Oklahoma updates County Improvements for Roads and Bridges plan

The plan is set to replace or rehabilitate 313 bridges on the county system

August 05, 2020 / 2 minute read
The Belford bridge over the Arkansas River west of Ralston in Pawnee County, Oklahoma.
The Belford bridge over the Arkansas River west of Ralston in Pawnee County, Oklahoma. Image: Oklahoma DOT

This week, the Oklahoma Transportation Commission approved the nearly $880 million County Improvements for Roads and Bridges (CIRB) plan that has been updated for the state's fiscal years (FY) 2021 through 2025.

The plan, managed by the Oklahoma DOT (ODOT), is set to replace or rehabilitate 313 bridges on the county system—of which 151 are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete—and to improve 585 miles of county roads in the next five years.

“Oklahoma’s county road network accounts for 60% of the state’s bridges and 73% of its centerline miles on our state’s transportation system, and this funding is fundamental to keeping the ‘off-system’ infrastructure online for years to come,” ODOT Secretary Tim Gatz said in a statement.

The plan is comprised of 209 projects with all 77 counties represented. The department works with the counties’ eight Circuit Engineering Districts to prioritize projects of the highest need in each county and make the most of state, federal, local, and tribal funding sources. The plan allows counties to work together to pool resources to address high-priority projects too large for any one county to accomplish.

The plan is designed to address projects like the Belford bridge. The $13.3 million bridge replacement project is slated for FY 2025 in the plan, but due to the needs of the community and the urgency to replace the structurally deficient bridge, it is anticipated to go to construction earlier than planned when the pre-construction requirements have been met. The CIRB partnership fosters collaboration and coordination between the state and counties to address issues like this one.

In the spring, ODOT received a $10.3 million federal grant to replace 34 structurally deficient bridges in Grant County. This Competitive Highway Bridge Grant bundles all the bridges into one project, allowing for more to be done with the same dollar amount through innovative contracting practices. These projects appear in the new iteration of the plan to go to bid in FY 2021.

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SOURCE: Oklahoma DOT

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