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With Ridley's guidance, Oklahoma roads and bridges improving

GARY Ridley's first job with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation was as an equipment operator. More than 40 years later, getting things done is still his priority.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Modified: November 11, 2010 at 4:42 am •  Published: November 11, 2010

The current construction plan also includes improvements to shoulders on 485 miles of two-lane highway, surface improvements to major highways, and the additional installation of life-saving cable barriers in medians.

When federal stimulus money became available last year, Ridley's agency was first in line and secured $465 million for state projects. ODOT operates with about 2,400 employees, roughly 800 fewer than 15 years ago. “I would hope to think people are happy with how their money is spent,” he says.

Ridley's stewardship in encouraging. When Oklahomans see roads getting fixed and bridges being repaired, as promised, they have reason to believe that perhaps other areas of state government can deliver, too.

Ridley is state transportation secretary as well as ODOT director. The former post is at the pleasure of the governor. Gov.-elect Mary Fallin would be wise to keep him on board, although Ridley won't campaign for it.

“What's important to me is that the plans we have in place move forward,” he says.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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