Stillwater Utilities Authority approves amendment to widen Perkins Road

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Norman McNickle speaks during the Stillwater Utilities Authority meeting at the Stillwater Municipal Building on March 11, 2019.

The Stillwater Utilities Authority voted unanimously to pass an amendment to an agreement to widen Perkins Road Monday.

The amendment approved administrative funding of $206,300 for the project. The bid will go to Alan Plummer and Associates Inc. for work on water line relocations along the road. 

A plan to upgrade Perkins Road has been in the works for several years. The agreement is slated to include adding a turn lane, storm drain improvements, a retaining wall in some places and sidewalks. The authorization of any amount over $50,000, requires city council approval. 

Councilor Amy Dzialowski said citizens’ safety is the city’s primary focus when it comes to the project.

“Hopefully it makes the roads safer,” Dzialowski said. “That’s kind of the main thing. That it helps traffic flow to be the way it needs to be.”

The amendment’s approval is only a small step forward, though. Construction isn’t scheduled to start until at least 2021, when the roadway project is expected to be bid.

Stillwater’s assistant city manager, Paula Dennison, said the development is a long process because the government only provides limited resources.

“(The Oklahoma Department of Transportation) only has so much money coming in that they can allocate,” Dennison said. “That’s why they have that long, multi-year plan. They’ve tagged us as being a recipient for some of that money for this specific project.”

The item was on the consent agenda, which was quickly approved without discussion by a 4-0 vote.

There were about 45 people at the meeting, but over half left before the Utilities Authority docket began. Vice Mayor Pat Darlington was out of the country and absent for the meeting.

A resident at Aspen Heights, which is located off Perkins Road, was happy to see the project is making progress in its early stages.

“Adding more turn lanes would be good,” Liando said. “I see how it can cause a lot of wrecks when cars stop suddenly to turn.”

Councilor John Wedlake said the project is necessary to for Stillwater to operate safely and efficiently. The amendment is another step in that direction.

“With the amount of vehicle flow through there, it’s got to be widened,” Wedlake said. “It’s become kind of a second downtown for Stillwater.

“But before you do that you have to get your infrastructure in place. That’s what we’re doing out ahead of the actual construction.”

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