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July 14, 2013

Agencies chip in for Halliburton road widening project

DUNCAN — All pieces are in place for a new truck entrance into the Halliburton manufacturing facility on Duncan’s south side, with the state picking up a big chunk of the estimated $206,000 cost.

The project seems simple enough: Widen 2nd Street just south of Martin Luther King Boulevard to create a left-turn lane for trucks entering the facility.

Trucks heading south on 2nd Street could wait and then turn left onto facility grounds without backing up vehicles behind them, something that would enhance safety and keep traffic flowing.

But several entities have a hand in the effort and its projected costs, including the company, Stephens County, Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation (DAEDF) and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT).

“Everyone is chipping in a little bit to get it done,” said Stephens County Commissioner Lonnie Estes.

The idea took root more than a year ago when Halliburton said it wanted a new truck entrance into its sprawling grounds and facilities, which include the main plant and centers for technology and testing.

DAEDF, whose mission includes attracting industry and good-paying jobs to the Duncan area and trying to keep major manufacturing employers happy here, took the lead in coordinating the project.

Halliburton is Duncan’s largest private employer, with about 2,900 workers. The new road entrance was sought as part of plans to add 175 more jobs and spend more than $15 million to expand its facilities.

“It’s in the sphere of the community and at the same time you have to help a company that employs almost 3,000, is continuing to make capital investments into the community, and the jobs they are seeking are very high-paying jobs,” said DAEDF President Lyle Roggow.

 In its pitch to the state for financial help, Roggow said Halliburton has been in Duncan since 1919, has had good and bad years but “has always met the needs of the companies requesting their services.”

 ODOT notified Roggow last month that it had approved about $115,000 in industrial access funds to pay for the road and paving materials.

 Stephens County, through the county commissioners, will provide about $6,500 of in-kind labor moving dirt to the site and prepping the area. Halliburton is providing about $7,100 to supply dirt, packing material and water.

 DAEDF is picking up the rest of the costs through money it gets from sales taxes paid in Duncan.

 Roggow did not have a precise timetable for completing the project but said it could be sometime in late fall.

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