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Oklahoma DOT approves eight-year plan

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA.—The Oklahoma Transportation Commission approved an estimated $4 billion construction plan for the next eight years that will include projects in each of the state’s 77 counties. The plan includes projects made possible by funding hikes approved by the state legislature earlier this year. The legislation increases the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) funding by $30 million each year until it reaches an additional $370 million annually in 2016. The legislature also approved $300 million in bonds to keep the agency’s plans on track.

Highlights of the program include the following:

  • more than 95 miles of median barrier, including concrete and cable barriers;
  • 449 bridge replacements;
  • 460 miles of safety-oriented improvements on inadequate two-lane highways;
  • $2.1 billion of major improvements to high-volume highways;
  • reconstruction of high-volume facilities, including I-44 from Riverside to Yale in Tulsa, I-40 Crosstown in Oklahoma City, and I-35 in Norman; and
  • improvements to rural interstates and rural bridges.

In addition to increases in state revenue, the plan takes into account projected increases in construction costs and possible decreases in federal revenue. From 2009 through 2016, about 60 percent of Oklahoma’s highway construction is paid for with federal funding, compared with 85 percent in previous plans.