Congressman to inspect Tulsa's IDL on Monday
BY GAVIN OFF World Data Editor
Monday, January 11, 2010
1/11/10 at 2:18 PM
Related story: Road projects don't help unemployment, AP analysis shows
Rep. Jim Oberstar, chairman of the House of Representatives' Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, will join ODOT officials and tour the Inner Dispersal Loop on Monday.
Before leaving Oklahoma, Oberstar, D-Minn., will also tour two Oklahoma City road projects, said Gary Ridley, department director.
"I hope he would come away with the impression ... that the money Congress is providing, Oklahoma is spending it wisely," Ridley said. "It will be his first chance to come and see our progress."
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has awarded about $414 million of its allotted $465 million stimulus funds. Some $228 million has already been paid to department contractors.
Monday ODOT awarded its first three stimulus projects aimed at upgrading small-town sidewalks so they meet Americans with Disabilies Act standards. Those projects are in Beckham, Jefferson and Texas counties and total about $927,000.
Ridley said the federal stimulus money has created more than a million hours of work.
"Oklahoma ... has done a good job of getting the projects out," Ridley said. "Certainly those projects would not have been done this year. It would have been five, six, seven years."
In other ODOT news, Ridley said the department spent more than 36,000 man-hours cleaning up last month's blizzard. The clean-up cost the department more than $4 million in maintenance funds.
In this November file photo, eastbound traffic on U.S. 64 backs up as construction work continues on the southwest leg of Tulsa's Inner Dispersal Loop.SHERRY BROWN/ Tulsa World File