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June Commission Wrap-Up: Historic flooding in eastern Oklahoma impacting roads and bridges;

Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Gov. Stitt recognizes ODOT workers; $138 million in contracts awarded

June 5, 2019
PR# 19-021

Highlights of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s Monday, June 3 meeting include a special presentation with Gov. Kevin Stitt congratulating Oklahoma Department of Transportation crews for workplace safety, presentation of an award for ODOT’s public transit program and recognition of an Oklahoma Department of Public Safety employee by ODOT. Extensive updates were provided on the department’s ongoing response to the flooding emergency and the recently-approved state budget. Contracts were awarded for major projects on I-35 in McClain County, I-40 in Sequoyah County and US-60 in Washington County.
In a special presentation, Gov. Kevin Stitt and Secretary of Transportation and ODOT Executive Director Tim Gatz helped present the department’s annual safety awards to the divisions and crews with the best safety records in the past year. Stitt expressed his appreciation to ODOT crews for their commitment to the safety of the traveling public and for working around-the-clock during transportation emergencies and inclement weather. A list of award winners can be found here.
An Excellence in FTA Program Management award from the Federal Transit Administration was presented to ODOT’s Transit Programs Division and ODOT presented a commendation to Melodie Luke-Coleman with the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety for her work to permit and route commercial trucks through the state.
Gatz briefed the commission on ODOT’s response to the historic flooding emergency in parts of northern and eastern Oklahoma and its impact on roads, including possible damage, worsening pavement conditions and construction delays. He noted that 150 highway closures in 38 counties occurred due to flooding or storm damage since mid-April, with as many as 60 or more closed at one time. Record rainfall resulted in catastrophic flooding along the Arkansas River basin, inundating and cutting off communities such as Miami, Muskogee, Fort Gibson, Braggs and Webbers Falls. In addition to barricading flooded highways, ODOT workers were able to assist with rapid construction of a road for emergency and utility vehicles to reach Braggs. The agency worked with many partners who made resources available, such as Union Pacific Railroad, to deliver critical supplies to the town. 
Additional topics covered in Gatz’s report include:
  • The recently-approved state budget provides stable motor fuel tax and income tax revenue to ODOT and restores funding to the County Improvements for Roads and Bridges program.
  • The department’s GO-DOT pilot program will be discontinued as ODOT looks for a more cost-effective option, including possibly using a private contractor. The program debuted in the I-235 work zone in Oklahoma City in 2018 and was then tested throughout the metro. An evaluation determined that only one-fourth of GO-DOT responses were inside active work zones, which is the department’s core mission, and that it would be too expensive to fully implement the program.
  • The Amtrak Heartland Flyer passenger rail service between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth, Texas will celebrate its 20th anniversary on June 14 and would not be possible without the Texas Department of Transportation’s financial partnership.
  • ODOT’s longtime Chief of Media and Public Relations Terri Angier was appointed to the new post of Office of the Secretary Interagency Liaison to oversee coordination of resources between ODOT, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority and the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission.
  • Trenton January was named the new Division Four Engineer and will direct all highway construction and maintenance activities in nine north-central Oklahoma counties, including the Oklahoma City metro area. He succeeds Brian Taylor, who recently became ODOT’s Chief Engineer.
Commissioners voted to award contracts for a $9 million ramp improvement project on I-35 at Ladd Rd. near Goldsby, a nearly $36 million project to rehabilitate 6.5 miles of I-40 near Vian and a nearly $16 million highway reconstruction project on US-60 near Bartlesville. They also awarded contracts for resurfacing on US-287 near Boise City, I-35 near Wynnewood and US-69 near Checotah.
Altogether, commissioners voted to award 38 contracts totaling $138 million to improve highways, roads and bridges in 31 counties. Contracts were awarded for projects in Blaine, Canadian, Choctaw, Cimarron, Cleveland, Cotton, Garvin, Harmon, Haskell, Jackson, Johnston, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Lincoln, McClain, McIntosh, Marshall, Nowata, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Ottawa, Pawnee, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Seminole, Sequoyah, Stephens, Tillman, Wagoner and Washington counties. A list of all awarded contracts can be found by visiting, selecting the May 2019 AM letting, clicking Go, then Award.
The nine-member Oklahoma Transportation Commission, appointed by the governor and legislative leadership to oversee the state’s transportation development, awards contracts every month for road and bridge construction. The commission’s next meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, July 1. Contracts, bid information, the commission’s monthly agenda and project details can be viewed at
Gov. Stitt helps present safety awards

Gov. Stitt helps recognize ODOT safety award winners
At the Monday, June 3 meeting of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission, Gov. Kevin Stitt and Secretary of Transportation and Oklahoma Department of Transportation Executive Director Tim Gatz congratulated the ODOT division and crews with the best safety records from the past year. Pictured, from left, are Anthony Echelle, Division Two; Billy Jack Wilkerson, Division Two; Bart Tschacer, Division Three; Ron McDaniel, Division Six; Jesse Dodd, Division Six; Kevin Lowe, Office Services Division/Division Nine; Brent Almquist, Division Five; Trenton January, Division Four; John Green, Division Four; Jarrid Drew, Division Six; Johnny Sullivan, Division Seven; Jay Earp, Division Seven; Gatz; Richard Bright, Division Five; Gov. Stitt; Andy Slaton, Division Five; Beau Ballard, Division One; Chris Wallace, Division One; Ed Stuart, Division Eight; Randle White, Division Eight; Keith Jimenez, Division Eight; Travis Ruth, Division Eight; Sam AshePack, Division Eight and Kevin Bloss, Division Three.

Damage to US-62 near Muskogee

Flooding emergency impacting Oklahoma’s roads and bridges
At their Monday, June 3 meeting, members of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission heard about the damage to the highway system caused by the ongoing flooding emergency in parts of northern and eastern Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is assessing roads and bridges as water recedes. US-62, pictured here, was closed between Muskogee and Fort Gibson for more than one week due to flooding on the Arkansas River and suffered striking pavement damage.

FTA award to ODOT Transit Programs Division

ODOT’s public transit program receives award
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s Transit Programs Division was recognized with an award from the Federal Transit Administration at the Monday, June 3 meeting of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission. The Excellence in FTA Program Management award recognizes ridership increase in the past year, grant management, audit findings and completion rates and civil rights activities. The ODOT Transit Programs Division provides assistance and funding administration for 20 rural public transit services in Oklahoma among other programs. Pictured, from left, are Transit State Safety Oversight Lead Program Manager Steve Jagosh, Deputy Director Russell Hulin, Transit Programs Division Manager Ernie Mbroh, Secretary of Transportation and ODOT Executive Director Tim Gatz and Transit Project Manager Eddie Machuca.  

ODOT commendation presented to DPS employee

ODOT presents commendation to Oklahoma Department of Public Safety employee
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation presented a commendation to Oklahoma Department of Public Safety employee Melodie Luke-Coleman at the Monday, June 3 meeting of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission. As Restriction Manager with the DPS Safety, Size and Weights Permit Division, Luke-Coleman oversees the permitting and routing of commercial trucks through the state and helps protect the traveling public and the state’s infrastructure by keeping wide loads out of work zones and routing heavy or tall loads away from load-posted or low-clearance bridges. Pictured, from left, are ODOT Division One Maintenance Engineer Jonathan Arps, Luke-Coleman, ODOT Chief Engineer Brian Taylor and Secretary of Transportation and ODOT Executive Director Tim Gatz.

(Editors and News Directors: For questions, please call the ODOT Media & Public Relations Division at 405-521-6000.)
Last Modified on Oct 23, 2020
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