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Tulsa's Interstate 44 project approved


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A $1.7 million project to widen part of Interstate 44 in Tulsa has won approval from the Oklahoma Transportation Commission.

The commission approved a contract for the work Monday after commissioners had earlier voted to table the issue until they had more information. At issue was how to fund the project, which will widen a portion of the Interstate to six lanes.

The state Department of Transportation plans to ask the state Contingency Review Board to approve $125 million for the project.

The board had already approved $799 million in Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle bonds for various projects. Under the program, the state sells bonds to build roads and the bonds are sold based on anticipated federal funds.

The department will ask the review board to add $125 million for Tulsa County and another $125 million for Oklahoma County, said Transportation Director Gary Ridley.

If the review board approves the move, the issue then would have to go before the Legislative and Executive bond oversight commissions, Ridley said.

The commission learned last month that the Interstate 44 widening project would cost $263 million.
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