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Oklahoma DOT Kicks Off Work Zone Safety Initiative, Final Segment of Tulsa’s Inner Dispersal Loop to be Improved

The Oklahoma Transportation Commission approved a contract for a major $31-million project to reconstruct the pavement and rehabilitate several bridges and ramps on the east leg of the Inner Dispersal Loop in Tulsa.
The Oklahoma Transportation Commission approved a contract for a major $31-million project to reconstruct the pavement and rehabilitate several bridges and ramps on the east leg of the Inner Dispersal Loop in Tulsa.
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — Highlights of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s recent video teleconference meeting include the kick off of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Oklahoma Turnpike Authority’s (OTA) work zone safety awareness initiative, a report on ongoing work to address pavement conditions following the recent harsh winter, and comments on a major federal infrastructure proposal. Contracts were awarded for major projects on US-75 in Tulsa County, I-35 in Garvin and Kay counties, US-287 in Cimarron County and US-281 Spur in Canadian County.

Secretary of Transportation and ODOT Executive Director Tim Gatz helped announce Oklahoma’s driver safety education effort, which coincides with the National Work Zone Safety Awareness campaign led by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Safety partners ODOT and OTA are bringing a year-round education and awareness campaign dubbed “Make Safety Stick: Everybody Click” to the public to bring attention to safety issues like seat belt use, distracted driving, and basic roadway etiquette to help reduce crashes and save lives.

Gatz updated the commission on ongoing highway pavement repairs following the harsh February polar vortex, where subzero temperatures and heavy precipitation stressed older pavements. An emergency $574,000 project is currently underway to repair a busy section of US-169 near SH-266 in Tulsa that experienced pavement failure during the winter storm.

Additionally, Gatz briefed the board on the Biden administration’s recent announcement of the American Jobs Plan, a more than $2-trillion federal investment in infrastructure. The measure includes more than $570 billion in additional transportation spending for roads and bridges, highway safety, public transit, Amtrak, waterways, reconnecting neighborhoods, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

At the request of District 3 Commissioner T.W. Shannon, Gatz provided some information on evaluation of agreements with tribal governments on highway projects in light of the evolving impacts of the recent McGirt v. Oklahoma ruling. The department plans to provide a more detailed report to the commission at its next meeting.

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Commissioners voted to award a contract for a major $31-million US-75 improvement project on the east leg of the Inner Dispersal Loop in Tulsa. Work will include full-depth pavement reconstruction, rehabilitation of several bridges and ramps, and addition of new lighting on the IDL during the nearly two-year project. This is the final segment of the highway loop around downtown to undergo major pavement reconstruction since ODOT began the effort in 2009.

The commission also approved contracts for three miles of I-35 pavement reconstruction north of Pauls Valley and I-35 bridge replacement at the Blackwell Northern Railroad south of Braman, as well as US-287 resurfacing near Boise City and US-281 Spur pavement rehabilitation near Geary.

Commissioners voted to award 20 contracts totaling nearly $109 million to improve highways, roads, and bridges in 14 counties. Contracts were awarded for projects in Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Cimarron, Garvin, Kay, Lincoln, McCurtain, Nowata, Ottawa, Rogers, Stephens, and Tulsa counties.

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