Drivers heading east on U.S. Highway 270 from McAlester toward Krebs are finding the Krebs/State Highway 31 exit leading to the bridge over 270 is closed due to ongoing construction.
It is part of a rehabilitation project on the bridge that spans Highway 270, with the bridge normally leading to Washington Avenue in Krebs and on to State Highway 31.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation suggests drivers detour by continuing east on Highway 270, then turning north off the highway onto S.W. Seventh Street in Krebs to access Highway 31through Washington Avenue.
Although the Krebs/Highway off-ramp is closed to through traffic, the local ODOT office has left an opening between barriers so drivers can still exit to the right to reach Trinity Lutheran Church and the Eagle Hill Disc Golf Course, just to the south of 27O.
While there is no signage alerting drivers to the opening, Pastor Glenn Meyer of Trinity Lutheran is thankful the local ODOT facility provided the exit. With the Eagle Nest Disc Golf Course also on the church grounds, some drivers have driven right past the temporary exit, he said.
"It's hard enough for people to find us when they know where the exit is," Meyer said, with a chuckle. Some people have called him after completely missing the exit and driving all the way to the Gorilla Store in Krebs, he said.
He wants people to be aware of the exit not only to reach the church, but to get to the disc golf course as well. A nearby billiard establishment that has been closed now has an "open" sign, he said.
More people have been using the disc golf course with the warmer weather, said Meyer.
"You have parents and kids enjoying themselves," he said. "It's a good thing."
Meyer said there is no charge to use the course. People need to provide their own discs, which are currently available in McAlester, unless they make arrangements in advance. The Eagle Hill Disc Golf Course maintains the facility.
"It's a real blessing to have it," Meyer said.
Meanwhile, eastbound and westbound traffic on U.S Highway 270 is set to remain narrowed to one lane in each direction through June. Normally, the highway consists of two lanes heading each way.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation awarded the $2 million bridge rehabilitation project to C3 Construction, of Ada, in December, 2019.
It's related to another project along the same section of U.S. Highway 270 that began in early February for new road construction that includes repairs to the bridge approaches, surface and shoulders. Concrete barriers remain in place to narrow Highway 270 into one lane for each direction for about a half-mile where the construction is underway.
The speed limit on U.S. Highway 270 remains reduced from 45 mph to 35 mph when approaching the highway and bridge construction area in Krebs.
Contact James Beaty at email@example.com.