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TRUST letter-to-editor to Tulsa World

TRUST letter-to-editor to Tulsa World

Your 2-22-13 editorial, No Surprise: State get bad grades for infrastructure, brings to light the immense situation Oklahoma’s highway and bridge transportation infrastructure was in before the legislature committed in 2006 to returning transportation as a core priority of state government. Coupled with support from Governor Henry and Governor Fallin, Oklahoma has made tremendous progress in a short amount of time to greatly reduce the number of structurally-deficient bridges on the state highway system, and thanks to legislation passed last year, deficient bridges on the county system are now being addressed as well. In addition, widening projects on the Creek and Kilpatrick urban turnpikes are nearing completion. Decades of negligent funding put Oklahoma’s infrastructure in very poor condition, and only time will improve the less then desired grade given by the American Society of Civil Engineers in their recent report. Structurally-deficient bridges are just one challenge. Oklahoma must also address its narrow and poorly aligned highways which are very dangerous and in need of immediate attention. An area where Oklahoma deserves an A+ is our highway median cable barrier system which has greatly reduced the number of crossover fatality accidents. Oklahoma was the first state in 2001 to implement this technology which is now a national standard. While a poor grade is never desired, future report cards should show improvement thanks to the commitment of Oklahoma’s elected leadership.

Chris Benge
Tulsa Regional Chamber Vice President of Government Relations & TRUST board member

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