November Virtual Commission Meeting Wrap-Up: ODOT response to ice storm detailed

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

Sidewalk projects highlighted; $54 million in contracts awarded November 4, 2020 Highlights of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s Monday, Nov. 2 meeting include a briefing on the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s recent ice storm response, an update on federal funding that expires in mid-December, highlighting of the state’s first public transit plan, presentation of a prestigious award to a member of the department’s senior staff and introduction of the agency’s new comptroller. Contracts were awarded for major projects on I-35 in Oklahoma County, SH-18 and US-60 in Osage County and on sidewalks and trails in eight communities. Secretary of Transportation and ODOT Executive Director Tim Gatz briefed commissioners on the agency’s response to the late October ice storm, which affected much of western and central Oklahoma. Commission members learned that ODOT crews treated more than 9,000 miles of highway in more than 60 counties with thousands of tons of salt and sand during the storm. Gatz noted that the storm was very challenging due to downed limbs and power lines blocking roadways and reminded the public to be patient as highway crews and utility workers continue to clean up. The agency’s maintenance crews were fully stocked up on salt, sand and brine solution before the storm, and still have plenty of supplies for the next round of winter weather.     Gatz noted that ODOT is closely monitoring federal transportation funding, as the current continuing resolution that authorizes federal government operations will expire in mid-December without congressional action. The agency is working to finalize its update to the Eight-year Construction Work Plan for Federal Fiscal Years 2021-2028, which includes upcoming ODOT highway and bridge construction projects using anticipated state and federal funding available during the next eight years. The final plan is expected to presented to the commission for approval in December.   Gatz also highlighted the recent release of the draft Oklahoma Public Transit Policy Plan in partnership with the Oklahoma Transit Association. The plan is available for review at and public comments will be accepted through Nov. 21.   Women’s Transportation Seminar, Oklahoma Chapter President Rhonda Dudeck announced that the organization is recognizing ODOT Deputy Director Dawn Sullivan as “Woman of the Year” for her achievements and contributions to transportation. Director of Finance and Administration Chelley Hilmes announced Christy Barron as ODOT’s new Comptroller. Barron previously served as treasurer and finance director for the City of Midwest City and with the State Auditor and Inspector’s Office. The commission voted to awarded a nearly $2 million contract for rehabilitation of the I-35 bridge over the Stillwater Central Railroad, just south of I-40, in Oklahoma City, as well as contracts for a $5 million project to replace the SH-18 over Salt Creek near Ralston and a more than $2 million project to replace the US-60 bridge over Salt Creek near Burbank. Also awarded were contracts for sidewalk, trail or streetscape projects in Antlers, Checotah, Elmore City, Freedom, Guthrie, Oklahoma City, Seminole and Waynoka. Commissioners voted to award 32 contracts totaling $54 million to improve highways, roads and bridges in 39 counties. Contracts were awarded for projects in Beaver, Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Choctaw, Comanche, Creek, Garfield, Garvin, Grady, Grant, Greer, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnston, Kay, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Logan, Major, Mayes, McClain, McCurtain, McIntosh, Murray, Nowata, Oklahoma, Osage, Pawnee, Pottawatomie, Pushmataha, Rogers, Seminole, Stephens, Tillman, Tulsa, Washita and Woods counties. A list of all awarded contracts can be found by visiting, selecting the October 2020 AM letting, clicking Go, then Award. The commission met to conduct business in a video teleconference with members attending remotely as a public health precaution due to COVID-19. A recording of this meeting can be viewed online at The nine-member Oklahoma Transportation Commission, appointed by the governor and legislative leadership to oversee the state’s transportation development, awards contracts for road and bridge construction monthly. Next month’s Oklahoma Transportation Commission meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 7 and will be held in-person while observing social distancing. The meeting will also be available to view live on the web.

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