Residents Oppose 'Road to Nowhere'

Thursday, November 20th 2008, 7:55 pm
By: News 9

By Jon Jordan, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma could have its very own "road to nowhere," similar to Alaska's "bridge to nowhere."

Oklahoma County Commissioner Brent Reinhart has ignited a firestorm of debate over his plan to build a one mile long road straight through a family's property.

Rinehart wants to take Wilshire Road and extend it to Dobbs Road.

Those opposed to the plan claim the road can only extend to Harrah Road, which is why they refer to as ‘Road to Nowhere.' They also said there are endangered species on the land.

Rinehart said he found no endangered species after having the area checked, which is why he said he'll continue with his plans.

"Five generations-old Vandergriffs have been taking care of this land and he attacked us on Monday morning, and we're going to stand up for ourselves," Will Vandergriff said.

The hard work Vandergriff said will be for nothing if this road that Reinhart has already started construction on continues, a road Vandergriff said will destroy the wildlife on his property, similar to this water way.

"This is a very unique resource that doesn't exist everywhere in the world it should and is protected by federal law," Vandergriff said.

Vandergriff said his fellow neighbors also intend on protecting it. A list of nearby residents has been established of those who oppose Rinehart's plan.

But it hasn't been just area residents who are against the plan. Jack Cornett, the previous county commissioner for the area, wrote this letter saying "We have cancelled the planned opening of East Wilshire."

Reinhart eventually wants to take Wilshire Road and extend it even further to the Pottawatomie County line, which he said is not a road to nowhere. The decision will be left up to the next County Commissioner

The project will cost $40,000 for materials alone.

Currently the project has been put on hold by the Department of Environmental Quality because the project did not have a storm water permit, which is needed if the land contains protected species. Reinhart expects to have that soon and project continued.