April Commission Wrap-Up: ODOT continues critical transportation operations during COVID-19 crisis;
$60 million in contracts awarded
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8, 2020
Highlights of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s Monday, April 6, virtual meeting include a detailed report on the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s efforts to preserve critical highway operations during the COVID-19 pandemic and approval of contracts for work on I-40 in Pottawatomie County, SH-3 in Canadian County, US-412 in Woodward County and US-69 in Atoka and Bryan counties.
The commission held an historic virtual meeting, with all nine members attending remotely by phone, to protect public health and safety during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. To ensure the meeting was open to the public, ODOT provided its regular online livestream and an additional call-in option for virtual attendees. The audio recording of this first-ever commission teleconference meeting can be heard online at https://vimeo.com/odot.
The commission awarded contracts for several pavement improvement projects that are expected to begin within the next two months, including a $6 million project to resurface 14 miles of I-40 east of Shawnee, as well as contracts to resurface segments of SH-3 between Okarche and Oklahoma City, US-412 near Woodward and US-69 in Durant and near Caney.
Secretary of Transportation and ODOT Executive Director Tim Gatz briefed commissioners on continuity of critical transportation operations, with most of ODOT’s office staff working remotely while maintenance crews and construction inspectors in the field practice social distancing to stay healthy while keeping highways safely open. The department has adopted many measures to keep its employees safe since their critical work must continue.
“While there is significantly less traffic on our highways right now, the transportation infrastructure maintained by ODOT is absolutely critical to emergency response and the supply chain, both locally and nationally,” Gatz said.
He also noted that the agency is closely monitoring the state’s budget outlook and is ready to help if needed, while engineers and planners are actively preparing to take advantage of possible federal stimulus funding in the near future.
Commissioners voted to award 29 contracts totaling $60 million to improve highways, roads and bridges in 26 counties. Contracts were awarded for projects in Atoka, Bryan, Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Custer, Grant, Haskell, Jackson, Kay, Kiowa, Major, McIntosh, Okfuskee, Osage, Pawnee, Payne, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Seminole, Sequoyah, Love, Tillman, Tulsa, Wagoner and Woodward counties. A list of all awarded contracts can be found by visiting www.odot.org/contracts, selecting the March 2020 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 monthly contracts for road and bridge construction. The commission’s next tentative virtual meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, May 4, and will be available live on ODOT’s Vimeo webpage. Contracts, bid information, the commission’s monthly agenda and project details can be viewed at www.odot.org.
(Editors and News Directors: For questions, please call the ODOT Media & Public Relations Division at 405-521-6000.)