AASHTO Journal, 18 October 2013
Earlier this month, the Oklahoma Transportation Commission approved an eight-year, $6 billion transportation plan for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to plan for work on nearly 2,000 projects across the state to make citizens safer and grow transportation infrastructure for the future.
The work plan, which runs from fiscal year 2014 through 2021, includes 924 bridge replacement or major rehabilitation projects, 657 miles of shoulders and other various improvements to two-lane roads, and 552 miles of major improvements to high-volume highways and interstates in an effort to ease congestion and prepare for future growth. In total, 1,999 projects are addressed in the work plan.
Aside from the number of projects, the work plan also allows ODOT to move up projects identified for future construction, which allows state citizens to begin seeing the benefits of these completed projects much earlier than first thought. The plan also builds on previous successes—for example, it continues ODOT’s effort to provide recycled beams from the old I-40 Crosstown bridge for use on other bridge replacement projects. ODOT has been concentrating on bridge repair for years and has already made progress in this area. In 2004, ODOT reported 1,168 bridges as structurally deficient. In 2012, however, that number had decreased to 556.
“Thanks to the governor, legislature, and the people of Oklahoma, transportation planning and funding have become top priorities in the past decade,” said ODOT Executive Director Mike Patterson in a statement. “With this comprehensive eight-year plan, ODOT will continue to address our structurally deficient highway bridges and move Oklahoma over to the list of states with the best bridges in the nation.”
ODOT’s eight-year construction plan is available here.