This pothole in Harrah shows how bad OKC’s sprawl has become…

We all know that Oklahoma City has some of the worst roads in the nation. Hell, all it takes is crossing the border in Texas or one of our other bordering states, and instantly the ride turns from bumpy to cozy.

There is absolutely no surprise when a massive pothole pops up on our city streets. We learn to deal with them like seeing that same turtle shell on the Mario Kart course. What’s more frustrating to me is when those potholes appear in areas that are very-much-not-Oklahoma-City-but-technically-still.

Enter the King Hell Newalla Pothole:

A major pothole was causing frustrations for many drivers on Harrah Road between Southeast 74th and 59th near Newalla.

“We’re going to call it the Harrah Road monster, just be careful, it is dangerous,” Aryn Whitmoyer said.

Whitmoyer says she takes the road to work everyday, and the pothole damaged her tire.

“The pothole is at least I’d say four feet long, I don’t know what the depth is, and three to four feet wide, it’s ridiculous,” she said.

She says at least a dozen people had their tires blown out because of it…

News 4 was able to track down the public works director of Oklahoma City after a few phone calls. He says he didn’t know about the problem, but quickly sent out a crew to evaluate the problem and put up a barricade. He says repairs are expected to start next week.

This is awful for everyone, but can we all step back and realize how insane it is that Oklahoma City is in charge of fixing roads that are basically in Newalla? The road is even named Harrah, which is just as far the hell out into the boonies.

I’m not throwing shade on these areas. I grew up in Midwest City, so I had a lot of friends who either transferred to the school I attended, or I met them otherwise because of proximity. So many of their families lived in areas like Choctaw, sent their kids to Mid-Del schools, and Oklahoma City took care of their utilities, because they technically lived in OKC even though it was a 45 minute drive with no traffic into the heart of the city. Make sense?

Oklahoma City has a larger land mass than any other city in the continental United States except for ones in Montana, Alaska or Florida, and considering the size of our population, it’s nuts. I don’t know what it would take for city leaders to be able to annex off land to the neighboring communities – maybe a Land Run? – but it would make a lot of sense for everyone involved. If you live in what is essentially Harrah, you’d be better of if your own elected leadership could take care of potholes. If you live in OKC, you’d be better off to not have your tax dollars strewn away to these far-flung areas.

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15 Responses

  1. I live one mile from this massive pothole. It’s not ‘way out in the boondocks.’ I commuted to Okc on that road to I-40 for 25 years, daily. It was a 32 minute drive from my home to my office near the Paseo. There are a LOT of nice, expensive homes out this way and OKC benefits from that. People living out here work in Okc and of course have lunches and shop in Okc. Since the new turnpike construction started out here, the ‘side roads’ are in horrible condition. We hope ODOT fixes what they have torn up. There was a bad accident at this same spot a few days ago and two people are still in the hospital.

    1. The population in Harrah is 5,. You’re not contributing that much!

      1. LOL I was thinking this same thing.

  2. Oklahoma City is the largest pure municipal city by area. All the larger ones have consolidated their county and city governments. OKC can’t do that because the City is actually larger than the County. Consolidating would mean that Canadian, Cleveland, and Pottawatomie Counties would have to give away prime suburban property for tax revenue unless some trade-offs could be made.

  3. Let’s don’t let this distract us from the the fact that in 1966, Al Bundy scored four touchdowns in a single game while playing for the Polk High School Panthers in the 1966 city championship game versus Andrew Johnson High School, including the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds against his old nemesis, Bubba “Spare Tire” Dixon.

  4. I hit that Saturday evening on my way to pick up pizza for the OU game. Got forced by oncoming traffic to hit it (not their fault but normally I cross the center line in my truck to miss it). For the person wondering the depth…about 7 inches. Fun fact: in a one-ton truck you need to physically put your kidneys back where they belong after hitting it 😉

  5. Mark, population of Harrah is nearing 8000 and that’s not counting the people in McLoud, Little Axe and Newalla who commute to Oklahoma City — and work — and spend money there. We have no large stores nearby. 300 New homes that will sell for $200k plus are being built right now, in Oklahoma City boundaries and they are 2 miles from this pot hole.

  6. Y’all think that holes bad I live on corner of 89th and Luther and 89th has 2/3 holes just as big an one very much deeper. I hit one couple nights back because i couldn’t avoid it like the man in the truck above me because traffic (not those fault.) An let’s just say 2 ruined tires 1 very bent rim an I was only going 15/20 when I hit it…. My road hasent been fixed or repaved properly seince I was in middle school… I’m 33. But get this okc can afford to make a turnpike alll the way to 89th… An off ramps 100 feet over a highway… But they can’t fix a road they should have fixed before they ever started the turnpike… Fix your existing streets before you build more. Then agian this is Oklahoma idiots obviously run our transportation department…

    1. Keep in mind that there are multiple agencies responsible for the various streets, turnpikes, and highways. Streets within the city limits are generally the financial responsibility of the city, and streets out of the city limits are generally the responsibility of the county. Turnpikes and interstates are the financial responsibility of the State (Turnpike Association for turnpikes, ODOT for highways). For the road repairs needed on 89th, I’d strongly recommend contacting the OKC Action Center (; the City often doesn’t know there’s a problem until someone reports it, but they usually fix things pretty quick once they’re notified.

      1. Oh, and you may be able to get reimbursed for the damages to your vehicle. Start here:

  7. There’s actually been discussion in previous years of allowing nearby towns to annex the outlying OKC land to reduce the cost burden of OKC providing services to the outer edges. I don’t remember the numbers, but the last X miles of radius of the city is by far more expensive to support (water, roads, etc) compared to the land that is closer to the center just due to density and the number of customers serviced per X amount of spending.

  8. Does OKC allocate enough resources to street maintenance? Enough to maintain your streets in an acceptable condition.

    If not, I think you know what you need to do to make things better.

  9. Walk to work. Then you don’t have to whine about sprawl and its effects.

    1. Right. And if Oklahoma’s schools don’t suit you, quit whining about it and teach your damn kids at home!

  10. “News 4 was able to track down the public works director of Oklahoma City after a few phone calls. He says he didn’t know about the problem, but quickly sent out a crew to evaluate the problem and put up a barricade. He says repairs are expected to start next week.”

    a. Shows that they don’t check often enough, these don’t pop up overnight.
    b. “didn’t know” is how they get out of paying damage claims.
    c. Their patch jobs are darn near as bad as the potholes sometimes.

    I’ve still got two bent rims and suspension damage to fix from this particular hole.

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