Hello and welcome to my column. As we enter the final quarter of 2006, city of Ada construction crews are putting the finishing touches on the Lonnie Abbott widening project. Next year, the city will turn its sights toward many new projects — including two major ones that will forever change the complexion of our growing community.

I’ve received a lot of questions recently about these two projects, so I’ve decided to address them in this column. There is a lot of positive excitement surrounding Ada’s recent growth and I want to help keep that spirit alive by reporting more good news!

The first of these two projects is the rebuilding of Main Street from just east of Constant Street in the downtown district all the way to Science Hall on the East Central University campus. It will be smoother and wider upon completion and will include safe, handicapped-accessible crossings at Mississippi.

I’m sure you’ve noticed ECU’s new Fine Arts Center rising high at the east end of Main Street. The City will also rebuild all the streets surrounding it, as well as add sidewalks with decorative street lights on both sides of the rebuilt East Main. Work on this project — which is funded by Proposition 1 — should begin in spring 2007.

The second project slated to begin next year is the widening of Arlington Street. With help from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, the city of Ada will widen Arlington Street to five lanes from Crazy Corner east to near the Arlington Boulevard intersection, where the street divides.

The Arlington widening project also includes the reconfiguration and signalization of Crazy Corner. Although Crazy Corner has long been an infamous Ada landmark, I for one won’t be sad to see it go! Signal lights will also be added at the busy Crown Point intersection just east of the Arlington Center.

Exactly when the Arlington widening project starts next year is largely dependent on ODOT. Since Arlington Street is also State Highway 1 and Crazy Corner involves the intersection of two state highways, ODOT must participate in the process.

While the East Main project is geared more toward beautification and a smoother ride, the widening of Arlington Street is another in a series of projects — Country Club, Lonnie Abbott — designed to accommodate an increase in traffic. This increase in traffic is exactly why all these new projects are taking place. Ada is a thriving community.

I hope you enjoyed this column. Be sure to check back every other week for more. To read more of my columns, visit www.adaok.com/donna_york.htm. Drop me a line at mayor@adaok.com and share your thoughts with me. I’ll keep you informed.

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