November Transportation Commission Wrap-up: Additional public traffic cameras coming to metro areas
Additional public traffic cameras coming to metro areas, federal funding bill moves forward, more than $39 million in contracts awarded
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 2015
Highlights of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s Monday, Nov. 9 meeting include a report on federal funding developments and the new texting and driving ban, a special presentation to a Boy Scout for his efforts to improve highway safety, approval of two contracts for installation of public traffic cameras in Oklahoma City and Tulsa and awarding of contracts for resurfacing on I-35 in Murray County, reconstruction of SH-32 in Love County and resurfacing and bridge work on US-283 in Jackson County.
In his report to the commission, Executive Director Mike Patterson detailed recent developments at the federal level as Congress moves closer to a long-term solution for transportation funding. On Nov. 5, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act, a six-year federal transportation funding bill that will now go to a conference committee. Patterson expressed his thanks to members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation for their work on the legislation. He also thanked the state legislature and Gov. Mary Fallin for approving Trooper Nicholas Dees and Trooper Keith Burch Act, which bans texting and driving in Oklahoma. The law went into effect on Nov. 1 and will help address distracted driving and protect highway workers, drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians.
“There’s not a single ODOT maintenance worker who hasn’t had a close call working alongside highway traffic, so this law to provide additional safety is much appreciated.” Patterson said.
Patterson also recognized Edmond-area Boy Scout Joshua Kuykendall for bringing a safety issue to ODOT’s attention, which resulted in improvements to a busy highway intersection. Joshua noticed inadequate signage and lane markings on a SH-74 right turn lane at Waterloo Rd. in Oklahoma County and expressed his concerns in a letter to the editor of The Oklahoman as part of the requirements for a merit badge. The department investigated the concern and concluded that, while driver responsibility plays a major role in safety, there was more ODOT could do to better alert motorists at the intersection. To improve the corridor, engineers have posted additional signs and restriped the intersection.
The public will have a better view of metro-area traffic conditions thanks to commission approval of two contracts for installation of additional traffic cameras at seven locations in Oklahoma City and 23 locations in Tulsa. Multiple traffic cameras are placed at each location on major highway corridors and interchanges for use by first responders to rapidly assess accident scenes and by the public to check congestion and plan routes before traveling. The traffic cameras are part of ODOT’s Intelligent Transportation System and do not record video or images. There are currently 70 traffic cameras locations on highways in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Lawton and in Kay County. The camera views can be accessed at www.oktraffic.org, with a map of interstate and metro area traffic conditions.
Commissioners awarded a nearly $700,000 contract to resurface more than two miles of southbound I-35 near Turner Falls in Murray County. They also awarded a $13.6 million contract to reconstruct more than four miles of SH-32 near Burneyville in Love County and a nearly $10 million contract for resurfacing and bridge work on US-283 near Altus in Jackson County.
In all, commissioners awarded 17 contracts totaling more than $39 million to improve bridges, highways, interstates and roads in 16 counties. Contracts were awarded for projects in Alfalfa, Cleveland, Coal, Delaware, Garfield, Grant, Harper, Jackson, Love, Marshall, Murray, Oklahoma, Payne, Pontotoc, Texas and Tulsa 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 meeting is scheduled for Dec. 7 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 their Monday, Nov. 9 meeting, members of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission approved a contract for installation of additional traffic cameras at 23 locations in Tulsa, depicted on the above map. Multiple traffic cameras are placed at each location on major highway corridors for use by first responders and the public. The traffic cameras are part of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s Intelligent Transportation System and do not record video or images. They are expected to be installed in spring 2016. Seven traffic camera locations will also be also be added in Oklahoma City.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation honored Boy Scout Joshua Kuykendall, center, for his good citizenship at Monday’s Oklahoma Transportation Commission meeting. Joshua highlighted a safety concern on SH-74 at Waterloo Road as part of a communication badge. Pictured, back row from left, are Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation Gary Ridley, ODOT Division Four Engineer Brian Taylor, District Four Transportation Commissioner Greg Love, Scoutmaster Randy Chapa and ODOT Executive Director Mike Patterson. Front row, from left, are Traffic Engineer James Montgomery, Joshua, his mother, Deborah Kuykendall, and Transportation Commission Chairman David Burrage.
(Editors and News Directors:For more information, call the ODOT Media and Public Relations Division at 405-521-6000.)