OKLAHOMA COUNTY - A major step was just announced in the fight to fix a stretch of Triple X Road in eastern Oklahoma County. It has been closed for years now, as the North Canadian River eats away at the earth beneath it. FEMA is now stepping in to help. 

The approval did not come easily. However, this project is so fragile and complicated that it won out against every other state.

Erosion is evident in the spot that spent years sweeping away land, houses, and now, Triple X Road. The section of North Canadian River is nestled right in the middle of five jurisdictions, but the stalemate over the structure of its neighborhood street is finally coming to an end.

“I want to stress that’s probably a long range distance,” advised District 2 commissioner Brian Maughan, “but this is the first big step in that direction, which has been at an impasse essentially for years now.”

The $609,750 grant from FEMA will launch Phase 1 of the Triple X Road project, which covers planning and contracting. The local governments still have to come up with a third of those funds to match the award. Maughan admitted that is 30% of the road budget for his district.

“It’s going to be a huge pill to swallow for a relatively low traffic area,” said Maughan, “but no doubt the connectivity that bridges the whole county.”

Maughan said the key is to keep the communities communicating, as a lack of collaboration has halted progress in the past. Now, though, they are banking on each other to properly protect the banks of this river ahead of the federal grant's deadline.

“This is Oklahoma,” Maughan pointed out, “so we’ll have to be at somewhat the mercy of Mother Nature, but if we can get through these hurdles, we have 11 months to meet this requirement.”

Once contracts are complete, construction can commence.