OKC Takes Action To Improve Debris Removal Routes

Wednesday, July 2nd 2014, 6:07 pm
By: Karl Torp

Oklahoma City is in the running for millions of dollars in road improvements. The damage though isn't from the usual wear and tear, it's from the 2013 May storms.

"The whole road itself has issues," says Michelle Shepardson, who has a salon at I-44 and SW 148th St.

Shepardson says SW 148th has gotten worse since May of last year. That's when large trucks carrying debris from the May 20 tornado started consistently using the road.

"The tornadoes didn't damage the streets as bad as the tornado removal process," says Steve Rhodes with the OKC Planning Department.

The city is now applying for $8.7 million in grant money to help fix the problem. SW 149th St. will be repaired. Penn from SW 134th St. down to SW 148th St. will be repaved. SE 134th St. between Sunnylane Rd. and Sooner Rd., another debris removal route, will also be repaired.

The city tells News 9 the grant will cover like drainage improvements, home construction, and could also help people pay for part of the their tornado safe rooms.

"For these activities, there is no funding source to accomplish," says Rhodes.

The $8.7 million is from about $10 million being divided up among counties that had to recently make emergency declarations. OKC will find out if it will receive the grant money in about a month.