The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has started the yearlong process of writing its next long range plan, and they want your input.
A survey for ODOT's 2020–2045 Long Range Transportation Plan is open until Aug. 12. The plan shows the federal government what the state’s transportation goals and priorities are for the next 25 years and can help secure additional funding from Washington.
Currently, there’s about a $10 billion state backlog in needed road and bridge work.
"Obviously, there’s not $10 billion available in funding for us to meet that gap quickly. So, we have to prioritize our projects and try to work incrementally on addressing that backlog," said ODOT spokesman Cody Boyd.
Highways and bridges aren’t all the plan covers.
"We’re looking at highways, rail, public transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, ports and waterways, airport access, freight movement, and so, yeah, we want everyone’s perspective and want their feedback," Boyd said.
Boyd says the federally required plans make a difference. In 2004, Oklahomans said having the second-most structurally deficient bridges in the U.S. was unacceptable.
"For the next eight years, a lot of resources were put toward addressing structurally deficient bridges because that was a key goal. And so, now we’re nearing the point where we’re getting close to being in the top 10, actually, of the best bridge conditions for the highway system," Boyd said.
ODOT wants to have the updated plan in place next summer. More information about the planning process and the current Long Range Transportation Plan are available at oklongrangeplan.org.