July 30, 2021
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The Oklahoma Transportation Commission recently approved the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s latest eight-year, $8.6 billion Construction Work Plan for 2021-2028 – a plan that takes into account an upcoming reduction in state funding done through previous legislative action to help balance the state budget due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

[Above photo of the Oklahoma State House via Wikipedia Commons.]

“These are challenging times, and we appreciate the support by legislators and Governor [Kevin] Stitt in recognizing that a good transportation infrastructure is a critical component in driving Oklahoma’s economy,” said Tim Gatz, state transportation secretary and executive director of the Oklahoma DOT, in a statement.

Tim Gatz. Photo by Oklahoma DOT.

“We looked for innovative ways to keep our plans fiscally responsible and progressing with the focus on maintaining good bridges and improving pavement conditions in our state,” he said.

The plan will fund 1,350 projects in total – including 609 bridge rehabilitation or replacement efforts plus nearly 1,900 miles of roadway improvements, which include more than 800 miles of two-lane highway safety improvements on two-lane highways with deficient or no shoulders.

This follows a recent effort by the agency in June to get public feedback on its 25-year long-range transportation plan to help establish overall priorities and goals for various modes of travel and freight movement in the state, including highway; passenger and freight rail; public transit; bicycle and pedestrian; ports and waterways and airport access.

Photo by the Oklahoma DOT

Additionally, in October, the Oklahoma DOT – in partnership with the Oklahoma Transit Association – unveiled the state’s first-ever public transportation plan: a plan that seeks to unite urban and rural transit services by laying out mobility priorities for the next 20 years.

The two transportation agencies presented that plan to the Oklahoma legislature in a formal ceremony on December 10.

“Completion of the state’s first transit plan is a milestone achievement in moving Oklahoma toward becoming a ‘Top Ten State’ for all modes of transportation,” Governor Kevin Stitt (R) noted in remarks at the ceremony. “Thanks to the input from transit providers and users, we now have a roadmap for modernizing transit services and ensuring mobility for all Oklahomans.”

editor@aashto.org

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