Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Stites Street Sinking after Storms, Now Closed

J.T. Stites Street in Sallisaw is closed due to heavy rains washing away the fill material around two large culvert pipes.

The city announced the closing early Tuesday afternoon, after a driver contacted the city to report a sudden dip in the road surface.

The area is just north of U.S. Highway 64 on the city’s west side.

Upon inspection, city officials found the fill material had washed away and the road surface was beginning to sink and break on its west side and a large hole on the road’s east side

City Manager Clayton Lucas said, “That’s a brand new road. We got a $250,000 grant to rebuild that road from the dirt up. It’s only a year old.”

Lucas said city officials were still trying to figure out the next step on Tuesday afternoon. Lucas said he will be checking with the city’s insurance, warranties the contractor may have provided, and even on Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds. The county has been approved for FEMA funds to help pay for damages caused by earlier rainstorms, and Lucas said the earlier storms may have started the damage. He did not yet know how much repairs may cost.

“We're still trying to figure it out,” he said.

Work on the street may begin on Wednesday. Stites Street provides access to many homes and apartment complexes, People Inc. and the Redbird Smith Health Clinic. While access is now blocked from the north, drivers may still enter from Ruth Street on the south.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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