Oklahoma state and county transportation officials announced that the Oklahoma Transportation Commission (OTC) approved an eight-year, nearly $6.5 billion construction plan (Fiscal Year 2020-2027) involving nearly 1,400 projects, KFOR reports.
The plan includes three main points:
- Replacing structurally deficient highway bridges;
- Improving 780 miles of two-lane highways that have no shoulder to include shoulders wider than 4 feet; and
- Improving pavement on 1,131 lane-miles of highway from fair or poor to good.
“We have been really focused on bridge infrastructure,” said Cabinet Secretary of Transportation Tim Gatz, adding that the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) plans to replace or rehabilitate 657 of the nearly 6,800 bridges it maintains, according to the news agency. “That’s our number one priority and has been for a long time because it needed be. Over the course of this calendar year 2019, we expect that to continue to improve dramatically with a goal of having less than 1 percent structurally deficient bridges as we move into 2020.”
“The legal load limit in Oklahoma on the county system is 90,000 pounds, or 45 tons, and we have a lot of bridges,” Randy Robinson, executive director of the statewide Circuit Engineering District’s board, told the news agency, noting that approximately one in six bridges can’t even take a fully loaded 15-ton school bus.
The OTC also approved the $1 billion County Improvements for Roads and Bridges (CIRB) adjusted five-year plan, which will address 375 county bridges, 179 of which are structurally deficient, as well as more than 800 miles of county roads. The CIRB is funded through a state income tax and state motor fuel tax revenues, as well as the federal Highway Trust Fund.