ODOT Apologies for AT&T Disruption Caused by Route 66 Construction

Bison Blinds

A bad Monday turned into a bad Tuesday for customers of AT&T in Luther and further east when construction crews clearing trees on the Route 66 road project inadvertently pulled up internet lines that had grown around tree roots. It happened Monday, and then again on Tuesday, hampering businesses, work, school, and more who lost internet and phone service. The costly disruptions made having a landline and a secondary internet source, such as wireless, a wise consideration.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation Strategic Communications Department responded to the Luther Register’s inquiry about what happened, adding in that clearing work has ceased in the area while utilities in the section are reassessed. The road work that includes widening and shoulders, to increase safety, is expected to last for another year or so.

From ODOT:

  • A construction contractor working on an ODOT project inadvertently cut live AT&T lines in the Luther area Monday and Tuesday. One location was SH-66 and Hiwassee and the other was at SH-66 and Indian Meridian.
  • Crews are clearing the rights-of-way along the extent of the project and it appears that AT&T lines moved in 2018 became entangled in tree roots. Large excavation equipment is being used to clear the trees and the lines were inadvertently disrupted as part of the clearing process.
  • All clearing work has been stopped while ODOT reviews utilities in this section of the SH-66 corridor in an effort to prevent any further disruptions to residents in the area. ODOT met with AT&T Thursday on site and will work closely with the utility to limit any further disruptions to complete the clearing.
  • The relocation of the lines was completed Aug. 31, 2018.
  • ODOT works closely with utility companies ahead of the construction process in order to avoid issues such as this, but rare occurrences like this can happen during construction.
  • Meanwhile, the contractor continues work in other areas of the project such as installing drainage systems and paving work.
  • The department is sorry that this disruption occurred and apologizes to all those impacted.

In addition to the AT&T outage, electricity was lost to part of Luther on Wednesday in an unrelated high-wind incident.

The service outages has some businesses assessing options, particularly for internet service. One solution is securing a back-up internet source. AiroSurf Communications provides that service, as explained in this article about the business.

Airosurf provides backup internet or redundancy, for Luther businesses and those who work at home. In today’s connected business world, you need a backup to the backup. Outages, interruptions, and network failures can lead to lost sales, customers, productivity, and data security. Redundancy is best achieved by diversifying the number and types of internet service providers, or ISPs. Sidenote, when the electricity is out, maybe due to a weather event, the wireless connectivity and even fiber internet are out too.

Business Spotlight: Airosurf Communications, The Luther Register

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