Possible ODOT widening project creating concern for landowners

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LOVE COUNTY, Okla. – A widening project on a highway in southern Oklahoma is causing concern for landowners nearby.

According to KXII, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation plans to rebuild Highway 32 from Highway 77 Scene to the Hickory Creek Bridge. The project includes adding shoulders, which will be eight feet wide on either side and includes rumble strips, to the existing highway.

“It reduces the buffer we have on our home,” said Larry Vaughn, who lives less than a hundred feet from Highway 32.

Vaughn says he has been negotiating with ODOT, but both are making countering offers.

For $40,000, Vaughn could pay off his home and he would move.

“The ideal agreement would be they buy me out or pay the original offer that I gave them to move the residence further back on the property,” he said.

Currently, a tentative right of way has been set up, and one of Vaughn’s neighbors who owns storage sheds says the right of way will cause them to move the sheds.

A rancher says the project will cause him to lose about four acres of land for his cattle.

“So, you’re looking at having to provide other means of nourishment for the cattle or you’re looking at having to cut you herd,” Vaughn said.

Madison Schein, ODOT spokesperson, says they are still negotiating with landowners.

“This is not something we take lightly at all,” Schein said. “We go through extra precautions and details and figure out everything we can before even approaching this step.”

Those who have concerns can call their right of way division at (405)521-2661.

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