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Oklahoma Receives $26.3M in New Federal Transportation Grants, Some for Tulsa Bus Rapid Transit

City of Tulsa/Tulsa Transit

Oklahoma agencies were awarded $26.3 million in federal transportation grants Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Deputy Secretary Jeff Rosen said Congress tripled funding this year to $1.5 billion for Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, or BUILD, grants, and states responded by submitting 851 applications.

"It was super-competitive, and the requests that came in amounted to more than the funding available, in fact, by a lot, seeking $11 billion in funding," Rosen said.

Tulsa was awarded a $6.5 million grant for its bus rapid transit system. Funding will go toward connecting traffic signals and BRT stations to the city's traffic management center and outfitting dozens of intersections with transit signal priority.

Work will also include installing more than a dozen cameras at critical intersections for traffic management center and transit dynamic messaging signs at 36 BRT stops. The project will also make ADA-compliant improvements to area crosswalks.

"Over $141 million will be directed to transit projects, $123 million more than in 2017 and twice the percentage of the total funds awarded to transit in 2017," U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao said about the BUILD grant funding breakdown.

Oklahoma also received $5.8 million for rail and road access improvements at the Port of Muskogee and $14 million for a bus rapid transit line in northwest Oklahoma City.

Chao said infrastructure is a national priority.

"Over the past month, it’s been frequently observed that infrastructure is a subject that’s especially ripe for bipartisan legislation in the coming year," Chao said.