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Indian Road repairs could begin soon

Aerial view of Indian Road "washout"

Wednesday, August 31, 2022 - Heavy rain and flooding in May caused major road damage on Indian Road between Paradise Hills and Keys. Officials have been working since then to fund the extensive repair project.

The main "wash out" section of the road is approximately 30 feet wide by 50 feet deep. Estimated costs to complete the road repairs could reach $3 million. Motorists will be glad to hear that Sequoyah County District 2 Commissioner Beau Burlison has announced that road repairs are “on the horizon.”

According to Burlison, both the Sequoyah and Cherokee County Board of Commissioners, Cherokee Nation, and Central Engineering District 2 are working together to fund and repair the damage to Indian Road.

Burlison acknowledged that residents have expressed frustration over the delay in repairs and added, “I appreciate the patience given and the team work provided due to the road failure. I am encouraged by the progress made in the last month. I know that Indian Road is a valued travel route for work, school, business, tourism and recreation.”

“Sequoyah County officials reached out to us recently to ask about the possibility of Cherokee Nation helping with extensive repairs along Indian Road in northern Sequoyah County, which was damaged during heavy rains and subsequent flooding in May 2022. This includes sections of Indian Road that were damaged by landslides and other impacts of the flood both in Sequoyah and Cherokee counties,” said Michael Lynn, Executive Director of the Cherokee Nation Department of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“The Cherokee Nation Department of Transportation and Infrastructure has identified funding through the federal Tribal Transportation Program, and we are now working on the engineering portion of the project. We have fast-tracked this project because we understand the significance of Indian Road as a major route used by so many people each and every day. For this important repair project, once we are through with engineering and other processes required in order to begin the repairs, work will begin as soon as possible," said Lynn.

The estimated cost for the project is between $2 million and $3 million.

"This project is just one example of the many ways the Cherokee Nation works with our community partners to improve infrastructure and quality of life throughout the tribal reservation. In fact, Cherokee Nation has completed nearly 18 miles of road projects in Sequoyah County since fiscal year 2019, investing more than $1 million into those projects. In addition, Cherokee Nation has invested nearly $8 million toward the ongoing Dwight Mission Road Project, which spans 5.5 miles and is approximately 80 percent complete,” Lynn added.

KXMX Staff Writer

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