The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

8 November 2007

Side o' the road

We've all seen it: usually it's a little white cross with minimal inscription, sometimes accompanied by flowers. What it means is that somebody died there. I don't focus on them, exactly, but I have been known to mouth a few words, something along the lines of "There but for the grace of God," et cetera.

So what happens when they rebuild the road?

Many who travel [Oklahoma state highway] 199 will never forget the road's tragic history, Including Althea Raines. She says her husband built several memorials ... and Raines is wondering what will happen to them when roadwork starts.

"ODOT is going to move them over, or we are going to move them over, or are the families? What's going to happen?"

ODOT, as it happens, isn't going to move them:

Oklahoma Department of Transportation officials say they understand how much the memorials mean, but once roadwork begins, families will have to move them.

"We don't have any provisions in our statutes that allow memorials to be placed on state right of way. It's essentially one of those issues that we understand the sensitivity issue so we just overlook it."

One can always hope that the road improvements will result in fewer memorials in years to come.

(Seen Anywhere But Here, as it were.)

Posted at 6:55 AM to Soonerland