Rep. Cole Votes for Funds for Midwest City Walkways
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole was able to secure $1 million for walkways in Midwest City 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 be used to make walkways along major streets in Midwest City to encourage alternate methods of transportation and exercise. By promoting alternative forms of transportation that inadvertently encourage physical exercise, reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality, Midwest City's quality of life will be improved," Congressman Cole said.
The City of Midwest City is planning on undertaking a long-term project to create a network of pedestrian trails along all major streets, which will connect neighborhoods, schools, commercial areas and major employers. The trails would also be located on bus routes. Pedestrian trails are planned for all arterial streets in Midwest City that currently do not have paved pedestrian access.
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.