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Congressman Cole Votes for Funds for Norman Roads

July 29, 2005
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole was able to secure $26 million for the Norman area 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.

"These funds will help alleviate safety and traffic impediments for the Norman community. I am very pleased that these funds will be sufficient to complete the grade separation on Robinson Street in order to prevent railroad traffic from blocking vehicles from crossing Robinson Street which congests west and east bound traffic flows in Norman," Congressman Cole said.

H.R. 3 will provide $10 million for intersection improvements and a grade separation on Robinson Street from US-77 to Stubbeman Avenue. Congressman Cole was also able to secure $1 million last year in the transportation spending bill for this project.

"The Robinson Street project will provide for vital uninterrupted emergency access to the hospital complex. It will also help eliminate delays for police and fire emergency personnel that occur when trains cross the current at-grade crossing," Congressman Tom Cole said.   

The Transportation Reauthorization bill also provides $4 million for the reconstruction of the I-35/SH 9 West Interchange in McClain County immediately south of the South Canadian River Bridge.

"This project will provide for safer and more efficient movements for goods and travelers on this heavily traveled corridor. With improvements this road will be able to serve more people in a safe and efficient manner," Congressman Cole said.

Also included in the bill is $12 million for research to be conducted at the University of Oklahoma on the global tracking of cargo.

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.