August Transportation Commission Wrap-Up: I-35 in Arbuckle Mountains reopened early
I-35 in Arbuckle Mountains reopened early following rock slide; $62 million in contracts awarded
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2015
Highlights of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s Monday, August 10 meeting include a report on the Oklahoma Department Transportation’s efforts to repair flooding damage and the early reopening of I-35 in the Arbuckle Mountains, an update on federal funding and adoption of a 25-year transportation plan. The commission approved contracts for bridge projects on SH-11 in Tulsa County, I-35 in Kay County and SH-76 in McClain County, along with I-35 resurfacing projects in Moore, Purcell and Pauls Valley.
Executive Director Mike Patterson updated commissioners on the statewide effort to repair summer flooding damage, including early reopening of I-35 near Turner Falls on Aug. 7 following cleanup of the June rock slide in the Arbuckle Mountains. Construction contractors worked to remove the unstable rock formation overlooking I-35 and clear more than 14,000 tons of fallen debris from the lanes, allowing all lanes of the interstate to reopen more than two weeks earlier than anticipated.
“The I-35 rock slide was truly an unprecedented event for ODOT and we are very grateful to the Colorado Department of Transportation for lending us their expertise and to the contractors for their quick work to reopen the interstate,” Patterson said. “Most importantly, we appreciate the patience of the traveling public who were impacted.”
Patterson also reported to commissioners on recent action by Congress to pass a short-term extension of federal transportation funding through October. He noted that the DRIVE Act, a six-year transportation bill sponsored by U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, has been approved by the Senate and is optimistic that it will be taken up by the House of Representatives soon.
The commission voted to adopt the 2015-2040 Oklahoma Long Range Transportation Plan, a policy document that guides the agency’s long-term vision for all modes of transportation for the next 25 years. The plan was created through a year-long process that included several public meetings and stakeholder input.
Commissioners approved a contract with a $4.3 million base bid for replacement of two bridges on SH-11 near Sperry and in northern Tulsa and acontract with a $2.6 million base bid to replace an I-35 bridge over a railroad near Blackwell in Kay County. Both contracts include possible financial incentives for early completion. They also gave their approval to a nearly $4 million contract to replace the SH-76 bridge over North Fork Walnut Creek near Blanchard in McClain County and contracts for I-35 resurfacing projects in Moore, Purcell and Pauls Valley.
In all, commissioners awarded 26 contracts totaling nearly $62 million to improve bridges, highways, interstates and roads in 23 counties. Contracts were awarded for projects in Atoka, Beaver, Beckham, Caddo, Carter, Cleveland, Coal, Garvin, Greer, Harper, Johnston, Kay, LeFlore, Logan, McClain, McCurtain, Osage, Payne, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Rogers, Tulsa and Woodward counties.
The eight-member panel, appointed by the governor to oversee the state’s transportation development, awards project contracts for road and bridge construction every month. The next regular meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 11 a.m. in the R.A. Ward Transportation Building in Oklahoma City.
Contracts, bid information, the commission’s monthly agenda and project details can be viewed at www.odot.org.
Traffic is flowing normally on I-35 in the Arbuckle Mountains following the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s work to clear a rock slide that closed the northbound lanes in June. At its Monday, Aug. 10 meeting, the Oklahoma Transportation Commission heard that all lanes were reopened more than two weeks earlier than anticipated.
At their Monday, Aug. 10 meeting, members of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission heard from Oklahoma Department of Transportation Executive Director Mike Patterson about recent action by Congress to provide short-term federal transportation funding through October. He noted that the DRIVE Act, a six-year bill sponsored by U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, has been approved by the Senate and is optimistic that it will be taken up by the House of Representatives after their recess.
(Editors and News Directors:The 2015-2040 Long Range Transportation Plan can be viewed online: http://ok.gov/odot/Programs_and_Projects/Transportation_Programs/LRTP_2015-2040.html. A list of all contracts awarded by the commission is available online at http://www.odot.org/newsmedia/awards/index.htm. For more information, call the ODOT Media and Public Relations Division at 405-521-6000.)