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New ODOT Eight-Year Plan Includes I-44 Widening in West Tulsa

Oklahoma Department of Transportation

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s latest eight-year construction plan includes a major Tulsa project.

An $80 million project on I-44 west of the Arkansas River should go out for bid sometime in federal fiscal year 2021.

"The plan right now for I-44 for the widening between Union Avenue and the Arkansas River will be adding in an extra lane in each direction and also making some operational improvements at the U.S. 75 junction," said ODOT's Kenna Mitchell.

The project was awarded a $45 million dollar federal infrastructure grant.

The state transportation commission on Monday gave the green light to the nearly $6.5 billion slate of projects. Mitchell said with the agency nearing its goal in fixing structurally deficient bridges, the work plan has a two-pronged approach for 2019 through 2026.

"We’ll still see some bridge projects over the next few years, and we’ll also begin more of a focus on our pavement conditions. So, there are projects that will be focused on not just the pavements, but also improving some of the two-lane highways across the state," Mitchell said.

Fewer than half the 1,386 projects in the plan are bridge replacements or major rehabilitations. The rest cover more than 720 miles of added shoulders or other improvements to two-lane highways, 152 miles of interstate pavement improvements, and projects to address urban highway congestion.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.