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Congressman Cole Votes for Funds for Interchange

July 29, 2005
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole was able to secure $1 million for reconstruction of the I-44/Fort Sill Key Gate interchange in the Transportation Reauthorization Conference Report that passed in the House today. The Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (H.R. 3) is expected to pass in the Senate soon and will then be sent to the President.

"The reconstruction of this interchange serves two primary benefits safety and increased access for the efficient transportation of military goods. I am very pleased these funds were included in the final version of this legislation, so the people of Lawton-Fort Sill can move forward with this project," Congressman Cole said.

Plans for this project call for the reconstruction of the I-44/Fort Sill Key Gate interchange on the east side of the main portion of Ft. Sill.  The project will include design features to enhance clearances for the movement of military goods for both highway and rail movements.

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 from 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.