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Oklahoma Transportation Commission Awards $144M in Contracts

At the Oklahoma Transportation Commission meeting, Secretary of Transportation Tim Gatz announced that ODOT and OTA are partnering and joining a national effort to combat human trafficking.
At the Oklahoma Transportation Commission meeting, Secretary of Transportation Tim Gatz announced that ODOT and OTA are partnering and joining a national effort to combat human trafficking.
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — Highlights of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s recent meeting include reports on the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) ongoing effort to get public input on the state’s first transit plan and future interstate projects in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, as well as an update on a national initiative to combat human trafficking and announcement of federal grant opportunities. Contracts were awarded for projects on I-35 in Garvin, Kay and McClain counties, as well as US-77 in Kay County, US-69 in Pittsburg County and SH-20 in Tulsa County.

Secretary of Transportation and ODOT Executive Director Tim Gatz updated commissioners on several ongoing efforts to get public input on transportation programs and projects. As the agency continues to develop the Oklahoma Public Transit Policy Plan in partnership with the Oklahoma Transit Association, ODOT is asking the public to help identify transit needs and preferences by taking a short online survey. Additionally, ODOT has been hosting regional stakeholder meetings with transit providers and users.

Gatz also noted that ODOT is seeking the public’s feedback on two proposed interstate projects: I-44 and US-75 interchange reconstruction in Tulsa and I-35 reconstruction between the I-40 Fort Smith Junction and I-44 in Oklahoma City. Information about these projects and public input opportunities can be found at odot.org by clicking Programs and Projects and then Public Hearings and Meetings.

Gatz informed the commission that, at the governor’s direction, ODOT and the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority are joining the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking initiative. The agencies will work with partners in the transportation industry to educate employees to recognize and report the signs of human trafficking, increase awareness among the traveling public and share data with other agencies.

He also mentioned that USDOT recently announced the availability of federal grants through the competitive Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) program. The grants are available for projects that advance regional and national economic goals, and a portion of the total amount awarded must be allocated to rural projects. Oklahoma has been successful in seeking federal grants in recent years, with an INFRA grant in 2018 being awarded to ODOT for the planned reconstruction of I-44 west of the Arkansas River in Tulsa.

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The commission voted to approve three contracts for I-35 improvements, including a nearly $17-million project to reconstruct two miles of the interstate north of SH-59 near Wayne and bridge rehabilitation on I-35 at Salt Fork Creek near Tonkawa and SH-19 in Pauls Valley. Also awarded was a $9-million contract to resurface and add paved shoulders to nearly five miles of US-77 near Newkirk, a $6-million contract to rehabilitate nearly four miles of US-69 near McAlester and $15.5-million contract to reconstruct a segment of SH-20 between Skiatook and Collinsville.

Commissioners voted to award 36 contracts totaling nearly $144 million to improve highways, roads and bridges in 28 counties. Contracts were awarded for projects in Alfalfa, Blaine, Carter, Cleveland, Custer, Dewey, Garvin, Haskell, Johnston, Kay, LeFlore, Logan, Love, McClain, McCurtain, McIntosh, Muskogee, Noble, Osage, Ottawa, Pittsburg, Roger Mills, Rogers, Seminole, Tillman, Tulsa, Wagoner and Woods counties.

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