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For roadwork, Oklahoma takes stimulus lead

For roadwork, Oklahoma takes stimulus lead

This article first appeared in Newsok.com

BY JULIE BISBEE
Published: April 28, 2009

Oklahoma leads the nation in the percentage of federal economic stimulus funds already allocated to highway projects, officials said Monday.

After contracts were awarded Monday, the state Transportation Department had designated for projects about $314 million of the $465 million it got in federal stimulus road and bridge funds, agency spokeswoman Terri Angier said.

The state has allocated about 67 percent of the money it will get for road projects. That’s more than any other state.

The money won’t be spent until projects are completed.

Work on at least three road projects funded by federal stimulus dollars is scheduled to begin this week, Angier said.

The state Transportation Commission on Monday approved several contracts for road projects, including a $75 million contract to replace the pavement on three miles of Interstate 244 along the north and west legs of the Inner Dispersal Loop around downtown Tulsa. The project will include replacing pavement and work on more than 40 bridges, said Gary Ridley, transportation secretary.

"It will cause a disturbance, but it’s a much-needed project,” Ridley said.

The Tulsa project is the largest one approved by the commission and one of the largest stimulus projects in the country, Ridley said. Work on I-244 in Tulsa will take nearly a year and a half to complete. The contract was awarded to Manhattan Road and Bridge Co. and Sherwood Construction, both of Tulsa.

The commission also awarded a contract for a $23 million resurfacing and drainage project on U.S. 59 in Le Flore County. It went to Koss Construction Co. of Topeka, Kan.

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