Oklahoma Awarded $100 Million in Competitive Highway GrantsThu, 01 Jul 2021 08:53:39 CDT
Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) joined Senator Jim Inhofe and members of Oklahoma’s delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives in applauding the U.S. Department of Transportation’s announcements that two large highway projects will receive significant funding through the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant program, which is highly competitive.
Between the two awards, the combined total funding is approximately $100 million, with $50 million going toward the I-40 Douglas Interchange project and $50 million for the I-35 Red River Bridge project. Both projects directly affect Oklahoma’s Fourth Congressional District.
“I am pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Transportation has selected two critical infrastructure projects in Oklahoma’s Fourth Congressional District to receive significant awards,” said Congressman Tom Cole. “The receipt of this tremendous funding will greatly improve and strengthen the ability to move both people and freight in vital commuter and trade corridors while increasing travel safety statewide. This is great news for Oklahoma, and I was delighted to personally advocate for bringing this essential funding to the district I represent within our state. In the years ahead, I look forward to seeing the incredible statewide benefits of DOT’s generous $100 million investment in these key projects.”
“It is welcome news to see more than $100 million in INFRA grant funding come back to important infrastructure projects in Oklahoma,” said Senator Jim Inhofe. “This funding will go towards reconstructing, widening and improving two extremely important highways in Oklahoma: I-40 and I-35, supporting jobs, driving economic growth, and increasing safety for the travelling public. As we continue to discuss a broad, national infrastructure package, regionally important projects like these that are real, tangible, Oklahoma infrastructure will continue to be my focus in Congress.”
“I’m excited to join my colleagues in Oklahoma’s Congressional Delegation in announcing the more than $100 million in INFRA funding for two significant infrastructure projects in Oklahoma,” said Congressman Frank Lucas. “Investing in hard infrastructure is critically important to the economic prosperity of Oklahoma’s communities, allowing for increased commerce and economic development to spur growth not only along the corridors of I-40 and I-35 but towns across Oklahoma. I’m proud to have joined Senator Inhofe in our efforts to secure this vital funding and help modernize Oklahoma’s highways. As Congress continues to discuss the need for a national infrastructure package, core infrastructure for Oklahoma and rural America will remain my top priority.”
“It’s no secret Oklahoma’s highways are in desperate need of repair so I am glad to see this INFRA funding come back to Oklahoma,” said Congressman Markwayne Mullin. “Investing in these two major highways will spur economic growth, increase public safety, and make Tinker Air Force Base more accessible. This is a big win for our state and I will continue to fight for federal investment in projects that improve the lives of Oklahomans.”
“If you’ve driven on I-40 lately, you know this is long overdue,” said Congressman Kevin Hern. “Roads are a critical piece of our society. These kinds of projects are what most Americans think of when you talk about ‘infrastructure.’ These funds will be put to good use in Oklahoma.”
“I-40 is critical to Oklahoma’s ability to serve as a corridor to commerce across the nation, which is why I’m pleased to join with members of Oklahoma’s delegation to announce the awarding of a $50 million INFRA grant for a lane addition and interchange improvement project at I-40 and Douglas Boulevard in the fifth district,” said Congresswoman Stephanie Bice. “While Congress continues to discuss a nationwide infrastructure package, grants like these ensure that states can maintain interstate safety or expand infrastructure to meet the needs of Oklahoma businesses and residents.”
I-40 Highway Reconstruction and Widening
The $50 million grant to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation will be used for a lane addition and interchange improvement project on I-40 and the Douglas Boulevard Interchange. These upgrades will improve safety and efficiency for more than 50,000 vehicles per day, of which 15 percent are commercial trucks. These crucial grant funds will help advance this critical project’s timetable by five years.
On March 15, 2021, Cole joined a delegation letter, led by Inhofe, to the U.S. Department of Transportation in support of this funding for the I-40 highway reconstruction and widening project.
I-35 Red River Bridge Project
In collaboration with the Texas Department of Transportation, this $50 million grant will be used to improve approximately 7.4 miles of I-35 across the Texas and Oklahoma border. The Red River Bridge Project will have significant positive impacts in both Oklahoma and Texas, including within the Chickasaw Nation. The infrastructure that is currently in place was built in the 1960s and can no longer accommodate current traffic volumes of 50,000 vehicles per day.
On March 15, 2021, Cole joined Inhofe in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation in support of this funding for the I-35 Red River Project.
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