Roads

Oklahoma Department of Transportation

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has received $154 million from the federal coronavirus relief package passed in December.

State Secretary of Transportation and ODOT Executive Director Tim Gatz plans to put a portion of that into the agency’s asset preservation fund. He said the timing of a cash infusion for road repairs couldn’t be better.

"I can’t emphasize enough the impact that two weeks of subfreezing weather conditions are going to have on our pavement structures for the springtime," Gatz told the Oklahoma Transportation Commission last week.

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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.

Tulsa County on Twitter

Tulsa County Engineer Alex Mills said on Monday that the slate of major road projects planned for summer will almost certainly be reduced as a result of the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

"Diesel tax, gasoline tax, gross production tax — that is the bulk of our funding," Mills said. "The numbers from March showed a pretty significant drop."

Mills said that the numbers for April are likely to be even more significant.

Late one night in 2011, a large animal collided with an SUV on a Connecticut parkway. This animal was not a deer -- as is, sadly, so often the case. It was a 140-pound mountain lion...and it had been born in the Black Hills of South Dakota...in 2009!

On this edition of ST, we cover some interesting and less-familiar Tulsa history by way of a new biography of Cy Avery. Our guest is the Missouri-based author Susan Croce Kelly, author of "Father of Route 66: The Story of Cy Avery," which is just out from OU Press. Kelly will be speaking about and signing copies of this book on Saturday the 27th at the Tulsa Historical Society; the event is free to the public and begins at 10:30am.

KWGS News Photo

State lawmakers voted today to dramatically reduce the backlog of bridges needing repair or replacement in Oklahoma. “Although we have made significant progress addressing transportation needs in recent years, there is still much work to be done,” said state Rep. T.W. Shannon, a Lawton Republican who chairs the House Transportation Committee. “This legislation ramps up those efforts and keeps state resources focused on a true core function of government: transportation infrastructure.