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Source : Flickr
November 3, 2023
Author : Alex Bustillos
Oklahoma roads and bridges are getting a makeover, worth over $9 billion. This will be possible as part of the Eight-Year Construction Work Plan and Four-Year Asset Preservation Program of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT).
The Oklahoma Transportation Commission approved the Federal Fiscal Year 2024-2031 Eight-Year Construction Work Plan recently. It includes $8.8 billion in urgently needed transportation repair projects to boost the state's highway network's reliability and safety.
To prolong the state's roadway infrastructure life, the 2024-2027 Asset Preservative Plan entails a nearly $500 million investment in preventive maintenance.
Together, the two proposals will take care of the state's fifteen still-existing, structurally deficient highway bridges that weren't already under contract for replacement or rehabilitation. In addition to that, another 395 bridges are at risk of becoming structurally flawed, which is included in the plan.
1,100 kilometers of 2-lane roadways with inadequate shoulders will be improved as a part of the Construction Work Plan.
"Through the dedicated focus of the Eight-Year Plan, the department has been able to address critical highway infrastructure needs, especially on our bridges," said Tim Gatz, the Secretary of Transportation and Executive Director of ODOT. "We're adjusting that focus in recent years to improve more of those rural two-lane highways that need shoulders. This will have a tremendous impact on safety in rural areas."
Since the first Eight-Year Plan was enacted in 2003, investments in Oklahoma's transportation system have had a substantial impact on the state's roadway infrastructure's quality and level of service. Two decades back, the state had 1168 structurally flawed bridges, but in 2022, Oklahoma is ranked among the top 5.
This has been possible due to the Construction Work Plan's strategic planning and the ongoing support of lawmakers, governors, and ODOT officials.
The latest Eight-Year Construction Work Plan will cover 1,738 total projects. Additionally, this plan will address 643 bridges to undergo rehabilitation or replacement. Furthermore, it will conduct nearly 3,800 miles of roadway improvements, including over 1100 miles of safety improvements on two-lane highways having little or no shoulders.
The Asset Preservation Plan for FFY 2024-2027 will cover 290 total projects. The plan includes rehabilitating 146 highway bridges and over 1800 miles of pavement resurfacing.
In the most recent plan revisions, higher projections for several projects owing to inflation and growing material costs were somewhat offset by federal funding. These included a $45 million TIFIA loan for 29 miles of improvements to rural two-lane highways with inadequate shoulders and a $85 million Mega grant for the Tulsa intersection of I-44 and US-75.
There are 1738 distinct projects in the Eight-Year Plan overall and 290 projects in the Asset Preservation Plan. The Rural Economic Transportation Reliability and Optimization Fund received a one-time allocation of $200 million from the Oklahoma State Legislature.
According to the requirements of the RETRO Fund, these resources will aid in expediting the development, maintenance, and repair of Eight-Year Construction Work Plan projects in eligible rural areas that have seen rapid economic growth, raising significant concerns about safety and traffic volumes.