What’s the problem?
Funding. Oklahomans pay more than $1 billion in road taxes and fees each year, but for decades only about $218 million of these tax dollars make their way back to state highways and bridges. Funding for Oklahoma’s highways was stagnant for more than 30 years. In fact, Oklahoma spent more money in 1985 than in 2004 to maintain highways. During that same 30 years traffic on state roads increased 50% and the cost to build and maintain roads increased 75%.
Thankfully, the Oklahoma Legislature has provided significant increases to transportation funding over the last six years, providing over $625 million through 2015 in additional funding. This is a tremendous first step, however Oklahoma still has billions in unfunded road and bridge repairs.