FORT GIBSON, Okla. — Cherokee Nation officials joined leaders from the town of Fort Gibson and Muskogee County Commissioner for district 1 to cut the ribbon on the East Benge road improvement project on Monday, December 6.

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Deputy Chief Bryan Warner, Chief of Staff Corey Bunch, Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Executive Director Michael Lynn, Director of Transportation Andy Quetone, and District 4 Tribal Councilor Dr. Mike Dobbins met with Town of Fort Gibson Administrator James Walters and Muskogee County District 1 Commissioner Ken Doke to celebrate the road work, which was completed on East Benge Road running east to from Wiley Road to 2 Mile Road.

“The Cherokee Nation has always been proud of its sophisticated transportation program. The tribe has always helped our tribal communities, state, and federal partners with safer, well-maintained roadways in the reservation,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “Projects like the Benge Road Improvement help our Cherokee and non-Cherokee Citizens alike. Its benefits range from preventing wear and tear on our vehicles all the way up to increasing our real estate value. The more that we focus on investments in terms of infrastructure in the Cherokee Nation, the more benefits we’ll see for our communities.”

The Cherokee Nation contributed over $100,000 for the East Benge Road project.

"I am excited for this partnership between the Cherokee Nation and the City of Ft. Gibson with regard to the Benge Road project,” Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor for District 4 Dr. Mike Dobbins said. “When complete, the east/west artery will provide an excellent connection between communities, and will serve both Cherokees and non-natives well."

The repaving was approximately a mile long. The project included tearing out asphalt, removing a failing base, and evaluating the road to prevent water runoff from overtopping the road. There was also a new cross drain installed, 2 inches of new asphalt over lay added, as well as leveled.

“We’re really excited. We’re very pleased with the cooperation with Cherokee Nation and county,” Fort Gibson Town Administrator James Walters said. “This road was in such disrepair. The Cherokee Nation certainly made it possible for us to get it done. All of our residents out here are very pleased. It’s a beautiful project and we’re certainly looking forward to a good future with the Cherokee Nation.”