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Relief in sight for high school congestion

Due to construction, southbound traffic on South Mustang Road near Mustang High School will be detoured when school begins Friday. Photo / Chris EversoleBy CHRIS EVERSOLE

When Mustang Public Schools open Friday, southbound traffic will be detoured on South Mustang Road in an area that includes three schools – Mustang High, Mustang Elementary and Horizon Intermediate.
An improvement is coming for parents, teachers and students, who have coped with detours since work on Mustang Road began in March.
The city’s goal is to complete work past Forster Drive, which is the main road entering the high school, within four weeks, said Assistant City Manager Justin Battles.
School officials are working closely with the city to let people know about the detours, said Jason Pittenger, the assistant superintendent for operations.
The police department will help direct traffic.
“We are working with the school and all involved to make it as tolerable as possible,” Police Chief Robert Groseclose said.
Pittenger said his biggest concern is traffic for the opening of football season — the traditional rivalry matchup against Yukon — on Sept. 6, in Bronco Stadium, west of the high school.
“There will be 20,000 people, and we’re working with the city and the police department on ways to improve traffic flow,” he said.
“They are wonderful partners in finding ways to make it as easy for patrons.”
The assistant superintendent said the school district is being patient with the city.
“We want the work to be done right,” he said. “We’re staying out of their way so it can be done quickly and safely.”
Accessing the schools along South Mustang Road is challenging because alternative routes are limited.
The only nearby access point to the west of Mustang Road is Heights Drive, which runs through a residential neighborhood.
To access Mustang Road from the south, drivers must go to SW 89th Street.
They have to reach 89th from Sara Road, a mile to the east of Mustang Road, or from Czech Hall Road, a mile to the west.
When the current work is completed, construction crews will move to the next section of the Mustang Road project.
The entire project is due to be completed in February, Battles said.
The project is improving drainage and widening Mustang Road.
Meanwhile, work has been completed on SW 15th Street, which includes widening the road around the entrance to John Kilpatrick Turnpike as part of the turnpike’s extension through the Mustang area.
Traffic around two schools on 15th Street — Mustang North Middle and Mustang Creek Elementary, had been clogged in the spring.
Oklahoma City has just completed work that widened Morgan Road near Mustang Valley Elementary School, Pittenger said.

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