County, city crews partner in road upgrades

Improvements being made in Piedmont, Okarche, Calumet

Tom Manske

By Cara Pattison
Contributing Writer

Canadian County District 1 personnel are working together with municipalities into improve roads this summer.

From May to July, the county crews will have repaired and assisted with roads in Piedmont, Okarche and Calumet.

“A lot of people don’t know that a road can have parts of it that are owned by the city and other parts owned by the county,” Canadian County District 1 Commissioner Tom Manske said.

To perform work on the city-owned stretches of road, the county creates interlocal agreements. Where roads are unincorporated, the county is fully responsible.

“We want to make sure that we are doing our part to help both sides of the road, so to speak,” Manske added.

In Piedmont, City Manager Josh Williams worked up an agreement with Canadian County officials to perform some road upgrades together.

“We are assisting with the upgrade and reconstruction of 164th from Cemetery (Road) to Highway 3,” Canadian County’s District 1 commissioner said.

“Piedmont received some grant money to pay for their part of the road and will be paving a stretch of it as well as paying for road materials for the project. The county will then be completing a double chip seal along the remaining stretch of road from where Piedmont leaves off to Northwest Expressway – also known as Highway 3.”

District 1 will provide labor and machinery to assist with the city’s paved stretch, and then will continue with a double chip seal to complete the project to the west.

“Double chip seal is the process where the road is stabilized then doubled layered with oil and rock. This creates a thicker, more durable, longer lasting road,” Manske explained.



Meanwhile to the west, the Town of Okarche was the first municipality in District 1 to benefit this year from the road-repairing partnership.

“Early on, I visited with Canadian County District 1 road foreman Justin Atkinson to help identify projects and areas of need,” said Manske, who took office in January. “Justin has over 20 years of experience and we were able to start our road season in May when we went to the Okarche area to work on a county-maintained road.

“We paved 234th on the south edge of Okarche to Highway 81,” Manske added.

The next project worked on by District 1 crews was in the Calumet area.

To date, they have completed projects north and east of Calumet by working on 178th from Calumet Road to Heaston Road, and then a stretch along Fort Reno Road from 164th Street to one and-a-half miles south at the Canadian River Bridge.

“We are doing our best to help out,” Commissioner Manske said. “Within my first term, I said I would make an effort to reach out to the communities in my district to see how we can work together, and I’m making good on that promise. We are upgrading infrastructure and roads in our district together.

“The cities and the county want all citizens to have good access and infrastructure.”