April Commission Wrap-Up: Drivers urged to be alert in highway work zones;
More than $81 million in contracts awarded
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2018
Highlights of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s Monday, April 2 meeting include the kick off of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s month-long Work Zone Awareness campaign, updates on legislation affecting state transportation funding and a federal grant for railroad improvements in western Oklahoma. Contracts were awarded for bridge reconstruction on I-35 in Oklahoma City, bridge replacement over I-244 in Tulsa and city street reconstruction in Woodward.
Secretary of Transportation and ODOT Executive Director Mike Patterson welcomed Gov. Mary Fallin to the commission meeting to read a proclamation designating April 2 through May 2 as Work Zone Awareness Month in Oklahoma. The proclamation kicks off the agency’s month-long Your Life Matters: Drive Like It campaign targeting driver behavior in highway work zones. In the past five years, 75 people, including four ODOT workers were killed in work zones collisions. In her proclamation, Fallin noted that 60 ODOT workers have been killed in the line of duty, more than any other state agency.
Patterson reported to the commission on House Bill 1010xx approved by the legislature and governor to increase state taxes on gasoline and diesel for the first time since 1987. The additional fuel tax revenue won’t increase state transportation funding but will take the place of income tax revenue currently going to ODOT, which will instead be returned to the state’s general fund to help fund other areas of government.
“This increase in state revenue is good news for ODOT because $840 million has been diverted from transportation since 2010 to help balance the state’s budget,” Patterson said. “This new revenue will help free up income tax revenue for other core areas of government like education, health care and public safety.”
Patterson also announced that Oklahoma was successful in receiving a federal grant for railroad improvements in western Oklahoma. A nearly $10 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant was recently awarded to ODOT to improve 17 bridges and 132 miles of railroad between Enid and Elk City operated by Farmrail, allowing for the line to accommodate increased freight capacity and higher travel speeds.
The commission voted to award a contract for an up to $30 million project to replace the I-35 bridges over the Deep Fork Creek just south of the I-44 interchange in Oklahoma City. The project is expected to take more than one and a half years to complete and the contract includes financial incentives for early completion. The interstate is anticipated to remain open to traffic during construction.
Commissioners also approved a $5 million contract to replace the 129th East Ave. bridge over I-244 in Tulsa and an $8.5 million contract to reconstruct more than two miles of 34th St. south of US-412 in Woodward using federal and local funds.
Commissioners voted to award 32 contracts totaling more than $81 million to improve highways, roads and bridges in 25 counties. Contracts were awarded for projects in Alfalfa, Cleveland, Comanche, Custer, Dewey, Jackson, Kiowa, Latimer, LeFlore, McClain, Mayes, Muskogee, Noble, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Pottawatomie, Seminole, Texas, Tulsa, Washington and Woodward counties. A list of all awarded contracts may be found by visiting www.odot.org/contracts, selecting the March 2018 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 commission’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, May 7.
Contracts, bid information, the commission’s monthly agenda and project details can be viewed at www.odot.org.
Governor Mary Fallin joined Oklahoma transportation workers at the Monday, April 2 meeting of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission to help kick off the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s Work Zone Awareness campaign. Pictured from left are Chris Kukuk, ODOT Division Four; Lowell Burrell, Oklahoma Turnpike Authority; LaDan Nelson, ODOT Division Four; Jeff Danker, OTA; Secretary of Transportation and ODOT Executive Director Mike Patterson; Gov. Fallin; Noah Gonzales, ODOT Division Four; Steve Anschutz, OTA; Jerry Hayes, ODOT Division Four and Paul Blocker, ODOT Division Four.
At its Monday, April 2 meeting, the Oklahoma Transportation Commission approved a contract for an up to $30 million project to replace the I-35 bridges over the Deep Fork Creek just south of the I-44 interchange in Oklahoma City, pictured here.
(Editors and News Directors: For more information, call the ODOT Media and Public Relations Division at 405-521-6000.)