Lawmakers: Oklahoma Is The Model For Transportation Infrastructure

Sunday, October 2nd 2016, 10:32 pm
By: News On 6

Oklahoma's roads, highways and bridges often get a bad rap, but a powerful national lawmaker said the state's transportation infrastructure is actually a model other states should follow.

When it comes to interstate shipping and commerce, Oklahoma has access to water, air, road and rail - right in the middle of the country.

That makes Oklahoma an important driver of America's future economic growth.

Sunday, mayor-elect GT Bynum spent the day with Pennsylvania U.S. representative, Bill Shuster. He's the chairman of the House of Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

"As the incoming mayor, it's a great opportunity to be with someone who shares my compassion for infrastructure as an economic development tool,” Bynum said.

In the past, Shuster has worked with Oklahoma leaders - like Senator Jim Inhofe - to get funding for highway, bridge and road improvements.

Sunday, however, he wasn’t talking about road conditions, but how our transportation infrastructure bridges America.

Shuster said, "This is really one of the crossroads of America. The highways intersect here, you have an inland port close to here, you've got the rail here, but you also have the pipelines. This is the crossroad."

He said Oklahoma is an important transportation hub, so it’s important to see how it all works - particularly the Port of Catoosa.

"The acreage you have there, it's really one of the places you look at and say, this is how economic development, manufacturing is going to occur where you have it on an inland waterway,” Shuster said. “You've got rail connections, highway connection and air connections."

America's population is set to grow to 400 million over the next 20 years, and to keep up with growth, Shuster said businesses across America will rely on Oklahoma.

"They are going to have to locate. Things are going to have to get built in Tulsa, and Oklahoma City and other places around the country, so it's important to come and see what's happening here," he said.

Shuster said he plans to take what he learns back to Washington to help him pass legislation.