ODOT Suspends 20 Large Road Projects Due To Budget Cuts

Thursday, May 4th 2017, 6:27 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Uncertainty over the budget has forced the state department of transportation to suspend 20 large road projects and dozens more could soon be put on hold. 

It won't stop traffic but it will delay road repairs in Tulsa, including bridge repairs and road resurfacing.

On Highway 75 at 36th Street North, the cones are out early for a bridge project that was supposed to start Monday.

It's off for now held up by indecision on the state budget and the potential that ODOT won't have the money to pay contractors.

"We won't have enough cash coming in throughout the year to satisfy our outstanding financial obligation," said Mike Patterson, ODOT Director. 

One intersection downtown has both ramps and bridges under contract for repairs.
ODOT has told the workers to wait.

A partial list of suspended projects in Tulsa includes Highway 169, $5.9 million of resurfacing and the IDL in downtown, $9.3 million worth of bridge repairs.

In Jenks on 96th Street, $5.4 million dollars for rehabilitation and road widening.

On I-244, $9 million worth of work on four bridges is on hold.

The bridge at Pittsburg is one of those due for substantial repairs that now will remain as is until ODOT gets more tax money.

The state was going to start work on bridges at Harvard, Yale and Memorial too but that's on hold, and the state is reviewing 80 other projects that might be next.

"We're in a hole, so we're going to stop where we're at with projects we haven't started and review the projects we have started and see which ones are viable to stop if necessary," Patterson said. 

ODOT's share of budget cuts could be $250 million. 

They note that 23 other states have raised fuel taxes in the last two years, and Oklahoma's is almost the lowest in the nation now.