October Commission Wrap-Up: Funding challenges in Eight-year Plan highlighted, contracts awarded
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2016
Highlights of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s Monday, Oct. 3 meeting include approval of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s updated Eight-year Construction Work Plan and Asset Preservation Plan, an update on funding challenges and details on I-40 bridge repairs in Sequoyah County. Contracts were awarded for major highway projects on SH-33 in Logan County, I-35 in McClain County, I-44 in Tulsa County, US-169 in Nowata County and engineering work for an upcoming project on US-69/75 in Bryan County.
Commissioners approved ODOT’s nearly $6.4 billion Eight-year Plan for Federal Fiscal Years 2017-2024. The plan, together with the Asset Preservation Plan for State Fiscal Years 2017-2020, contains the ODOT highway and bridge projects scheduled for the next several years based on anticipated federal and state highway funding. The updated plan is smaller than in previous years due to recent state funding cuts.
“I appreciate the commission’s approval of the updated Eight-year Plan which continues ODOT’s focus on structurally deficient bridges and puts more resources toward pavement conditions,” Executive Director Mike Patterson said. “While we were able to keep all previously scheduled projects in the plan, many had to be moved back to later years and fewer new projects were added due to budget cuts.”
Patterson also provided commissioners with details on repairs to an I-40 bridge just west of Sallisaw. Westbound I-40 was narrowed to one lane at Big Sallisaw Creek on Sept. 20 as a precaution after a routine inspection identified cracks in one of the beams on the westbound bridge. A $144,000 repair project began earlier this week and is expected to be completed by late October, when all lanes of I-40 will be reopened.
The commission approved a more than $17 million contract for replacement of the SH-33 bridge over Cottonwood Creek and the BNSF railroad in Guthrie. This project will help alleviate longtime flooding and maintenance problems on one of the only crossings in the city by replacing the narrow bridge built in 1936 with a modern, four-lane structure. Also approved was a nearly $2.4 million contract for rehabilitation of the SH-74 bridge over I-35 in Purcell.
Commissioners awarded a nearly $30 million contract with possible financial incentives for I-44 bridge reconstruction and widening near I-244 in east Tulsa. They also awarded contracts for other work in eastern Oklahoma, including a project to replace two bridges on US-169 near South Coffeyville in Nowata County and interchange construction on US-69 in McAlester.
Additionally, the commission approved an $8.8 million engineering contract for the design of future US-69/75 upgrades between Calera and Durant. This major construction project is being expedited to FFY 2019 thanks to a federal FASTLANE grant, and is currently estimated at more than $110 million.
In all, commissioners awarded 34 contracts totaling $132 million to improve bridges, highways, interstates and roads in 26 counties. Contracts were awarded for projects in Beckham, Blaine, Bryan, Cleveland, Cotton, Creek, Custer, Delaware, Grady, Kiowa, Lincoln, Logan, McClain, Muskogee, Nowata, Okmulgee, Osage, Payne, Pittsburg, Pottawatomie, Pushmataha, Roger Mills, Sequoyah, Tulsa, Woods and Woodward counties. A list of all awarded contracts can be found by visiting www.odot.org/contracts, selecting the September letting and clicking Go and then Award.
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 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 7.
Contracts, bid information, the commission’s monthly agenda and project details may be viewed at www.odot.org.
A much-anticipated project to replace the SH-33 bridge over Cottonwood Creek and BNSF railroad, commonly known as the Guthrie viaduct, will be under construction soon thanks to the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s approval of a more than $17 million contract at its Monday, Oct. 3 meeting.
(Editors and News Directors: For more information, call the ODOT Media and Public Relations Division at 405-521-6000.)