Highway System Conditions
The I-40 Crosstown in downtown Oklahoma City
Whether it’s moving people or products, our transportation system is the lifeblood of the state’s and nation’s economy by providing the network for:
- Companies to bring materials in and ship goods out to buyers across the country;
- Farmers, ranchers and oil and gas producers to move their products from the field to the market efficiently by truck, rail and waterway;
- Businesses to locate in areas convenient for their customers; and
- Commuters to get to work and school safely and reliably.
The mission of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation is to provide a safe, economical and effective transportation network for the people, commerce and communities of Oklahoma.
How big is Oklahoma’s highway system?
One corner of the Inner Dispersal Loop in downtown Tulsa
These totals do not include county roads, city streets or turnpikes:
- Highway miles: 30,000 lane miles, including 673 miles of non-tolled interstate
- Highway bridges: nearly 6,800
- Despite having a much smaller population, Oklahoma ranks 17th in the nation for number of centerline highway miles, just behind states like California and New York and just ahead of states like Florida and Minnesota.
- Oklahoma’s central location and major highway corridors like I-35, I-40, I-44 and US-69/75 makes the state an important link in the nation’s network of trade and commerce, especially for interstate truck traffic.
- It would cost an estimated $60 billion to build the entire highway system today. This makes it the state’s single most valuable physical asset.
How is ODOT improving the highway system?
ODOT’s investment strategy for highways includes construction, asset preservation and maintenance.
- Construction – All activities associated with the design and construction of major highway and bridge projects in the Eight-year Construction Work Plan. This includes engineering, right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation and construction.
- Asset Preservation – Preventative maintenance projects in the Asset Preservation Plan are designed to extend the life of the transportation system through pavement resurfacing and rehabilitation, bridge rehabilitation and bridge painting and sealing.
- Maintenance – Routine and reactive maintenance performed by crews in ODOT’s eight Field Divisions is required to keep highways safe for the driving public. This work includes pothole patching, surface and bridge repair, guardrail and cable barrier replacement, snow and ice removal and other repairs.
What is the latest progress on highways & bridges?
Progress on structurally deficient highway bridges
- Bridges maintained by ODOT: Nearly 6,800
- The number of structurally deficient bridges on the highway system has been reduced from an all-time high of 1,168 in 2004 down to 132 at the end of 2018.
- Bridges replaced or rehabilitated since 2006: More than 1,400
- Bridges scheduled for replacement or rehabilitation in FFY 2019-2016: 686
- All known structurally deficient bridges are programmed in the Eight-year Construction Work Plan to be addressed by the end of the decade, and ODOT anticipates fewer than 1% of bridges will be rated structurally deficient by 2020.
- Once this goal is reached, ODOT will have to continue to replace or rehabilitate up to 90 additional bridges each year to stay ahead of aging infrastructure.
- Highway miles maintained by ODOT: More than 30,000 lane miles, or 12,257 centerline miles
- Interstate pavement resurfaced, reconstructed or significantly rehabilitated since 2003: 466 miles
- Improvements to two-lane highways scheduled: 724 miles
- Interstate pavement improvements scheduled: 152 miles
How are highways affected by underfunding?
Current Funding Challenges
- State budget cuts to ODOT from FY 2010-FY 2019: About $880 million
- Because motor fuel taxes are assessed based on the gallons of fuel purchased, not price, fuel taxes are a declining revenue source as fuel efficiency continues to increase.
- ODOT remains committed to replacing or rehabilitating all remaining structurally deficient highway bridges by the end of the decade. However, many necessary pavement improvement and congestion mitigation projects have been delayed to later years in the Eight-year Plan due to continued state funding reductions.
- With increasing traffic volumes and Oklahoma’s weather challenges, highway pavements will continue to deteriorate rapidly, so maintenance and preservation remain top priorities for ODOT.
- When construction projects in the Eight-year Plan are delayed, ODOT has to perform additional maintenance on those affected highways and bridges to keep them in service until they can be rehabilitated or reconstructed.
Highway and Bridge Needs
- From 1985-2005, state funding for ODOT was based almost entirely on motor fuel tax collections, which has remained stagnant at about $200 million annually for decades. This contributed to decades of deferred highway maintenance.
- Backlog of needed highway improvements due to decades of underfunding and deferred maintenance: More than $10.5 billion
- Highway bridges that are more than 80 years old: 1,103
- Highway miles rated in poor condition: 3,646 miles
- Two-lane highways without paved shoulders: 4,390 miles
- Inadequate highways with no scheduled improvements in the Eight-year Plan: 2,646 miles
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