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Source : ODOT
July 12, 2021
Author : Patty Rodriguez
Senator James Inhofe (R) announced the funding request alongside Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) Secretary Tim Gatz on Thursday, July 8.
ODOT wants to “use the funds to resurface and add paved shoulders to several narrow two-lane, rural highways,” according to the department’s press release.
“Transportation infrastructure is critical to the success of our rural communities, which is why we must accelerate improvements to these two-lane highways from the Panhandle to southeastern Oklahoma,” Sen. Inhofe said. “These investments will improve safety and travel times for all road users. I’m excited for the opportunity to help advance transportation projects important to Oklahomans.”
The improvements are meant to increase safety on the two-lane highways. The press release notes the state’s “extensive” highway system and how it is key to economic growth and the quality of life of rural residents.
“Addressing two-lane highways is one of our biggest infrastructure challenges in Oklahoma, so we are extremely grateful to Sen. Inhofe and the congressional delegation for requesting this federal funding for our rural roads,” ODOT Secretary Gatz said. “An infusion of additional resources would allow ODOT to advance these critical projects in our Eight-Year Construction Work Plan, freeing funding for other priority highway construction.”
The press release goes on to note that even though rural highways carry far less traffic than urban roads and interstate highways, rural highways “account for nearly 60 percent of all fatalities and serious injuries” due to car accidents in the state. Therefore the state is hoping to widen these narrow highways which were “built early in Oklahoma’s history for much smaller roads and slower speeds” so that drivers have more time to correct their errors.
The following are the proposed projects and how much they would cost.