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OTC Announces FHWA Grant, Asphalt Pavement Awards, and I-35 Corridor Study Progress at a Recent Meeting

District 5, headquartered in Clinton, received the Perpetual Pavement by Conversion award for repairs to I-40 near Hinton.
District 5, headquartered in Clinton, received the Perpetual Pavement by Conversion award for repairs to I-40 near Hinton.
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — Highlights of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s recent meeting include receiving a Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Accelerated Innovation Deployment Demonstration Program grant for an I-35 bridge in northern Oklahoma, presentation of three Asphalt Pavement awards, a briefing on the progress of an I-35 corridor study in southern Oklahoma, and details of Rail Safety Week.

The transportation commissioners were updated by Transportation Secretary and Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) Executive Director Tim Gatz on an $840,000 FHWA Accelerated Innovation Deployment Demonstration Program grant that will address bridge joints on an I-35 bridge over the Cimarron River at the Payne/Logan County line. The pilot project will use a unique Ultra-High-Performance Concrete and is designed to minimize environmental impacts by reducing construction time and making more durable repairs that could be used in future projects.

The Oklahoma Asphalt Pavement Association (APA) presented national Asphalt Pavement Alliance awards to three ODOT districts for outstanding pavement quality. District 4 Edmond Residency received the Quality in Construction award for resurfacing I-35 between I-44 and I-40, and District 3 Wewoka Residency received Quality in Construction for pavement rehabilitation on I-40 near Okemah. District 5, headquartered in Clinton, achieved the Perpetual Pavement by Conversion award for repairs to I-40 near Hinton. This is the first time ODOT has won the APA’s Perpetual Pavement by Conversion award. It is designed to recognize long-life asphalt pavements in the U.S. and honor asphalt pavements demonstrating outstanding design and construction. The department shares all three awards with partners Haskell Lemon Construction.

Commissioners were given the department’s progress on an I-35 corridor study to access needs to address critical areas along I-35 and eventually widen the interstate from four to six lanes between Oklahoma City and Texas. This is also an effort to meet Texas in its advancement to expand I-35 from six to eight lanes south of the Red River. The report will be finalized in early 2024.

Also announced was ODOT’s support of Rail Safety Week. The department joined its partner, Operation Lifesaver, to educate pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers about unsafe behavior around railroads and to #StopTrackTragedies. Every three hours in the U.S. a person or vehicle is hit by a train. Lights on the SkyDance Bridge over I-40 in Oklahoma City were turned red to show support for the cause. ODOT and Oklahoma Turnpike Authority maintain the year-round safety education initiative Make it Home Safe; Make Oklahoma Safe, which aims to tackle a different highway safety topic each month.

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Approved at the commission meeting was a $10 million project to reconstruction the US-81 and SH-66 interchange in El Reno into a roundabout. The fourth of its kind in the state, the roundabout construction will begin in the coming months and will take an estimated year and a half to complete.

The commission also voted to approve a $5 million contract for pavement rehabilitation on US-69 in McAlester. The one mile stretch at S. 9th Street is a perpetual maintenance issue. The project will begin this fall and is anticipated to take about four months.

Commissioners voted to award 26 contracts totaling nearly $70 million to improve highways, roads, and bridges statewide.

The nine-member Oklahoma Transportation Commission, appointed by the governor and legislative leadership to oversee the state’s transportation development, awards contracts monthly for road and bridge construction.

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