June Commission Wrap-Up: Historic flooding in eastern Oklahoma impacting roads and bridges;
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 5, 2019
- 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.
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.
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.
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 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.)