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First Term Legislators Gather on Crosstown for Roads Scholar Program

First Term Legislators Gather on Crosstown for Roads Scholar Program

 Gather on New Crosstown Bridge for I-40 Update and Roads Scholar Program

OKLAHOMA CITY (Jan. 22) – Newly elected state senators and representatives gathered today at the new Penn Avenue interstate bridge to be recognized as the first participants in the education initiative, The Roads Scholar Program.  Lawmakers were also given updates on the possible federal economic stimulus package and a progress report on the new Crosstown I-40.

The event, hosted by the Restore T.R.U.S.T. (Transportation Revenues Used Strictly for Transportation) Coalition, was followed by an education initiative that gave a thorough overview of the state of Oklahoma's roads and bridges.

"Gov. Henry and the legislature have made it a priority to significantly increase funding for roads and bridges over the last three years," said Phil Tomlinson, state secretary of transportation.  “These investments are an important part of ensuring Oklahoma's ability to grow our economy and keep citizens safe as they travel state roads. Following the historic inauguration of President Obama, I am pleased to share Oklahoma is well-positioned to benefit from the potential passage of a federal economic stimulus package, should Congress approve it."  

Gary Ridley, director of the Oklahoma department of transportation, agreed. “This potential, one-time infusion of additional transportation funding is key in expediting much-needed projects already identified critical in our 8- yr plan, statewide in our rural and urban communities.”

"Thanks to the foresight of ODOT's long range planning, the contracting community stands ready to employee hundreds of Oklahomans to begin the process of rebuilding the critical corridors the department has submitted for consideration in the stimulus package," said Bobby Stem, executive director of the Oklahoma Association of General Contractors.  "It is so encouraging to see these freshmen legislators take the time to join us for this important event.  Oklahomans want, and deserve safe roads and bridges, and we stand ready to get to work."

"Through the Roads Scholar Program, legislators are listening to their constituents and taking the time to learn more about how to address our state's transportation funding needs.  They are to be congratulated for their diligence in going the extra mile," said Neal McCaleb, former state secretary of transportation and president of the T.R.U.S.T. coalition.

The T.R.U.S.T. Coalition is a bi-partisan group of concerned citizens, TRUST is a coalition of highway industries, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations and concerned citizens that seek to improve the condition of Oklahoma's roads and bridges through education and legislative advocacy.

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