Congressman Cole Votes for Funds for Oklahoma Highways
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole voted today for the House Transportation Reauthorization Conference Report (H.R. 3), which included millions of dollars for vital highway projects across Oklahoma. This legislation, which passed in the House today, was reconciled in a House-Senate conference committee and upon Senate passage will now go to the President.
"Oklahoma's roads are in need of some drastic repairs and upgrades. I am very pleased to report that the bill we passed today includes more money for Oklahoma roads than any other highway bill in our history," Congressman Cole said. "In the Fourth Congressional District, these funds will help make life saving improvements to roads that have proven to be dangerous and inadequate to handle volumes of traffic."
The Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (H.R. 3) provides $286.4 billion in federal highway for transit and road safety projects across the country through 2009.
This legislation seeks to correct problems of congestion, driver safety, and inefficient highway projects, while creating millions of new U.S. jobs in the transportation sector and related industries.
"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.
Congressman Cole was able to include the following funds for priority projects approved by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation:
- Complete Reconstruction of the I-35/SH 9 West Interchange, $4 million
- Construction of Duncan Bypass Grade Separation, $3 million
- Improvements at I-35 Interchange at Milepost 1 in Love County,$2 million
- Enhancements for Highway 19 from Ada to Stratford, $2.4 million
- Construction of Midwest City Pedestrian Walkway, $1 million
- Construction of Norman Grade Separation, $10 million
- Reconstruction of the I-44/Fort Sill Key Gate Interchange, $1 million
- Research to be conducted at the University of Oklahoma on the global tracking of cargo goods, $12 million