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Oklahoma's I-40 found to be among worst roads

Oklahoma's I-40 found to be among worst roads

The Oklahoman
Published: March 10, 2009
Buzz up!

If roads could talk, Interstate 40 likely would be begging for mercy.

Being the "most-traveled truck route in Oklahoma” isn’t easy.

Traffic moves along Interstate 40. By Jim Beckel

Oklahoma’s portion of the transnational highway recently was branded one of the worst roads in America by Parade magazine. The magazine polled drivers with a Tennessee-based trucking company.

A few truck drivers at Pilot Truck Care Center, I-40 and Morgan Road, agreed.

"Oklahoma’s got the roughest stretch of the highway,” Paul Griesbach said. "It’s just like riding on a washboard.”

Greisbach passes through Oklahoma on I-40 twice a week, hauling snack cakes between Tennessee and New Mexico. He said some parts of the highway are better than others, pegging a stretch between Henryetta and Webbers Falls as the worst.

Howie Assa, a New Jersey resident who works all over the country, agreed I-40 needs work, but said it is better than other highways he has traveled.

His list included parts of I-40 in New Mexico, Arizona and California.

State Transportation Department spokeswoman Brenda Perry said the state will use money from the federal economic stimulus package for work on the west end of I-40. One of the worst sections of I-40 will get a $46 million face-lift on the west side of Oklahoma City and in Canadian County with the infusion of stimulus funds. Another $27 million is being allocated to 14 miles in Beckham County.

Oklahoma is expected to get about $340 million for road and bridge projects.

Dan Case, executive director of the Oklahoma Trucking Association, said maintenance has been poor on I-40, which he called the "most-traveled truck route in Oklahoma” from Oklahoma City to the west.

Case said the state has been working to fix the highway in five- or 10-mile segments for years, but that is not enough.

He said the state needs to rebuild some of the worst sections, rather than just patching them.

Case, who used to travel to Amarillo for work, watched Texas strip I-40 to the ground and rebuild. That highway is still in pretty good shape, he said.


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