From the folks at StopODOT.org:
DIRECTOR GATZ: NO BYPASS
Director announces that bypass will no longer be an option and asks for community involvement
In a letter to legislators ODOT Director and Secretary of Transportation announced the bypass is no longer an option. The text of his letter [sent to Governor Stitt and Muskogee-area legislators]:
The Oklahoma of Department of Transportation is corresponding with reference to a transportation project to improve US-69 Highway in the City of Muskogee. More specifically, we write to advise you of our plans to advance the proposed improvements to construction and completion in a manner that provides operational and traffic safety improvements and that is more representative of the Community’s desires.
The Department has previously engaged you and the Community in a preliminary discussion related to the potential of developing a US-69 reliever route alignment. While the consideration of such a route is appropriate, the concept, location and timing of such improvements requires careful and long term planning predicated on a healthy respect for the needs and input of the Muskogee area residents, elected officials and Community leaders. With consideration for the feasibility of delivering improvements of this type in the near term, we recommend suspending any further discussion of this alternative indefinitely.
We believe that the best course of action at this time is to proceed with a focused review of possible operational and reconstruction improvements to the existing US-69 alignment to be defined in a continuing and direct consultation with the Community. Therefore, we respectfully request your assistance in establishing a target date to reconvene a public forum and continue the extremely important discussion of the most feasible improvements that can be implemented in Muskogee on the existing alignment.
Thank you for your insight, assistance and patience and for your support for transportation in Oklahoma. We will contact you in the near future to discuss your thoughts on an appropriate public outreach target date. In the interim, please feel free to contact us at your convenience if you have questions or if you would like to discuss this project further. We look forward to continuing our work together to improve conditions on US-69.
Tim J. Gatz
Secretary of Transportation Designate