Stimulus road projects win praise for Oklahoma

JULIE BISBEE, Capitol Bureau Published: September 9, 2009
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Oklahoma is one of a handful of states successfully using its federal stimulus dollars for road projects, according to a report presented to members of the Transportation Commission on Tuesday.

Through the end of August, 87.6 percent of the $465 million the state received for road projects is linked to a project that has been approved by the Federal Highway Administration and is ready for bidding, said Gary Evans, director of operations for the state Transportation Department.

About 25 percent — or $115.8 million — has been paid out to contractors working on projects on Oklahoma roads, Evans said. So far, eight projects, totaling $14.3 million, have been completed.

Road projects being funded by federal stimulus dollars are expected to be completed over the next 12 months.

The chairman of the U.S. House committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, U.S. Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., recently sent a letter to state officials commending them for their efforts to put federal stimulus dollars to work.

Oberstar said Oklahoma has the third-best record among all states and the District of Columbia.