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Oklahoma DOT Awards $68M in Contracts at Commission Meeting

Oklahoma Transportation Commissioners approved a nearly $16-million contract for reconstruction of SH-9 between 72nd Avenue S.E. and 108th Avenue S.E. in Norman.
Oklahoma Transportation Commissioners approved a nearly $16-million contract for reconstruction of SH-9 between 72nd Avenue S.E. and 108th Avenue S.E. in Norman.
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — Highlights of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s recent video teleconference meeting include a report on the state’s transportation response to the major winter storm in February and its effect on the highway system, the ongoing modernization initiative involving the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT), Oklahoma Turnpike Authority (OTA), and Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC). Contracts were awarded for highway projects on SH-9 in Cleveland County, SH-20 in Rogers County, I-35 in Noble County, US-412 in Major County, and US-59 in LeFlore County.

Secretary of Transportation and ODOT Executive Director Tim Gatz briefed commissioners on ODOT and OTA’s response to the major winter storm that affected all areas of Oklahoma in early February and its prolonged effect on highway pavement conditions. Together, the agencies’ crews worked 103,000 total man hours and used nearly 55,000 tons of salt and sand materials on highways, interstates, and turnpikes statewide. Gatz noted that the cycle of the ground freezing and thawing along with increased precipitation will contribute to more potholes developing on highways through the spring and summer.

“At this time, there’s no way to know the full extent of the damage to highway pavements caused by the harsh winter, but there is no doubt that drivers will see more potholes and pavement issues in the coming weeks and months,” Gatz said.

Gatz spoke about the ongoing Transportation Modernization Initiative, which includes evaluation of the state’s transportation agencies to develop more efficiencies through shared services across ODOT, OTA, and OAC, which Gatz oversees as a Cabinet Secretary. ODOT and OTA will combine the agencies’ bid lettings for construction contracts into one streamlined process and hold one combined bid opening.

At the request of several commissioners, Gatz provided information about the development of the market for electric vehicles (EVs) in the state and its effect on transportation funding. Currently, nearly 40,000 electric and hybrid electric vehicles are registered in Oklahoma, of which 4,000 are heavy commercial fleet vehicles. Gatz noted that more than 20 states have now implemented some sort of fee on EVs to ensure revenues to the transportation system.     

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Commissioners voted to award a nearly $16-million contract for reconstruction and widening of SH-9 between 72nd Avenue S.E. and 108th Avenue S.E. in Norman, the next phase of the ongoing effort to widen the corridor from two lanes to four lanes between Norman and Tecumseh. They also awarded a nearly $5-million contract to rehabilitate more than one mile of SH-20 pavement east of SH-66 in Claremore.

The commission also approved 10 resurfacing contracts to take advantage of the summer construction season, including I-35 north of Perry in Noble County, US-412 west of Cleo Springs in Major County, and US-59 south of Heavener in LeFlore County.

Commissioners voted to award 26 contracts totaling nearly $68 million to improve highways, roads, and bridges in 27 counties. Contracts were awarded for projects in Adair, Alfalfa, Blaine, Caddo, Cherokee, Cleveland, Comanche, Cotton, Craig, Grady, Johnston, Kiowa, LeFlore, Lincoln, Love, Major, Murray, Muskogee, Noble, Okmulgee, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Rogers, Sequoyah, Texas, Tillman, and Woodard counties.

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