A project County Commissioner Scott Savage has worked on for three years recently was finished and the road opened for traffic.

Wood Road from Waukomis six miles east to Pioneer High School now is open for traffic.

Some shoulder work still is being completed, Savage said.

Once crews got started, it only took three weeks to complete the job, but Savage said the effort to get it done was lengthy.

“It took a long time to get it together. When you’re trying to get state and federal money it takes a long time,” said Savage, District 3 commissioner.

The project was done in one section. The initial cost was estimated at $1.2 million, but once the contract was let the actual projected cost was $916,935.

“We never could have done it with county funds,” he said.

Road projects are not eligible for the $25 million in new funds given to counties statewide this year, Savage said. Those funds are to be used strictly for bridges. Garfield County’s share of those funds will be just more than $300,000.

“It’s unbelievable what something like that costs,” he said.

The county only is allowed to have one state/federal project going at one time. Savage has worked with project engineers trying to get the project done ever since he was elected three years ago.

In February, Oklahoma Department of Transportation awarded a contract to Cummins Construction, the low bidder. The contract is funded with 80 percent federal money and 20 percent from the County Bridge and Road Improvement Fund, which is derived from diesel and gasoline excise taxes and a special fuel use tax.

“The residents of Garfield County should know how long and how expensive road projects are,” Savage said.

The road was resurfaced, and an asphalt overlay of more than 3 inches was applied.

“It’s better than U.S. 81 right now,” he said.

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