Oklahoma City, Okla. — Highlights of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s meeting Monday, Sept. 10, included approval of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) annually rebalanced Eight-Year Construction Work Plan and its Asset Preservation Plan; adoption of the updated County Improvements for Roads and Bridges plan and introduction of the newest member of the Commission.
Also announced were the unveiling of two new public charging stations for electric vehicles, the department’s support of the #justdriveok teen anti-texting campaign and contracts awarded for projects including bridge rehabilitations on both I-44 in Oklahoma City and on I-35 near Paoli.
The commission voted unanimously to approve ODOT’s Eight-Year Construction Work Plan for Federal Fiscal Years 2019-2026, which contains nearly $6.5 billion in planned work on state bridges and highways during the next eight years. The plan prioritizes critically needed highway projects and is updated each year based on projections of available state and federal funding. This year’s plan includes 1,386 projects, construction of more than 720 miles of shoulders or other improvements to two-lane highways and 686 highway bridge replacements or major rehabilitations.
“I don’t think we would be as far along on structurally deficient bridges had it not been for an Eight-Year Construction Work Plan to keep us focused,” said ODOT Executive Director and Transportation Secretary Mike Patterson.
The number of structurally deficient bridges on the state highway system has been reduced from an all-time high of 1,168 in 2004 to 168 today, and those are expected to be programmed for replacement or rehabilitation within the next two years. However, now that the goal of removing all structurally deficient bridges is in sight, greater emphasis will be on highway pavement maintenance and reconstruction.
The $473 million Asset Preservation Plan for State Fiscal Years 2019-2022 is a companion to the Eight-Year Construction Work Plan and focuses on preventive maintenance projects designed to extend the life of highway infrastructure. The plan features nearly 400 projects and includes 44 projects to improve highways to Americans with Disabilities Act standards by constructing curb ramps, sidewalks and crosswalks and installing traffic signal push buttons for pedestrians.
Also approved was the County Improvements for Roads and Bridges Construction Work Plan for Fiscal Years 2019-2023. The latest plan calls for $877 million in improvements, most of the bridge projects will be replacements and nearly 40 projects use recycled bridge beams from the I-40 Crosstown project in Oklahoma City. The CIRB enables county commissioners to develop and schedule projects to improve roads and bridges on their system and is the one county program for which ODOT has oversight responsibility on construction contracts.