July Transportation Commission Wrap-up: Work underway to repair flooding and rock slide damage
Work underway to repair flooding and rock slide damage; nearly $55 million in contracts awarded
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 8, 2015
Highlights of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s Monday, July 6 meeting include a report on the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s efforts to repair flooding and rockslide damage and an update on federal funding legislation. Commissioners approved contracts for right-of-way work at the I-35/I-240 interchange and resurfacing on US-62 (N.E. 23rd St.) in Oklahoma City, cable barrier installation on I-35 in Murray County and pavement rehabilitation on US-75 in Tulsa County and took action on the Executive Director’s salary.
The commission heard an update on the ongoing effort to address the rockslide that has I-35 narrowed near Turner Falls in Murray County. Following commission approval of emergency contracts on June 30, contractors mobilized and began preparation work to remove part of the damaged rock formation in the Arbuckle Mountains. After the rock face is stabilized, another contractor will remove the fallen debris from the highway. As work is expected to continue through August, I-35 will remain narrowed to one lane in each direction near Turner Falls and drivers should expect delays or consider using US-81 to the west or US-69 to the east. Emergency repairs to flood damage on other highways and county roads are also underway statewide.
Executive Director Mike Patterson gave an update on the status of a long-term federal highway funding bill currently making its way through Congress. The DRIVE Act is authored by U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, who chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee. In June, Inhofe visited the site of a $45 million widening and bridge replacement project on US-169 between Tulsa and Owasso to highlight the importance of transportation funding.
“The DRIVE Act would provide six years of federal funding with annual incremental increases, a new national freight program and reforms to the project delivery process,” Patterson said. “We are very optimistic that this legislation will pass quickly and we certainly appreciate Senator Inhofe’s leadership in this area.”
Commissioners voted to award contracts for right-of-way clearance at the I-240/I-35 interchange in southeast Oklahoma City and pavement resurfacing on more than three miles of US-62 (N.E. 23rd St.) in northeast Oklahoma City and Choctaw. They also approved contracts for installation of seven miles of cable barrier on I-35 near Turner Falls in Murray County and nearly three miles of pavement rehabilitation on US-75 north of SH-20 in Tulsa County.
Following executive session, commissioners voted to increase Patterson’s salary to the mid-range level, citing months of performance review and a study that was conducted on the salaries of all state agency directors.
In all, commissioners awarded 29 contracts totaling nearly $55 million to improve bridges, highways, interstates and roads in 23 counties. Contracts were awarded for projects in Adair, Beckham, Creek, Custer, Delaware, Dewey, Grady, Grant, Jackson, Jefferson, Kay, Kingfisher, Kiowa, McClain, McIntosh, Mayes, Murray, Oklahoma, Ottawa, Pittsburg, Pushmataha, 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 Monday, Aug. 10 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.
At the Monday, July 6 meeting of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission, officials with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation gave a report on the ongoing project to stabilize the area of a rockslide that narrowed I-35 in Murray County. A contractor is currently working to remove the unstable rock formation in the Arbuckle Mountains overlooking the interstate.
Repairs are underway to SH-89 at Post Oak Creek in Jefferson County, which was damaged by flooding in June. At their Monday, July 6 meeting, members of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission heard an update from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation on several emergency projects to repair damage to highways and county roads.