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ODOT approves plans for $9 billion in road and bridge improvements by 2031

A narrow bridge with metal trusses.
Rhys Martin
National Parks Service
A photo of a bridge

The Oklahoma Transportation Commission approved both a four-year asset protection plan and an eight-year construction plan to maintain and improve the state’s roads and bridges.

Twenty years ago, more than 1,100 Oklahoma bridges were considered structurally deficient. After decades of progress, these new plans address the last remaining 15. They’re among 800 aging bridges ODOT plans to replace or rehabilitate between now and 2031.

The newly approved plans also call for thousands of miles of pavement resurfacing, construction of road shoulders on two-lane highways and other safety improvements. In total, those projects are expected to cost about $9 billion.

I think we're going to have to embrace a whole lot more of this type of creative thinking in the future because, as we know, we have a road network that's many, many years behind in all sorts of ways,” said Commissioner James Grimsley, who represents southeastern Oklahoma.

Grimsley and other commissioners thanked the state legislature for funding these projects. This year’s $200 million payment to the state Rural Economic Transportation and Reliability Optimization Fund is the largest one-time allocation ODOT has ever received.

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Graycen Wheeler is a reporter covering water issues at KOSU as a corps member with Report for America.
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