Commission Approves New County Roads And Bridges Work Plan

Aug 2, 2021

Credit Oklahoma Department of Transportation

The Oklahoma Transportation Commission signed off Monday on an updated five-year work plan for county roads and bridges.

State lawmakers created the County Improvements for Roads and Bridges program in 2006 in order to help local governments pay for projects they couldn’t afford on their own. The updated plan covers work through fiscal year 2026.

"The nearly $755 million five-year plan includes the replacement or rehabilitation of 272 bridges, including 129 structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Additionally, there are 443 miles of county roadway that will be improved with this plan," said Oklahoma Department of Transportation Local Government Division Engineer Shelly Williams.

The updated five-year plan is a bit smaller than last year’s, covering fewer bridges and road miles and with state funding down almost 18%.

A legislative watchdog released a report in June suggesting various improvements to how the program is administered. Oklahoma Transportation Secretary and Department of Transportation Executive Director Tim Gatz has called it a "good report" and told the transportation commission ODOT is acting on some of those recommendations.

"And also strengthen our relationship with the counties and the county commissioners to make sure that we bring you well-vetted projects that are indeed representative of the projects that are of the highest priority on the county system," Gatz said.

State funding for the program comes from motor vehicle taxes.