, County Commissioner

 

 

I am reminded of two quotes regarding Oklahoma weather. To paraphrase an Ace Reed cartoon: the drought in SW Oklahoma is interrupted by periods of flooding.  Will Rogers once said, “If you don’t like the weather in Oklahoma wait 5 minutes and it will change”.  It seems like the weather this year has been crazier than others.

In my 7 years as Commissioner, we have gotten the sand trucks out each year over the Christmas holidays.  This year it was on New Year’s Eve.  But enough about weather and on to roads and bridges!

We have completed our three asphalt overlay projects:  the 82nd Street Project from Combs Road to State Highway 36, the Multiple Road Project that included Briarcreek and a portion of Heatherstone in Pecan Valley South, Deyo Mission from the Railroad tracks south to Lee Blvd, several portions of County Road 115 and Cache Road from 115 to the West Cache Creek Bridge, the Cache Road Project from Paint Road to County Road 115 and Showplace Ave. in Indiahoma.

Because the 2” inch asphalt lift raised the road level and there were sections that needed work anyway, we had to work the bar ditches to build the shoulders to make the roads safer and eliminate steeper drop offs in a number of areas along the three projects.

This time of year we trim the trees back that overhang the roadway.  This increases the visibility and makes the rural roads safer to drive.  This also makes the trees look ugly, but doing it in the spring time, the trees will soon bud out and look better.

The truss bridge on old State Highway 36 east of Faxon was found to be structurally deficient for the weight limit during the last inspection.  Since this bridge was seldom used, rather than spend money on it we chose to close the bridge.

The heavy rains this past spring caused a large amount of debris to wash against the pilings on the Sandy Creek Bridge west of Indiahoma. The debris forced the strong current against the back wall causing a considerable amount of dirt to wash out that had to be replaced to preserve the integrity of the bridge. 

Kenny and I met with Adrian Tehauno and Theo Niedo with the Comanche Nation Transportation Department to review the roads that they wanted to provide material for out of their highway funds.  We have agreed on 11 miles of oil and chip roads and about 4 miles of asphalt overlay.  We are currently having the required engineering done by CEC Engineering Company.

This month we will take delivery on a new John Deere backhoe and a front end loader.  They will replace ones that are about 20 years old and are worn out.

After the overlay was placed on H Ave. in Cache three vehicles ran off the cross drain culvert at the 4-way stop at H and 115.  Coordinating with the Mayor of Cache, we put up four flexible reflective pipes to make the drop off more visible, particularly at night.  This has seemed to help since no one has run off since this was done.

In conjunction with our continuing safety training a CPR class was given to the Comanche County District 3 work force. 

Dennis Long retired from the District 3 work force having worked a total of 38 years.  Dennis’s primary responsibility was operating a motor grader.  However, when called upon he ran other equipment as needed to maintain roads in the western portion of Comanche County. We want to again thank him for his dedication and commitment to the County and wish him the best in his retirement.

On February 26, I announced that I was not going to seek a third term.  It was with mixed emotions that I made this decision.  My time as Commissioner has been a rewarding experience.  I have gained a deeper understanding of building and maintaining roads and bridges and a greater appreciation for county government.  My term will end December 31, 2018. 

 

If you have questions or concerns, I can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you may phone the County Barn at 580-429-3217 or the Courthouse office at 580-353-3717. 

 

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District 3:  Road and Bridge Report

Don Hawthorne, County Commissioner

The summer type rains continued into October which caused delays in our regularly scheduled projects. We have spent a lot of man hours repairing roads and clearing debris out of bridges and tinhorns, and that continued into December. Once the rains stopped though, it has become extremely dry and fire danger is very real.

The bridge on Airport Road, just south of Cache Road, has been approved and a bid has been awarded by ODOT. The construction will begin in February. The bad news is the bridge did not pass the last inspection and, in order not to close the road for 5 or 6 months, we will put in a temporary tinhorn so the road can remain open until construction starts on the new bridge. We did not want to have to spend District 3 funds for this extra step, but with all of the delays we have had on this project, we really had no other choice.

All the preliminary work for the bridge to replace the low-water crossing on Bishop Road over Post Oak Creek has been completed. The final engineer’s design for the bridge is being reviewed by ODOT and is scheduled for a January or February letting, which means construction could begin later this summer.

The Governor and Legislature, in trying to fund the State shortfall, has taken $130,000,000 out of the County Improvements for Roads and Bridges (CIRB) fund. The full impact of this action is not yet fully known, but this could possibly delay or remove from the County’s 5-year plan the needed replacement of bridges over West Cache Creek and Rock Creek on Cache Road west of the City of Cache and the bridge on Persimmon Creek on Airport Road south of Faxon.

Back in June, we signed an agreement with the low bidder, Overland Corporation, to mill out the high spots and to put down a 2-inch overlay on 82nd Street from Coombs Road to S.H. 36. This project was supposed to have been completed by the end of July. However, because of continuing delays by Overland, I contacted the Assistant District Attorney to void the contract.

Before we rebid the 82nd Street project, our road crew milled off some of the high spots and did extensive blade leveling to make the overlay smoother. At the December 4th board meeting, we awarded the rebid to T&G Construction Company.

At the same board meeting, we also awarded the Cache Road Project to T&G, which will call for a 2-inch asphalt overlay starting just east of Paint Road and running through the intersection at 8th Street (CR 115) in Cache and H Ave. This will connect with the asphalt overlay that goes in front of the County Barn. As a part of this bid, Showplace Ave. in Indiahoma will also receive a 2-inch asphalt overlay as well.

The Cache City Council voted to pay up to $40,000 toward the cost of the project between Crater Creek Road and CR 115 which is about half the cost for that mile. We are working with T&G to get this mile completed during the school’s Christmas break.  This will alleviate a traffic problem at the school and be less disruptive for the school and the contractors.  

T&G Construction has completed a 2-inch asphalt overlay of our Multiple Road Project. This includes Briarcreek and a portion of Heatherstone in Pecan Valley South, Deyo Mission from the Railroad tracks south to Lee Blvd, Cache Road from CR 115 to the West Cache Creek Bridge, Lee Blvd West of CR 115 to Quanah Road, CR 115 from Woodlawn to the Post Oak Creek Bridge, and Baseline portion of 115. The contractor still has to stripe them.

During the reporting period, we put dirt and gravel on the parking lot at the Indiahoma FFA barn and hauled a load of sand for the inside. We worked on the baseball diamond parking lot for Chattanooga School. We repaired the road and rebuilt the parking lot at the Field House for Cache Public Schools and put in a new road at the elementary school to help alleviate their traffic problem.

We removed some trees and did some road work at the Cache Cemetery and removed dirt from the Fairground coliseum after a stock show.

Richard Sellers retired from the District 3 work force having worked for 38 years. Richard had a number of jobs during his tenure with the County. His last responsibility was heading up the road building crew. We want to thank him for his commitment and dedication to the County and wish him the best in his retirement.

The County Barn will be closed for the Christmas and New Year Holidays, as employees take their scheduled leave. However, we will remain on call to respond to emergencies.

All of us at Comanche County District 3 want to say MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR to all!

If you have questions or concerns, I can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you may phone the County Barn at 580-429-3217 or the Courthouse office at 580-353-3717.

 

 

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District 3:  Road and Bridge Report

Don Hawthorne, County Commissioner

 

The rainy summer continues to disrupt scheduled projects and we have spent an inordinate amount of time cleaning debris out of bridges and tinhorns. We are also putting in and repairing quite a few tin horns to accommodate the increase in water runoff.

We completed the three road projects that were funded via an agreement with the Comanche Nation’s Transportation Department.  Madische, McIntosh, and Chibitty Roads were recycled late last year and we were planning to oil and chip them this spring, but the weather had delayed their completions to later this summer.

We also recycled and oiled and chipped Bay Drive in Bay Addition.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs finally signed off on our bridge on Airport Road, after a lot of communication to get the matter resolved.  The bridge construction is scheduled for a November letting by ODOT. The latest inspection by engineers has deemed that the bridge has deteriorated to a point that we will be required to either close the road or lower the weight limit to 3 tons.

The bridge to replace the low-water crossing on Bishop Road over Post Oak Road is progressing.   The needed right of way has been purchased and the work orders have been issued to the utility companies to move the water line and overhead electric lines.  The construction of the bridge is scheduled for 2018. 

 CEC engineering has been selected to develop the design to replace the old truss bridge over West Cache Creek on old Cache Road.  We are waiting on the preliminary plans.  Construction on that bridge is schedule for 2020.

On June 19, we signed an agreement with Overland Corporation, after they had the low bid for milling out the rough spots and to do a 2 inch overlay on 82nd Street from Coombs to S.H. 36. Some of the milling was done, however we did some additional blade leveling to make the road smoother.  Overland has yet to begin the overlay, which was by contract to be completed by August 4th.  A $200 a day penalty is being assessed from that date.

We awarded a contract to T&G Construction LLC to put down a 2 inch asphalt overlay on portions of Briarcreek and Heatherstone in Pecan Valley South, Deyo Mission from RR tracks south to Lee Blvd, Cache Road from County Road 115 to the Cache Creek Bridge, Lee Blvd west of County Road 115 to Quanah Road, County Road from Woodlawn to Post Oak Creek Bridge and Baseline portion of 115. 

Someone built a fire under the bridge on 267 just north of Cross Road.  The heat was so intense that it caused a large portion of concrete to flake off exposing the reinforcing steel.  We had to purchase a special bonding material to repair the bridge, otherwise it may have had to be replaced. 

The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge gave us about 200 tons of millings.  Several loads were taken to the Medicine Park Aquarium for their parking lot.  The rest was stock piled at the County Barn for future use.

We milled out a rough spot and blade leveled a portion of 8th Street in Cache.  We worked on an alley way and baseball diamond parking lot for Chattanooga School, hauled some gravel for the Chattanooga Volunteer Fire Department’s station and built a road for Cache Public Schools to help alleviate their traffic problem.

The guys spent 3 days hauling out the dirt from the exhibition building at the fairgrounds.  District 1 had hauled the dirt in for the International Horse play days.  District 1 and 3 takes turn about helping them out with projects.

Carl Mullins retired from the District 3 work force having worked for 8 years.  Carl operated the patch truck, drove a dump truck and was willing to help anywhere he was needed and was a valued member of the District 3 team.  We wish him the best in his retirement.

I worked again this year in developing the County Budget for FY 2017-2018, coordinating with the other elected officials and department heads.  

If you have questions or concerns, I can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you may phone the County Barn at 580-429-3217 or the Courthouse office at 580-353-3717. 

 

 
 

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District 3:  Road and Bridge Report

Don Hawthorne, County Commissioner

 

What’s normal weather in Oklahoma?  This is the sixth spring since I have been in office and each spring has been different. Every week we have had heavy enough rains somewhere in the District that some road work is needed to bring them back into shape. This has put us behind in our mowing. 

This also took time away from getting to the roads that are on our list to oil and chip and puts us behind on our planned projects. However, as reported earlier, last fall we have recycled McIntosh Road from State Highway 59 to Chibitty Road and north on Chibitty to the dead end. 

Also, we have entered into a joint project with the Comanche Nation Transportation Department to oil and chip Madische Road from McIntosh Road to the dead end.  They will pay for the materials and the tinhorns.

We have a joint project with Comanche County District 1, and Comanche Nation to oil and chip Hurst Road from State Highway 36 four miles south.  The first two miles are in District 1 and the second two miles are in our District.  The Comanche Nation is paying for the materials and the two districts are sharing in getting the road ready and oiling and chipping it.

Other roads on our plans to resurface this year are Indiahoma Road from Woodlawn Road to the Baseline Road.  We already have a mile of the three miles ready.  If time and weather permits we plan to resurface Holsey Acres Road from Cache Road to the Post Oak Creek bridge and Deyo Mission Road from Lee Blvd to Coombs Road.

We are still waiting on the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Anadarko to sign off on the Indian land that is needed for the additional right of way so the new bridge on Airport Road can be built. All the additional right of way needed on the east side has been purchased and fortunately all the utilities are on that side and have been moved. We were hoping to get the new bridge completed before the start of the school year because school busses have to be rerouted around the mile of Airport Rd.  The BIA has held up this project for over a year.

The bridge to replace the low water crossing over Post Oak Creek on Bishop Road is progressing.  The environmental study has been completed, and the bridge design plan has been developed and Pinnacle, the company we have hired to accrue the right of way, is in the process of finalizing the agreements with the landowners. The next step will be to move the utilities and then construction will be possible next year.

We are adding a new bridge to our 5-year plan for approval by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.  This bridge is on Airport Road over Persimmon Creek and is located southwest of Faxon.  The only catch is the Legislature keeps raiding the County Improvements for Roads and Bridges fund (CIRB) to balance the state’s budget shortfall.  Over the past four years the Legislature has taken over $170 million from this fund and put a cap on it reducing the amount of money that can go into it.

The other two bridges on our 5-year plan are the truss bridge over West Cache Creek on Cache Road and the bridge on Rock Creek on Cache Road.

Billy Bigbow and Tyler Fletcher attended a road building and repair seminar in Chickasha sponsored by Ergon. The day long course covered the types and causes of road damage, how to fix them, and the types of oils and application on chip sealing roads.

Kenny Kinder, Road Foremen attended the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma (ACCO) safety meeting on April 6-7, 2017. 

If you have questions or concerns, I can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you may phone the County Barn at 580-429-3217 or the Courthouse office at 580-353-3717. 

 

 

Road and Bridge Report: District 3 (Winter - 2017)

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District 3:  Road and Bridge Report

Don Hawthorne, County Commissioner

 

The year ended on a sad and shocking note for us.  Steve Ronio, a 20 year employee of District 3, was killed in a head on collision on Roger's Lane by a reckless driver. Steve was a very talented heavy equipment operator and has been sorely missed as we began the New Year.

Over the holidays, there was a pasture fire at 115 County Road and Coombs Road.  Some of the guys were called out to put out a fire that had gotten into 100 or so round bales.  If they are not broken up, round bales will smolder for a long time requiring a volunteer fireman to be on the scene for an extended period of time. 

We began the year with snow and ice that got us out sanding the bridges, hills, and intersections on the 6th, 7th, and 8th of January, and again on the 14th.

We received funding from FEMA to mitigate two areas that continually washed out.  One was on Wolf Road where there were three steel pipes for cross drains.  FEMA provided funding to put in larger tinhorns to accommodate the runoff, and in the last big rain it proved to be successful. 

The other was what we call Johnson’s Crossing on 287, which is on the Kiowa-Comanche County line.  This is a low water crossing that was regularly damaged as the result of heavy rains in the mountains.  FEMA provided funding to increase the size and number of tinhorns that would handle the runoff.

While we were in the area, the guys took out an old bridge located on Wolf Road east of 287 and replaced it with a tinhorn.

As per an agreement with ODOT and the Mayor of Medicine Park, we put new runners on the truss bridge that goes into the town.  The bridge was built over a hundred years ago, and adds to the historical look of Medicine Park. 

We are still waiting on BIA’s approval on the easement acquisition for the right of way on the west side for a new bridge on Airport Road a half mile south of Cache Road.  The easement for the east side was purchased and utilities were moved last summer.   

Because of slow processing of the documents through that agency, this project has been delayed a year. We were hoping for an April letting of the construction bid so we would have the bridge completed by the time school started next year so the school buses could use that road.

The road crew has recycled and prepared McIntosh from SH 58 to Chibitty, and Chibitty north to the dead end.  This road is ready to be oiled and chipped this summer.

The crew will begin work on Indiahoma Road from Woodlawn to the Baseline, and Baseline Road from SH 36 to 112th Street. These two roads will be oiled and chipped later this summer as well.

On our bridges, particularly located on major collectors, vehicles crowd the center line and it wears off the center stripe faster.  Road Foreman Kenny Kinder located some plastic reflectors that can be glued on the center line making it more visible at night.

He also located some flexible plastic tubing that has reflecting tape to mark the guard rail on bridges.  Being flexible, farm equipment won’t bend or break them and they remain highly visible at night.

We continue to help the schools and municipalities in our District.  Cache High preparing for baseball season needed some dirt and gravel for the ball field.  The Fairground Road in Indiahoma was graded before the start of their stock show.  We also provided Chatty FFA some screenings before the start of their stock show.  We also hauled some dirt for Indiahoma School to fill in where the rain had washed some dirt away from their buildings.

To take advantage of the rainy day weather when the guys could not be out in the District working, Foreman Kenny Kinder had them gather and sell our old scrap iron, mostly rusted out tinhorns.  State law allows us to sell scrap iron if we get three telephone bids.  The effort got us over $2,500 to add back into our Maintenance and Operation Fund.

If you have questions or concerns I can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you may phone the County Barn at 580-429-3217 or the Courthouse office at 580-353-3717. 

 

 
 
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