By Rep. Mike Sanders
After fighting successfully again for transportation funding this year, I would like to emphasize the many local road and bridge projects completed, going on and planned for the future. I know that these projects are the source of some of my most frequent constituent calls. Hopefully, this will give everyone a feel for the good work being done in the district and the importance of road and bridge funding.
At the intersection of State Highway 4 and State Highway 3 in Piedmont, a project to overlay a rough spot and smooth it out has been completed. Another project is complete on the Okarche portion of State Highway 81 and State Highway 3. Surfacing work is finished and striping was completed this last week.
There is an ongoing project on US-270 between Woodward and Seiling. This is a grade, drain, surface and bridge project. It was a $19.77 million project. Cummins Construction Company is constructing two new eastbound lanes and making improvements to the existing two lanes to construct a four lane divided highway. This project was awarded back in September 2015 and work began on December 15, 2015. We anticipate completion in the fall of 2017.
Another $2.5 million current project in Blaine County on State Highway 3 east of Watonga will replace a structurally deficient bridge. That means that the existing bridge has one or more structural elements that have deteriorated to a rating of 4 on a scale from 1-9 (9 being the best). This project will be completed in the fall of 2016.
Another $8 million current project in Dewey County is on US-270, from 1.7 miles southeast of the SH-51W junction in Seiling and extends southeast 3.92 miles and this project will surface the parallel lane and be completed in the summer of 2016. The turning lanes at the SH-51E junction (the Canton turnoff) were completed this spring.
Upcoming 2016 projects include a $2.8 million concrete overlay on State Highway 51 east of Canton, a $6.1 million bridge project over the South Canadian River on US-183 north of Taloga, and a $9 million project on US-270 beginning 1.7 miles southeast of the junction of SH-51 in Seiling to rehabilitate the existing lanes and make this section fully functional as a four-lane divided highway.
In 2017, there are two asphalt overlay projects on US-183 between Putnam and Taloga at a total cost of $4.4 million, a $10.86 million project on US-270 near the SH-51E junction (the Canton turnoff) to make that a four-lane divided highway and a couple of bridge projects on SH-8 south of Okeene at Spring Creek and Salt Creek totaling $3.2 million.
In 2018, there is a bridge project scheduled over the North Canadian River on State Highway 51 east of Canton at a cost of $5.46 million.
All of these projects in Northwest Oklahoma would not be completed without the eight-year transportation plan being protected and funded properly. Having safe roads is a smart investment for industry to locate to our state, but, more importantly, safe roads are a key component of public safety. We cannot turn back now. We owe it to the people of Oklahoma. I can assure you as chairman on the subcommittee that oversees the transportation budget, I will ensure the eight-year plan is funded throughout my tenure here. I am proud to stand with state transportation officials and county government in ensuring this basic need.