Oklahoma Department of Transportation

President Donald Trump signed a stopgap spending bill last week before going to Walter Reed Medical Center because of COVID-19.

Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation Tim Gatz told the state’s transportation commission on Monday that’s good news.

"That translates for the department of transportation to the point that we will have federal aid funding through Dec. 11. That will get us out of the starting blocks for federal fiscal year 21 and allow us to continue to make progress," Gatz said.

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I-44 and U.S. 75 in Tulsa are officially in line for an overhaul.

The Oklahoma Transportation Commission awarded a construction contract for the replacement of five bridges and widening of I-44 from the western bank of the Arkansas River to Union Avenue.

"That contract is a major improvement at Interstate 44 and the U.S. 75 interchange in Tulsa. Contract is about a $90 million contract," said Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation Tim Gatz.

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Sixteen years after being in 49th place for bridge conditions in the country, Oklahoma now ranks ninth.

At last count, 86 bridges on the state highway system — 1.3% — were considered structurally deficient. That’s down from almost 20% in 2004, thanks to 15 years of dedicated state funding and chasing federal grants to fix the problem.

Oklahoma Department of Transportation

First it was turnpikes, now rural stretches of interstate in Oklahoma are getting higher speed limits.

A total of 399 miles along I-35 and I-40 will get 75 mph limits posted in the coming months.

"A comprehensive engineering study was completed for these locations in accordance with Department of Transportation rules, regulations and policies. We have a commitment to safety," said State Traffic Engineer Chad Pendley.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, an interesting conversation with Gabe Klein, an entrepreneur and urban-development advocate who was formerly the DOT director under Mayor Rahm Emanuel in Chicago, and also the Director of the District of Columbia DOT under Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. Prior to working in local government, Klein worked at a few notable start-ups, including Zipcar. On our show today, he talks about his new book, "Start-Up City: Inspiring Private and Public Entrepreneurship, Getting Projects Done, and Having Fun." About this guidebook, Ray LaHood, the former U.S.

Stateimpact Oklahoma

Tulsa County leaders update a plan for improving bridges and some roadways over the next eight years. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is asking for an eight year plan instead of a five year plan as in the past.

Chief Tulsa County Engineer Tom Rains says the state rates bridges in the county, and those at the bottom of the list that need to be replaced are used to prioritize the transportation plan. More funds may be available in future years due to Governor Fallin’s plan to add dollars for upgrading bridges throughout the state.