March Transportation Commission Meeting Wrap-up
New Port of Entry weigh station to be built on I-35 near Oklahoma/Texas border; $111.5 million in contracts approved
Highlights of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s Monday, March 2 meeting include a governor’s declaration of upcoming Work Zone Awareness Week in Oklahoma, presentation of national awards for Oklahoma Department of Transportation paving projects, an update on emergency repairs to a SH-11 bridge in Tulsa, awarding of a contract for the next Port of Entry weigh and inspection station in southern Oklahoma and approval of contracts for resurfacing and bridge rehabilitation on I-40 in Custer County, resurfacing of SH-102 in Pottawatomie County and widening of US-59 in Adair County.
Secretary of Transportation Gary Ridley presented the commission with a proclamation from Gov. Mary Fallin declaring March 23-27 Work Zone Awareness Week in Oklahoma. Each year, ODOT joins other transportation agencies, law enforcement and first responders in a national effort to call attention to the dangers of working and driving in highway construction and temporary maintenance zones. Ridley, who began his career as a maintenance worker with the department, noted that 57 ODOT employees have lost their lives in the line of duty, more than any other state agency.
Executive Director Mike Patterson updated commissioners on a successful project to repair and reopen the SH-11 (36th St. North) bridge over Dirty Butter Creek in northern Tulsa. The bridge was load posted in late January and then closed to traffic on Feb. 16 following the discovery of a void under a concrete bridge abutment due to a possible washout. A contract was awarded to repair the bridge which reopened nearly three weeks earlier than expected on Feb. 23.
Two ODOT paving projects were recognized for earning national awards from the American Concrete Pavement Association. A $26 million pavement rehabilitation project on I-40 in Okmulgee and Okfuskee counties and a $4.8 million concrete pavement overlay project on the Okarche bypass in Kingfisher County were both honored with silver awards from ACPA.
Oklahoma’s fourth new Port of Entry weigh and inspection station will be constructed on I-35 in southern Oklahoma. The commission approved a $9.6 million contract to construct the station between Thackerville and Marietta in Love County. While ODOT will construct and maintain the facility, Oklahoma Corporation Commission and Department of Public Safety staff will be responsible for weighing and inspecting trucks that cross the border from Texas. New Port of Entry facilities on I-35 in Kay County and I-40 in Beckham County are operational and a third on I-40 in Sequoyah County is nearing completion. Future stations are planned for US-271 in Choctaw County, US-69/US-75 in Bryan County and I-44 in Cotton County. The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority is planning a facility on I-44/Will Rogers Turnpike in Ottawa County and a Weigh in Motion virtual site is being designed for US-412 in Delaware County for a total of nine new facilities.
More improvements are coming to I-40 in western Oklahoma, thanks to the commission's approval of two contracts for bridge rehabilitation and 10 miles of interstate resurfacing east of Clinton and east of Weatherford in Custer County. Commissioners voted to award a more than $17 million contract to widen nearly five miles of US-59 near Westville in Adair County. This is part of an ongoing effort to widen the US-59 corridor to four lanes between Westville and Watts. They also awarded a contract with an $11.2 million base bid and possible financial incentives for early completion to widen and resurface more than four miles of SH-102 near Shawnee in Pottawatomie County.
In all, commissioners awarded 40 contracts totaling more than $111.5 million to improve bridges, highways, interstates and roads in 32 counties. Contracts were awarded for projects in Adair, Alfalfa, Carter, Comanche, Creek, Custer, Garvin, Grady, Grant, Greer, Haskell, Hughes, Jackson, Jefferson, Kingfisher, Latimer, Lincoln, Love, Mayes, McClain, McCurtain, McIntosh, Muskogee, Ottawa, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Pittsburg, Roger Mills, Texas, Tulsa, Washita and Woods counties.
As part of routine rotation of administrative duties among members of the commission, new officers were elected to preside over the panel’s meetings. District Two Commissioner David Burrage was selected to succeed District Four Commissioner Greg Love of Oklahoma City as Chairman. Burrage has served on the commission since 2011 as Vice-Chairman. Burrage lives in Atoka and previously served as a transportation commissioner from 1990 to 2002. Love, who has served as Chairman since his appointment in 2011, will remain a member of the commission. District Seven Commissioner Brad Burgess of Lawton was named Vice-Chairman. He was appointed in 2003 and reappointed in 2011. District Five Commissioner Todd Huckabay of Synder was reelected as Secretary/Treasurer. He was appointed to the commission in 2011.
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, April 6 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/meetings.
At the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s Monday, March 2 meeting, Oklahoma Department of Transportation Executive Director Mike Patterson updated commissioners on a successful project to repair and reopen the SH-11 (36th St. North) bridge over Dirty Butter Creek, pictured here. The bridge in northern Tulsa was closed for repairs on Feb. 16 and reopened to traffic nearly three weeks earlier than expected on Feb. 23.
Oklahoma Transportation Commission Chairman Greg Love of Oklahoma City, pictured on the right, passes the gavel to District Two Commissioner David Burrage, who was elected as the new chairman at the panel’s Monday, March 2 meeting. Burrage is from Atoka and has served on the commission since 2011 as Vice-Chairman and was previously a member from 1990 to 2002. Love, who has served as chairman since his appointment in 2011, will remain a member of the commission.
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