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$74M in Contracts Awarded at August Virtual Oklahoma Transportation Commission Meeting

A project to replace the more than 2,000-foot-long Belford bridge in Pawnee County, pictured here, is included in ODOT’s updated County Improvements for Roads and Bridge plan.
A project to replace the more than 2,000-foot-long Belford bridge in Pawnee County, pictured here, is included in ODOT’s updated County Improvements for Roads and Bridge plan.
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — Highlights of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s recent video teleconference meeting include consideration of a proposal to adjust maximum speed limits on rural interstates, presentation of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) annual safety awards, updates on a modernization initiative, and commission approval of an updated plan for county road and bridge construction. Contracts were awarded for work on US-270 in Dewey County, US-77 and SH-9 in Cleveland County, and SH-51 and I-44 in Tulsa County.

Commissioners opted to increase maximum speed limits on some rural interstates, including sections of I-35 and I-40 outside of urban areas, to 75 miles per hour as authorized by House Bill 1071. The recommendation from ODOT came after a year-long study of interstate conditions including roadway geometry, sight distance, collision history, traffic flows, and existing speed patterns, along with coordination with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol on enforcement.

The department presented its 2019 Safety Awards recognizing the ODOT divisions and crews with the best employee safety records from the past year. The Progressive Excellence Award for the most improved safety rating was presented to Division Seven. The Governor’s Safety Excellence Award for the best overall safety record was earned by Division Eight.

Commissioners voted to accept ODOT’s County Improvements for Roads and Bridges plan for State Fiscal Years 2021-2025, which contains nearly $880 million in projects to improve county infrastructure. The CIRB plan is developed in cooperation with county commissioners and their circuit engineering districts and makes use of designated state funds for major county road and bridge projects combined with federal, local, and tribal money.

Secretary of Transportation and ODOT Executive Director Tim Gatz updated the commission on the Coordinated Human Services Transportation Plan to improve how the state delivers transit services for seniors and individuals with disabilities. As part of the plan, ODOT has been gathering input from transit providers and Oklahomans who use these services to identify needs and possible solutions.

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He also commented on the year-long Transportation Modernization Initiative to identify opportunities for improved shared resources between ODOT, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, and the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission. The agencies are working with a consultant, which has been conducting interviews with senior staff and department heads and gathering information on the agencies’ business functions and organizational structure.

Commissioners voted to award a $21-million contract to reconstruct five miles of US-270 near Seiling in Dewey County as part of the ongoing effort to widen the Northwest Passage to four lanes between Woodward and I-40. Four more segments scheduled to go to bid between Federal Fiscal Years 2021 and 2025 remain to complete the corridor. Also approved were contracts for traffic signal and intersection upgrades at US-77 and SH-9 in Norman and bridge rehabilitation on SH-51/Broken Arrow Expressway at I-44 in Tulsa.

Commissioners voted to award 18 contracts totaling nearly $74 million to improve highways, roads, and bridges in 15 counties. Contracts were awarded for projects in Alfalfa, Atoka, Caddo, Cleveland, Cotton, Custer, Dewey, Garvin, Harmon, Kay, Love, Muskogee, Pontotoc, Tulsa, and Wagoner counties.

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