The Oklahoma Transportation Commission this week approved a $4.3 billion plan to improve or replace hundreds of bridges and highways across the state over the next eight years. The plan covers more than 1,750 projects statewide, including more than 650 bridge replacements or major rehabilitations as well as improvements to segments of Interstates 35, 40 and 44 and other major roads.
“The overall condition of our roadways will vastly improve,” according to Gary Ridley, transportation secretary and director of the state Department of Transportation.
According to the Associated Press, Oklahoma at one point had the highest percentage of deficient bridges in the nation, based on a report by the Road Information Program, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit group that promotes polices that improve roads and bridges.
The Transportation Department estimates that more than 3,000 miles of Oklahoma’s 12,266 miles of highways – about 25 percent – were inadequate and in need of improvement or replacement and about one third of the state’s driving surfaces, about 4,300 miles, were in poor condition.