Southern Oklahoma’s Arbuckle Mountains is home to Turner Falls State Park, which draws thousands of visitors each year.
In 1968, the city of Davis, Okla., took over the operation of Turner Falls. Over the years, the park regained its popularity and Davis’s officials determined that the increasing number of visitors to the park called for an alternate access road. The new road also would double as an emergency exit and fire break.
The Davis officials worked with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) to solve all the specification needs to create a more than a 0.25-mi. road.
As soon as the approvals were obtained, construction began.
Construction included an acceleration lane to enter Highway 77 at a place called “hairpin curve” — formed by the highway following the curvature of a small valley and resembling a lady’s hair pin.
Davis officials and ODOT agreed that the road would need to have a large amount of trees removed to enhance the visibility when entering the highway. However, they also hoped to maintain as much of nature as possible for the environment.
Davis officials explored different methods to comply with ODOT’s requirements and budget restraints.
Coincidentally, IronWolf, a manufacturer of slashing and crushing equipment in Noble, Okla., needed a demonstration site for its new 700B Slasher.
Richard Peek of O.M.T. Enterprises, an IronWolf dealer in Wynnewood, Okla., organized the demo of the 700B Slasher in early April.
As a result of the demo, Davis officials turned the demonstration site into an actual job site. The project used IronWolf 700B Slasher to save the city of Davis more than $500,000.
The 700B Slasher has a 10-ft. (3 m) wide cutting head that is equipped to slash and up-root trees up to 14 in. (35.5 cm) in diameter. The 700 hp (521 kW) slashing/crusher unit is mounted on a BRON crawler tractor with 36-in. (91 cm) wide LGP pads.
The crusher breaks all types of rock and concrete as well as other materials and forms fines of predetermined sizes. When the 700B makes a pass, the remains become fines that could be used as base material for road beds.
The IronWolf 700B spent 20 hours of actual work time slashing and removing cedar and oak trees while breaking and grinding granite, limestone, quartz and sandstone.
The 700B cleared the project’s road bed portion and continued working on slopes that approached 35 to 40 degrees.
“We had a couple of [John Deere] 750J dozers on site to move some of the rock after it was crushed by the IronWolf in order to level and create the proper grade for the road bed,” Peek said.
According to Peek, the more than 40 people in attendance were impressed with the 700B and considered the one-day demonstration to be a success.
There were comments such as “I can’t believe it … they said it would work and it did,” Peek said.
Attendees included Terry Tree Service, OG&E, Anadarko Petroleum and Pavers Inc. Ed Parks, Darryl McCurtain and Sandra Webb represented the city of Davis.
IronWolf’s Todd Howe, president; Bruce Morain, owner; Larry Beller, vice president; Jay Baker and Greg Ogle, regional sales managers, were on hand for the demonstration.
“Over the years, we have conducted many machine demonstrations and I have to admit, that this was one of the most successful and meaningful we have ever had in that we were able to not only show what our machine will do, but also to help the City of Davis with one of their needs,” Baker said.
Tim Pope, vice president of Terry Tree Service LLC in Rochester, N.Y., said he was impressed to the point that he took the controls and operated the 700B himself.
Arbuckle Mountains’ State Park
Turner Falls State Park’s 1,500 acres (607 ha) has been compared to the Grand Canyon and the Black Hills of Dakota and has been a recreational area since 1868.
The park hosts some natural rock buildings such as the Castle, which was built during the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).
Additionally, there are roads leading to the park, which were built by prisoners during the Great Depression. Most of the rock stairs were built from natural rock found in the area.
The park also boasts natural swimming holes and a 77 ft. waterfall, the highest in Oklahoma.
The Arbuckle Mountains were formed 440 to 550 million years ago in the Precambian and early Paleozoic eras. The rock formed during that period was crystalline extrusive and intrusive rock. There also is rhyolite porphyry and granite.
These ores, overlaid with limestone and sandstone, are arranged in a nearly vertical orientation caused by buckling of the strata and are referred to as cultivated rock. All the rock in the area is extremely dense and hard. The Arbuckle Simpson aquifer also lies beneath the mountains and provides some of the purest spring water in the world.
For more information on IronWolf, call 405/872-1890. CEG