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ODOT Muskogee meeting on long-range plan

ODOT Muskogee meeting on long-range plan

By Donna Hales
Phoenix Staff Writer

November 04, 2009 12:27 am

Oklahoma Department of Transportation officials were in Muskogee on Tuesday to provide residents with information and seek input on what they want to see.
If you weren’t there, you still have an opportunity to suggest ideas and provide comments for the State Long Range Transportation Plan.
The policy plan will represent ODOT’s guiding transportation polices for the next 25 years.
One ODOT 20-year plan is updated every two years. Another eight-year construction work plan also can be commented on.
The wave of the future in transportation or exploring new funding operations is just part of the menu.
“Rail is back — is that important to you?” asked Craig Moody of ODOT. “Talk to us about it.”
ODOT is finalizing the Long Range Plan that has been being looked at since November 2008. That will continue to the fall of 2010.
When asked about ODOT funds being used for trails and sidewalk studies, officials said about $12 million per year out of $400 million in total highway funding to ODOT is spent on the two items. That $12 million is federal money that has to be spent for that purpose, officials said.
One woman asked about trucks tearing up the roadways. Another wanted to be sure we didn’t stop truck traffic.
“Truck traffic is the No. 1 reason our roads deteriorate,” said ODOT Division One Engineer Darren Saliba. “In the next 20 years, truck traffic will double.”
One 18-wheeler does as much to a highway as 9,000 passenger cars, Saliba said.
But trucks are necessary and will be welcome on Oklahoma roads, he said.
Maintenance on a state highway begins the day the contractor leaves the roadway, Saliba said.
One familiar saying: “Don’t let the sun set on a pothole,” he said.
Some astronomical loads of equipment riding the highways to their destination carry big fees to pay for what they do to highways, Saliba said.

Reach Donna Hales at 918-684-2923 or Click Here to Send Email

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