(L to R) Cherokee Nation Administration Special Projects Officer Billy Bob Dougherty, Engineer Jackie King, Chief Designer Regina Compelube, Inspector Jeff King, Delaware County Commissioner Danny Duncan, Paragon Contractors Mike Owen and Gene Harris, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor Curtis Snell, Roads Program Director Michael Lynn, Roads Program Designer Don Moore and Road Construction Manager Barry Hood.
TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA — The Cherokee Nation just completed a $9.5 million road project in southern Delaware County.
Nearly 10 miles of dirt road connecting Kenwood to the Twin Oaks area was paved to provide safer travel for tribal and non-tribal citizens who live in the area.
“Improving roads and maintaining bridges for citizens are an important part of what the Cherokee Nation government does. We are proud to make these investments in infrastructure upgrades because it improves the quality of life in Delaware County,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “The Cherokee Nation maintains these kinds of strategic partnerships to ensure our communities remain safe for our families.”
Delaware County Road North 4580, also known as “Bull Hollow Road,” suffered from persistent problems. The dirt road had major drainage issues, and the county was continually repairing potholes. Transportation officials completed final inspection Monday, and the roadway is now fully open.
“This new nine-and-a-half-mile stretch of paved highway will not only provide safer travel for Delaware County citizens, but also reduce the wear and tear on citizens’ vehicles,” said Tribal Councilor Curtis Snell. “This reduces the financial burden of maintaining their vehicles.”
The Cherokee Nation works cooperatively with counties inside the tribal boundaries to repair and replace roads and bridges. In many cases, the Cherokee Nation purchases the materials and the counties provide the work. The Bull Hollow Road project was funded under a federal program, so the Cherokee Nation managed this particular project from start to finish. This is the longest federally funded highway project the tribe has managed to date.
“I cannot say enough good things about our partnerships with the Cherokee Nation,” said Danny Duncan, Delaware County commissioner for District 3. “This new road helps not only Cherokees living in this area, but everyone in the county. It opens up a new route for commerce by better connecting these communities to Highway 412, and better connecting Delaware and Mayes counties. Bull Hollow Road was problematic for so many years, so this new road will have a tremendous impact on all of southern Delaware County.”
In 2013, the Cherokee Nation completed road and bridge projects in Cherokee, Delaware, Mayes and Rogers counties. The projects totaled more than $17 million. This year, the Cherokee Nation plans to invest $11.8 million into road and bridge repairs in the following counties:
- Adair County – Honey Hill Road Phase I
- Cherokee County – Sequoyah Schools stoplight project and Tenkiller School Road
- Delaware County – Dry Creek Bridge #71 and Teesquatnee Bridge #53
- Mayes County – Saline Creek Bridge #67, Saline Creek Bridge #68 and Wickliffe Bridge
“I can honestly say this project would have never happened without the Cherokee Nation,” Commissioner Duncan said. “Our county budgets are very limited, so partnerships with the Cherokee Nation help us stretch every dollar, and we are so grateful.”