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Video: Keating joins TRUST

Video: Keating joins TRUST

Former Gov. Keating Pushes Funding for OK Roads

Reported by: Lyndsay Levingston
Last Update: 10:10 am

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T.R.U.S.T. (Transportation Revenue Used Strictly for Transportation), an advocacy coalition, announced Thursday that Former Gov. Frank Keating will serve as the new co-chairman of the group.  The coalition also announced its efforts to launch a 2010 campaign to get more federal dollars for bridge and road maintenance.
"TRUST will focus on growth, modernization, and funding for transportation for Oklahoma, working on a bipartisan basis, to make sure when you're talking about needs, they're met," Keating said.  "If the bridges are always under repair, roads under repair, people back up, and obviously it causes delay and loss of job opportunity."

According to TRUST, the current condition of the state's roads and bridges includes:

--unfunded backlog of $11 billion in deferred maintenance and repairs

--hundreds of miles of 2-lane narrow roads are 56% more likely to cause accidents

--24% of state highways miles are rated critical and inadequate

"If the bridges are always under repair, roads under repair, people back up and obviously it causes delay," Keating said.

Neal McCaleb, the Director of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, says the state isn't getting it's fair share of dollars from the government.

The problem is the state's revenue.  Oklahoma can't decrease planned state spending, which is around $196 million, if they accepted transportation stimulus dollars in the past. 

"The revenue is declining because we're using fuel efficient cars and driving less, they've gotta find another mechanism to bring full funding to what the needs are," McCaleb said.

Current recessions of federal funding are decreasing Oklahoma road funding by $22 million per month, because the state lacks sufficient revenue of its own to support the current road and bridge repair budget.


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