Saturday, July 06, 2019

Oklahoma bridge ranking approaching top-10 nationally

Some interesting news from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Looks like Governor Stitt is nearing a new "top-10" accomplishment in his first term.
July Commission Wrap-Up: New public transit office at ODOT announced; Oklahoma’s bridge ranking continues to improve; $96 million in contracts awarded 

Highlights of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s Monday, July 1 meeting include announcement of the creation of a new transit office at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, an update on the state’s improving bridge conditions, details of emergency repair plans for highways in Canadian and Sequoyah counties damaged by spring flooding, removal of a section of SH-3 in Oklahoma County from the highway system and approval of funding for upcoming centerline rumble strip installation. Contracts were awarded for a traffic signal on SH-74 in Oklahoma County, local government projects in Norman, Midwest City and Tulsa County, as well as I-40 improvements in McIntosh and Okfuskee counties.


Secretary of Transportation and ODOT Executive Director Tim Gatz informed the commission that Oklahoma’s bridge conditions continue to improve. The state’s bridges went from being ranked 17th best in the nation last year to 13th best this year according to updated federal data. The state is on track to have less than 1 percent of all ODOT-maintained bridges rated structurally deficient by the end of the decade, which will put Oklahoma in the Top 10 for highway bridges. Gatz noted that many national reports cause confusion by putting all bridges on the highway system and those on local roads together when ranking the states. While there has been some progress, local bridges maintained by cities and counties in Oklahoma remain near the bottom of the rankings. For perspective, ODOT has jurisdiction over 6,800 bridges on the highway system, while cities and counties are responsible for 16,000 bridges.

I-35 at Deep Fork Creek
The state’s national ranking for bridge conditions continues to improve thanks to a long focus on eliminating Oklahoma’s structurally deficient bridges. Members of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission learned at their Monday, July 1 meeting that only 132, or less than 2 percent, of all highway bridges under the jurisdiction of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation are rated structurally deficient, which puts Oklahoma at 13th best in the nation for highway bridges. Pictured here is the ongoing $31 million reconstruction of the I-35 bridges over Deep Fork Creek in northeast Oklahoma City that were structurally deficient.

Read the full press release at this link.


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