Large trucks banned from downtown during filming

Robert Smith
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

Large trucks are temporarily banned from passing through downtown Pawhuska on Main Street (which is Oklahoma 60). Interim City Manager Tonya Bright said the prohibition was related to movie filming.

”It is going to stay there until they’re through filming the movie,” Bright said.

It may be necessary to block all traffic on Main Street at times to accommodate the needs of the movie company, Bright said.

Filming was in progress in Pawhuska last week for the motion picture adaptation of David Grann’s book, “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Scene shooting initially took place at the lot south of 5th Street where a train station set had been created. By the end of the week, the film work had moved to a two-block stretch of Kihekah Avenue.

Signs were in place last week on state Oklahoma 60 and 99, notifying drivers of big rigs they would need to use the truck bypass located just south of downtown.

Bright clarified the restriction on large trucks being driven downtown was not related to a recent overlay of fresh asphalt on portions of Oklahoma 60 in town. At the beginning of last week, the new asphalt still needed directional arrows painted on it.

Interim Police Chief Lorrie Hennesy said she would like it if the large truck ban were permanent, but she said the state is unlikely to agree to such a change (Oklahoma 60 is a state road).

”I would love for the semis to go down that way,” Hennesy said, noting it would be better from a safety perspective.

The use of Main Street by large trucks is an ongoing issue in Pawhuska, because much of the community’s economic growth in recent years has involved public interest in retail businesses located either along or near the highway. Pedestrians cross Main Street regularly to get to and from The Pioneer Woman Mercantile, for instance.

In other news about movie-related street closures, the movie company delayed a planned closure of the intersection of Kihekah Avenue and 6th Street to Wednesday, May 26 following what Mark Walton, the assistant locations manager, described as “constructive feedback.”

”We have now spread dirt on the street and are asking the general public to stay clear as not to disturb the set,” Walton said in an email May 26.

Following a heavy rain Thursday afternoon, May 27, the Journal-Capital asked Walton how well the dirt covering for the portion of Kihekah Avenue being used as a set had held up.

”Most of it held pretty well. Luckily, we planned for rain and we were successfully able to protect the city storm drainage system from the run off that we did have,” Walton said.