July Commission Meeting Wrap-Up: Oklahoma benefits from two federal highway grants; $65 million in contracts awarded
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 9, 2021
Highlights of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s Tuesday, July 6, meeting include updates on federal transportation legislation being considered by the U.S. Congress, a recent report on the County Improvements for Roads and Bridges program administered by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and presentation of a final report on the modernization initiative involving three state agencies in the Transportation Cabinet. Contracts were awarded for projects on I-44 in Cleveland and McClain counties; SH-266 in Rogers County; SH-33 in Kingfisher and Logan counties; and US-270 in Ellis, Harper, and Woodward counties.
Secretary of Transportation and ODOT Executive Director Tim Gatz kicked off the meeting with an introduction of Jessica Brown as the new Strategic Communications Director for the Transportation Cabinet. The commission and department also accepted an award from the American Concrete Pavement Association for quality construction of the I-40 and SH-6 Diverging Diamond Interchange in Elk City, which was completed in 2020.
Gatz reported to the commission on transportation legislation being considered by the U.S. Congress and funding for priority Oklahoma highway projects. He also noted that the U.S. Department of Transportation recently awarded a $51 million Infrastructure for Rebuilding America grant to ODOT for I-40 upgrades between Douglas Blvd. in Midwest City and the I-240 junction. The grant will allow ODOT to advance the project in its Eight-year Construction Work Plan to make improvements to the Douglas Blvd. interchange at Tinker Air Force Base and continue expansion of the corridor to six lanes. Additionally, the Texas Department of Transportation was awarded an INFRA grant for reconstruction of the I-35 Red River bridges and widening of the interstate between Gainesville and the Oklahoma state line. The Chickasaw Nation and ODOT are partners in the project.
Gatz briefed commissioners on the recent report by the Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency on the County Improvements for Roads and Bridges program. He thanked LOFT and its bicameral legislative oversight committee for analyzing the program and providing recommendations for improved management by ODOT and communication with county commissioners and their Circuit Engineering Districts. The CIRB program at ODOT was created in 2006 and provides state funding for the highest priority county projects.
Gatz also notified commissioners of the draft final report from consultant Guidehouse for the Transportation Modernization Initiative that includes sharing resources among ODOT, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority and the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission. He noted that some of the recommendations to consolidate administrative functions have already been implemented where possible, while long-term changes will require further study and possibly legislative action.
The commission voted to approve a nearly $2 million contract to resurface six miles of eastbound I-44 in Newcastle and southwest Oklahoma City and a more than $1 million contract for pavement rehabilitation on SH-266 near the Tulsa Port of Catoosa. They also awarded contracts for shoulder improvements on SH-33 near Cimarron City and resurfacing of nearly 11 miles of US-412 west of Fort Supply near the Oklahoma Panhandle.
Commissioners voted to award 25 contracts totaling more than $65 million to improve highways, roads and bridges in 29 counties. Contracts were awarded for projects in Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Cleveland, Dewey, Garfield, Garvin, Grant, Ellis, Harper, Kay, Kingfisher, LeFlore, Logan, Love, McClain, McCurtain, Noble, Nowata, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Payne, Pontotoc, Pushmataha, Rogers, Seminole, Stephens, Tulsa and Woodward counties. A list of all awarded contracts may be found at www.odot.org/contracts by selecting the June 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.
Next month’s Oklahoma Transportation Commission meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, Aug. 2. 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.