August Commission Meeting Wrap-Up: Updated five-year plan for major county projects adopted; $91 million in contracts awarded
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 4, 2021
Highlights of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s Monday, Aug. 2, meeting include adoption of the updated five-year County Improvements for Roads and Bridges (CIRB) plan, approval of state highway numbering designations at Oklahoma turnpike connections, a report on ongoing federal funding discussions in U.S. Congress and an update on the next phase of the modernization effort involving three transportation cabinet agencies. Contracts were awarded for major projects on I-35 in Love County, I-40 in Oklahoma County, I-35 in Kay County, US-69/75 in Bryan County and SH-66 in Lincoln County.
The commission voted to approve the annual update to the CIRB Plan for Federal Fiscal Years 2022 through 2026. The plan includes $540 million for reconstruction or rehabilitation of 272 county bridges and improvements to more than 400 miles of county roads during the next five years. The CIRB program uses designated state funding administered by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation combined with federal, local and tribal funds for the highest priority county transportation projects. The plan is updated annually in partnership between county commissioners, their Circuit Engineering Districts and ODOT.
“In the past fifteen years, the CIRB program has successfully helped fund major projects that no single county could’ve done on its own, including replacement of hundreds of structurally deficient county bridges,” Gatz said. “We are constantly working to strengthen our relationship with county commissioners to be sure we’re helping bring the best projects forward in the CIRB plan.”
The commission approved an item to add state highway numbering to several Oklahoma turnpikes, including designating the Indian Nation Turnpike as SH-375 and the H.E. Bailey Turnpike Norman Spur as SH-4. As part of this action, the I-240 designation was added to 75 miles of highway in the Oklahoma City metro area, including all of the John Kilpatrick Turnpike and Kickapoo Turnpike along with segments of SH-152/Airport Rd., I-44 and I-40. Because of its status as a national route, the I-240 designation must be approved by a federal committee before going into effect. These highway numbering changes were made to improve route consistency for drivers using mapping and navigation apps and do not add or remove any highway or turnpike mileage.
Secretary of Transportation Tim Gatz briefed the commission on ongoing infrastructure funding discussions at the federal level. He noted that the U.S. Senate recently released the text of its proposal, which includes a hybrid of the annual federal highway reauthorization and new national infrastructure investments. Gatz said he was optimistic that some form of the bill would pass before the end of the federal fiscal year in September.
He also updated the board on the next steps for the Transportation Modernization Initiative, which is working to improve shared services and create a blended organizational structure across ODOT, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority and the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission. The consultant, Guidehouse, will be retained for another year to help with implementation of its modernization recommendations and early initiatives, as well as creation of cost-sharing agreements and performance metrics. The department and OTA will share the cost of the $790,000 contract with Guidehouse.
Commissioners voted to award a nearly $32 million contract for reconstruction of the I-35 bridges over US-77 and the BNSF Railway near Thackerville and a more than $1 million contract for rehabilitation of the Rockwell Ave. bridge over I-40 in Oklahoma City. They also approved contracts for I-35 resurfacing between Tonkawa and Blackwell, US-69/75 resurfacing near the Texas state line in Bryan County and SH-66 shoulder improvements near Wellston.
Commissioners voted to award 23 contracts totaling $91 million to improve highways, roads and bridges in 20 counties. Contracts were awarded for projects in Beckham, Blaine, Bryan, Caddo, Craig, Garvin, Grady, Hughes, Kay, LeFlore, Lincoln, Logan, Love, Muskogee, Nowata, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Stephens, Texas and Washington counties.
A list of all awarded contracts may be found at www.odot.org/contracts by selecting the July 2021 AM letting, clicking Submit, then Award at the bottom of the page.
The public can view a video recording of the meet at https://vimeo.com/odot.
The nine-member Oklahoma Transportation Commission, appointed by the governor and legislative leadership to oversee the state’s transportation development, awards contracts monthly for road and bridge construction.
Due to the Labor Day holiday, the next Oklahoma Transportation Commission meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7. The meeting will be available to view live on the web.
Contracts, bid information, the commission’s monthly agenda and project details may be viewed at www.odot.org.