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)



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. 




District 3:  Road and Bridge Report

Don Hawthorne, County Commissioner District 3


The late summer has kept us busy mowing. At the same time, we prepared for winter by stock piling over 500 tons of sand.

With the cooler temperatures, we have ended our road resurfacing for the year.  The late rainy season delayed our getting started.  We did oil and chip on a mile of New Hope, a mile of Coombs, a mile of Paint Rd. by the Cache Cemetery, and 2.5 miles in Pecan Valley South.

The guys did a major repair project on Meers-Porter Hill Road just east of Meers. The road had deteriorated to a point where large portions had to be replaced.  To move the water from under the roadway a French drain was placed down before the new asphalt was laid.

At the request of the City of Cache, we patched and then did an oil and chip overlay on Oak and Mountain View Streets, and oiled and chipped 4th Street from Elm to Oak Streets.  We also patched streets in Indiahoma at their request.

We tried a new technique call Scrub Seal on Indiahoma Road from U.S. 62 north to the refuge gate.  The oil used in this process is infused with latex and a set of brooms are pulled behind the oil distributor truck.  The purpose of the brooms is to push the oil into and fill the cracks.  Then a layer of 3/8” chips are laid down and rolled.  This will extend the life of this asphalt road.

We had a bridge on Logue Chapel Road near the Faxon Cemetery that had caused us some concern because it had been settling.  The bridge was built in early Statehood and had narrow concrete guardrails that would not allow the passage of larger, modern day farm equipment.  We hired CEC Engineering to do a hydrology study to determine what could be used to replace it.  They recommended a 10’ tinhorn.

Old railroad tank cars with the ends cut out and the wheels removed are available, and sometimes used, where a large tinhorn is needed.  The guys took out the old bridge and installed the 10’ tank car.  In addition to being faster to install, the cost was considerably less.  The tank car cost $10,000. Whereas, a replacement bridge would have cost over $60,000 to build, and the road would have been closed for a longer period.

We are making progress on replacing the bridge on Airport Road.  The additional right of way on the east side has been acquired, and we were fortunate that all the utilities are on the east side and have been relocated to accommodate the new bridge.  We are tentatively scheduled for an April letting of the construction contract, provided that the right of way on the west side can be acquired.

We had a Plan-in-Hand meeting with the engineers and ODOT for the bridge that will replace the low water crossing at Post Oak Creek on Bishop Road.  The construction of the bridge is scheduled for 2018.

At the request of the Emergency Manager, we improved the road going to the County’s repeater tower located on Big Rock Mountain near Medicine Park. The crew also cut down the tall grass that surrounded it to prevent damage in case of a fire.

We continue to help the City, towns and schools in the Western District. We moved some cement blocks for Cache’s Fall Fest, dug the holes in the Cache City park for the new playground equipment, cut down the shoulders on 8th St. between H Ave. and Oak Ave. to allow the water to drain off of the roadway, removed a side walk for the Chatty School, built a road to the Cache School’s Ag barn, hauled a load of sand for a Cache School playground, and hauled several loads of gravel to the Medicine Park Aquarium.

I met with Brad Burgess, ODOT Transportation Commissioner, Mitch Surrett and Jay Earp of ODOT and Jennifer Ellis, Medicine Park Trustee, concerning the one lane bridge in Medicine Park.  The County agreed to do the repairs that are needed for it to remain safe and useable. The ODOT representatives will work with Ellis to secure a grant to refurbish the bridge. 

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. 



District 3:  Road and Bridge Report

Don Hawthorne, County Commissioner District 3

We continue to work on the roads and bridges to bring them back into shape after the spring rains.  It is amazing how much debris washes down the creeks and how fast grass grows when we have good rains. It’s hard to keep up with only 3 mowers in the District. 

The road crew oiled and chipped Paint Road by the Cache Cemetery and G Avenue in Cache and New Hope Road between 112th Street and Hurst Road. We also plan to oil and chip Coombs between 112th Street and 82nd Street and if time permits before the weather gets too cool, we will recycle McIntosh Road from State Highway 58 to Chibitty Road. 

The Comanche Nation Transportation director has contacted us about oil and chipping Maddiasche Road from McIntosh to the dead end.  By agreement with the tribe, the materials are paid for out of the highway funds they receive from the BIA and we furnish the equipment and manpower.

The road crew is currently working in Pecan Valley South digging out bad spots and recycling portions of the roads and we will oil and chip them later this month.  The roads in this addition were poorly constructed without a proper base.  Also, the two garbage companies making two pick-ups a week with heavily loaded trucks continue to take a toll on these roads.

We are patching a number of spots on Meers Porterhill Road between SH 115 and 58.  There are springs under some spots that make it hard to hold the road surface.  The crew has installed French Drains to see if the water can be drained off from under the road surface.

Through the years there have been a number of accidents and three deaths at the intersection of Deyo Mission and Cache Road.  After the last accident we installed a stop sign that has red LED lights that are powered by a solar panel.  Those two signs cost approximately $3,000 plus the poles they are mounted on.

We entered into an agreement with USDA’s National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to put rip rap on Post Oak Creek to prevent further erosion in the creek bank on to Big Bow Road in Holsey Acres Subdivision.  The cost of this project was paid for by NRCS and we provided traffic control and a front end loader to move the rip rap and a dozer to clean up after the project was over.

Road Forman, Kenny Kinder and I met with Jay Earp the newly appointed District Engineer for District 7 regarding possible funding to put a new surface on 82nd Street from Lee Blvd to SH 36 (Baseline).  We also discussed the one lane bridge at Medicine Park that is need of repair or replacing.  Under State Statute the County Commissioners are authorized to assist small municipalities and schools. 

Since our last report we assisted Medicine Park by brooming the street before the week end festival and hauled them some rock; graded a portion of Walnut Street in Cache: hauled several loads of dirt to Cache School and moved dirt for Chattanooga School.

Two landowners wanted to put in new fences so we took the opportunity to clean out their fence lines which helped them and the county by improving drainage in the bar ditches on Wolf and 267 Roads.

 While mowing in the south part of the District, our mower operator found an artillery shell in the bar ditch.  This caused some excitement and the Ft. Sill demolition experts came and picked it up. 

The past two months I have spent quite a bit of time meeting individually with County officers and department heads to complete the County budget for fiscal year 2016-2017.  We have a budget that has met the amount of projected revenues, the Board of County Commissioners has approved it and I will be meeting with the Excise Board for their approval.  After that, the budget will then go to the State Auditor and Inspector for certification before it becomes official. 


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. 



District 3: Road and Bridge Report
Don Hawthorne, County Commissioner District 3

All of the rain we have had the last two years have been great compared to the drought of the last few preceding years. But we continue to work to keep up with rain and flood damage and have gotten behind on mowing and oil and chipping the roads that are scheduled to be redone this summer. We will make every effort to catch up before winter weather.

The rains that caused road and bridge damage this year started on April 16th and went off and on through June 13th. We have lost track of how many times we have had to clear debris from bridges and culverts and to re-gravel and re-grade roads.

The worst damage this year was the bridge on Bandy Road where it crosses Big Sandy Creek. The south approach was washed out completely. It cost us an estimated $50,000 to repair it so the road could be opened.

The heavy rains washed out a set of three tin horns on Tinney Rd east of 52nd Street. After they were installed and the road way built up the rains on June 11 and 12 caused additional damage that had to be repaired. Also the June 11th rain storm flooded and washed asphalt off of the bridge at Maddische Road north of State Highway 49.

The low water crossing on Autumn Drive had to be repaired two times because of high water from the run off.

The Legislature, in order to pass a state budget took 1 million dollars from the ODOT equipment revolving fund, which we had used to buy 3 new Mack 10-wheeler dump trucks and a patch truck and took 50 million dollars from the County Improvements for Roads and Bridges (CIRB) Fund. This is a dedicated fund that was established some time ago to assist counties with building roads and bridges that most could not afford to do on their own. Comanche County has a number of outdated bridges that are on a 5-year plan to be replaced. This action by the Legislature may delay the replacement for 8 years.

We met with a representative from Oklahoma Emergency Management to survey our damage from the June 11th and 12th rains. This was a preliminary assessment to see if the County qualifies for FEMA assistance. Unfortunately it did not include the damage from all the rains that we received prior to that date.

The road crew is recycling roads getting them ready to oil and chip this summer. G Street between 1st & 2nd Streets in Cache, Paint Road from the railroad tracks north to Rogers Lane, New Hope from Hurst Rd to S.H. 36, Coombs Rd from 82nd to 112th St. and Havenshire Circle in Pecan Valley South. If time permits, we plan to do McIntosh Rd from S.H. 58 east for about a mile.

We took delivery of two 2017 International single axle dump trucks. One will replace the old patch truck and the other will be used with the backhoe. We also bought a flat bed low-boy trailer to haul our heavy equipment to job sites.

We hauled in dirt for Chattanooga School where they are making a playground out of a parking lot that was donated to them. We put millings from the City of Cache street project on the road by the Cache School’s elementary building where parent’s line up to pick up children and also hauled sand to a playground.

The guys hauled dirt into the Coliseum at the Comanche County Fairgrounds for an upcoming horse show, and we swept the shoulders of State Highway 115 from Cache to the Refuge for the Tour of the Wichita’s Bike Race.

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.

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