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MUSKOGEE: Stimulus to fund roads to hospital

MUSKOGEE: Stimulus to fund roads to hospital

MUSKOGEE: Stimulus to fund roads to hospital

July 8, 2009
By Liz McMahan
Phoenix Staff Writer

The president’s economic stimulus plan will pave a new road to Muskogee Community Hospital, it was announced Wednesday.

U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, D-Oklahoma, announced an $843,052 Economic Development Administration grant to the city and county for the project.

District County Commissioner Gene Wallace said the project calls for a new road to be built on Main Street from Shawnee Bypass north to Harris Road and then east to Oklahoma 16.

In a media release, Boren said he supported the project for a number of reasons.

“Muskogee is the largest community in the Second Congressional District and its economic health is essential to eastern Oklahoma,” he said. “I supported the stimulus package because it contained critical infrastructure and economic development funding for communities like Muskogee and Muskogee County.

“This project will provide jobs in the short term and will boost private investment in the county by improving the transportation system that is necessary to support long term business expansion and job creation,” Boren said.

In the media release, Wallace said building better roads to the hospital will greatly expand health care opportunities and patient access to the $65 million hospital complex.

“Opportunities created by this private investment provide generations of patients with a better quality of life,” Wallace said.

Wallace also expressed his appreciation to Boren and Eastern Oklahoma Development District for their assistance in obtaining the grant.

“This has been a Herculean effort,” Wallace said. “I would especially thank Congressman Boren for his support and EODD for virtually changing this part of Oklahoma.”

Wallace said the portion of the project that has been funded is labeled as Phase 1. Phase 2, if it is funded, will rebuild Harris Road west of Main Street to U.S. 69 as well as improvements to North 11th, North 17th and North 24th streets, Wallace said.

Wallace said he expects Phase 2 to be funded when Phase 1 is complete.

In Phase 1, the complete roadbed is expected to be dug out and replaced. How soon work will begin depends on whether additional right of way will have to be acquired and whether utilities have to be moved, he said.

The county will advertise for contractor bids on the work as soon as possible, he said.

Reach Liz McMahan at 684-2926 or lmcmahan@muskogeephoenix.com.

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