ODOT closing 14th Street/Shops intersection for upgrades

Apr. 23—The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has notified the city it plans to temporarily close the Fourteenth Street intersection with the Shops at McAlester shopping center for repairs and upgrades.

Plans call for the intersection with U.S. Highway 69/George Nigh Expressway to be closed from cross-traffic at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, said city of McAlester Public Information Officer Adrian O'Hanlon III.

Work on the intersection is projected to last from two-to-three weeks.

"They're going to tear it up and put it back in place in between 14 and 21 days, weather permitting," O'Hanlon said of the Fourteenth Street intersection work, noting the possibility of rain delays prolonging the schedule.

Once ODOT makes sure the FourteenthStreet/Shops at McAlester intersection is functional and open, then plans call for work to begin on the Ninth Street/Hardy Springs Road intersection with U.S. Highway 69/George Nigh Expressway.

Also, ODOT has closed U.S. Highway 69/George Nigh Expressway traffic to one lane in each direction, for northbound and southbound traffic.

Plans are for a mill and resurfacing project for the busy highway to cover .852 miles. That's just over eight-and-a-half tenths of a mile at 4,503 feet.

Although that's not a great distance for a highway project, construction work involves two of the highway's most heavily-traveled McAlester intersections which are used to access Shops at McAlester and other businesses along the highway.

Robinson Construction, of Poteau, is contractor for the $5.2 million project, said ODOT Public Information Officer T.J. Gerlach. Robinson Construction has up to 120 days, or four months, to complete the entire project.

Workers placed preliminary signage and safety cones along the highway earlier this month, ordering drivers to begin merging and noting that it's a state law.

State and local officials urge drivers to be cautious when driving through construction zones.