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Edmond officials OK use of eminent domain for land

EDMOND — City officials might have to use eminent domain to secure four parcels of land to proceed with improvements designed to alleviate traffic problems at Bryant Avenue and Covell Road.

Construction of left turn lanes and left turn signal phasing are planned for the intersection where traffic often backs up, especially in the mornings and evenings.

Six parcels of land are needed for the right of way at that intersection, said City Engineer Steve Manek.

City council members this week approved four resolutions declaring the necessity for acquiring the property for public use and authorizing acquisition by eminent domain.

"There are four properties that we have not been able to obtain through the normal acquisition process," said City Attorney Steve Murdock. "To proceed, resolutions will need to be approved by the city council so that legal processes can begin which will enable us to proceed with the project on a timely basis."

The city has been able to acquire two of the pieces of property, Manek said.

The cost for the first two parcels of land was $60,355. No land has been donated, Manek said.

"The city has made offers for the parcels still needed for the construction of the intersection improvements," Manek said. "Some of the parcel owners have opted not to counter-offer, others have countered with costs higher than the city's offer."

Officials need 10,199 square feet of land from Charles and Stacie Michael, 8,363 square feet from James and Frances Long, 32,732 square feet of land from San Ysidro LLC, and 2,295 square feet from RAK Properties Inc. 

"As the public knows, we have been trying to make major improvements at those intersections and we regret we have to resort to this technique to acquire the appropriate right of way on Bryant," said Mayor Charles Lamb.

City officials are planning to make similar improvements at Covell Road and Santa Fe Avenue.

Plans at both intersections are considered short-term improvements because Covell Road is expected to be turned into a four-lane parkway.

The two projects are estimated to cost $1.5 million and will be paid from a special tax approved in 2000 for capital improvements.

Construction plans are 95 percent complete. Plans are to start construction on the project sometime this year.

Meetings to determine what utilities needed to be moved started in April.

Diana Baldwin

Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote the original stories about the... Read more ›