Every interim, I enjoy traveling House District 51 and speaking with constituents about issues they’re concerned about. Time and time again, I hear concerns about the quality of our roads and bridges.
In the early 2000’s, Oklahoma ranked among the states with the most structurally deficient bridges. At the time, 17% of our state’s 6,800 bridges were in bad shape. After realizing the need to improve our infrastructure, the Legislature increased funds to ODOT by adapting a more reliable funding formula.
As a result of this investment, ODOT has dramatically reduced the number of structurally deficient bridges from 1,168 in 2004 down to only 68 by the end of 2019. This means less than 1% of our bridges are now considered structurally deficient, a huge improvement from our 17% two decades ago! This moved Oklahoma from 49th place in the nation for highway bridge conditions to 9th place earlier this year.
The state will continue its investment in our infrastructure to keep up with aging systems that doesn’t meet the needs of modern traffic. While ODOT has a program to continue addressing our remaining structurally deficient bridges, more resources are being allocated to repair other travel needs, including two-lane highways with deficient shoulders, sharp curves and steep hills.
The Oklahoma Dept. of Transportation is working to repair roads and bridges across the state, and they recently announced the upcoming updates coming to our district that I want to share with you.
Stephens Co. SH-29: From Scott Rd. east 5 miles to N2900 Rd. Reconstruction of a five mile section began earlier in 2019 and is near completion. This project will total$13.2 million.
Grady Co. US-81: Cable barrier is being installed along this highway as part of multiple projects from the Stephens County line extending north to the intersection ofSH-19 East. These projects will total nearly $4.3 million. 2 of the 3 projects are completed. The middle project from Rush Springs north 7.3 miles is still under construction.
Stephens Co. SH-29: From N2900Rd east 4 miles to Morrison Rd. at a cost of $12million dollars. This project which abuts the SH-29 project referenced in FY2018was awarded late spring 2019. Phase II Anticipate Completion in Fall 2021
Grady Co. SH-19: Right-of-way acquisition for property along this route beginning approximately 5 miles east of US-81 extending east for a little over 8 miles to the Roaring Creek bridge. Right-of-way purchases are on-going. Utility relocations will begin in 2021 to accommodate reconstruction projects scheduled in 2023 and 2025)
Grady Co. US-62: Twin bridges to be reconstructed over the Washita River, just east of Chickasha is scheduled at a cost of nearly $13.2 million.
Stephens Co. SH-29: Right-of-way acquisition is on-going for property along this route beginning near Morrison Rd. extending east 12.52 miles to the Garvin County-line. Utility relocations will begin in 2021 to accommodate reconstruction projects scheduled in 2024 and 2026.
Stephens Co. SH-7: A six mile section of this highway will be resurfaced beginning approximately 8 miles east of Duncan extending east to the intersection of N2940County Road at a cost of $3.1 million.
Grady Co. SH-19: A 4.2 mile section of this highway is scheduled for reconstruction from Roaring Creek Bridge, through Bradley, ending at the Washita River bridge at a cost of $14.1 million.
McClain Co. SH-76: A 3 mile section of this highway is scheduled for reconstruction from SH-130 north 3.0 miles to SH-37 costing nearly $11.5 million.
Stephens Co. SH-29: A 5 ½ mile section of this highway is scheduled for reconstruction, which will include a bridge replacement over Black Bear Creek for $20.3 million.
Stephens Co. SH-7: a 7 mile section of this highway is scheduled for an overlay beginning at the intersection of N2940 County Road extending east 7 miles a little over$2 million.
Grady Co. US-277: A 2.7 mile section of this highway is scheduled for reconstruction from Middle Bills Creek Bridge east to the I-44 overpass at a cost of$10.2 million.
Grady Co. US-277: Construct new bridge over Smith Creek, 2.7 miles west of US-81costing $3.16 million.
Grady Co. SH-19: A 5.87 mile section of this highway is scheduled for reconstruction, begins5 miles east of US-81 and extends east to Chitwood Rd. for $24.9 million.
Grady Co. US-81: Realignment of this route (Chickasha Bypass) could potentially be let in the 2023 program year.
Grady Co. US-277: a 4.4 mile section of this highway is scheduled for an overlay beginning at the I-44 overpass and extending east to US-81, $1.3 million.
The infrastructure in House District 51 and across the entire state has made significant progress after recent investments, but we still have more to do. Additional information on projects in your area can be found on the ODOT website, ok.gov/odot, under “Programs and Projects.”
It’s truly an honor and privilege to represent you at the State Capitol. God bless!