Congressman Cole Votes for Funds for Duncan Bypass
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole was able to secure $3 million for the construction of a bypass grade separation in Duncan in the Transportation Reauthorization Conference Report that passed in the House today. The Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (H.R. 3) was reconciled in a House-Senate conference committee and upon Senate passage will now go to the President.
"Traffic volumes have grown considerably over the past ten years on US 81 and it has become increasingly important to construct a bypass. There have been numerous fatalities on this road that could be avoided. These funds will help alleviate safety and traffic impediments for the Duncan community and the many travelers between Oklahoma and Texas," Congressman Cole said.
This project will improve grade separation access on the west side of Duncan. The funds will help provide the Duncan bypass with and adequate and safe grade separation geometrics resulting in increased safety and improved traffic handling.
Congressman Cole was able to include $35.4 million for priority projects in Oklahoma's Fourth Congressional District in The Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (H.R. 3).
"Thanks to the leadership of our own Senator Inhofe, Oklahoma will be getting more money back per dollar that what we pay in gasoline taxes. Also, Senator Inhofe was able to greatly boost the amount our state will be receiving for specific projects. His hard work on this bill shows his commitment to making Oklahoma a better place to live," Congressman Tom Cole said. "Another champion for Oklahoma roads during this process has been ODOT Director Gary Ridley. He has been an instrumental voice in getting these funds directed to priority projects in Oklahoma."
An agreement was reached during conference negations to raise the amount of aid states receive from the federal Highway Trust fund. Oklahoma currently receives 90.5 cents back for every dollar the state pays in gasoline tax. This legislation will increase that amount to 92 cents for every dollar by FY2008.
"Today the joint efforts of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and our state's representatives and senators have paid off. The projects identified in this bill are important for the safety of Oklahomans and the many other travelers that pass through our state," Oklahoma Department of Transportation Director Gary Ridley said.