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March Commission Meeting Wrap-Up: Gatz briefs commissioners on Transportation Cabinet changes, solar eclipse preparations underway; $108 million in projects awarded

Wednesday, March 06, 2024

Highlights of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s Monday, March 4, meeting include an update on the recent Oklahoma Attorney General opinion regarding Transportation Cabinet changes, plans for the upcoming total solar eclipse, approval to install additional traffic cameras in the metros, a resurfacing project in Tulsa and two projects in Lawton.

Executive Director Tim Gatz revisited the recent Attorney General’s opinion barring one person from holding multiple offices. Acting immediately, Gatz stepped down as Secretary of Transportation and Executive Director of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. He was reappointed by Gov. Stitt as Executive Director of ODOT which is pending Senate confirmation. The opinion was a result of a request from Sen. Mary Boren.

“I want to assure the commission that the agency and operations were at no time at risk and we are looking forward to moving ahead and continuing the good progress of the Department of Transportation,” said Gatz.

Safety precautions and preparations are underway in anticipation of the total solar eclipse on April 8. Portions of Southeastern Oklahoma are expected to be impacted the most. Transportation officials are working with multiple state and local agencies to prepare for the challenges. According to a study conducted by the, Oklahoma can expect an influx of anywhere between 17,000 to 66,000 visitors. In the days around the event, ODOT crews are pausing maintenance and construction activities and installing portable cameras and changeable message boards to assist drivers. Motorists should prepare for major congestion on the highways and turnpike, refrain from stopping along the highway or shoulder and watch out for pedestrians before, during and after the event.

Commissioners awarded a nearly $2 million project to install additional traffic cameras at six locations in Tulsa and five locations in Oklahoma City later this year. These will be added to the more than 500 cameras already connected to the website and Drive Oklahoma mobile app, which is free to the public. These cameras are for monitoring traffic conditions, not surveillance and are not recorded.

The commission also voted to approve an $8 million resurfacing project for nearly 7 miles of US-69 between Checotah and Eufaula. This project should begin mid-summer and take about four months. Lake traffic should locate an alternate route or expect significant delays as lanes will be narrowed in both directions.

Also approved were two projects in Lawton. The first project is a partnership with City of Lawton to reconstruct Gore Blvd. between S.W. 82nd St. and S.W. 67th St. which includes $13 million for bike lanes, sidewalks, drainage and traffic signal installation. Construction is anticipated to begin early this summer. The other project is a $3.5 million safety improvement on US-62/Rogers Lane from N.W. 82nd St. east six miles. The project will limit turns across several lanes of traffic, replace guardrail and upgrade the traffic signal. Construction is anticipated to begin early fall.

Commissioners voted to award 22 contracts totaling $108 million to improve highways, roads and bridges statewide. The public may access a list of all awarded contracts at selecting the February 8, and February 15, 2024 lettings.

The next Oklahoma Transportation Commission meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, April 1. The meeting will be available to view live via Ustream and past meetings are available at

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.

Last Modified on Mar 06, 2024
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