Director Praises ODOT's Fiscal Responsibility

Jan 3, 2018

State budget cuts forced the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to slide projects out of its eight-year plan for the first time last year.

ODOT Director Mike Patterson said the agency should look at that in a positive light.

"We never gave up on our fiscally constrained eight-year plan, and it worked exactly like it was supposed to. We did exactly what we were supposed to do," Patterson said. "If you have less money, you have to do less things."

ODOT took roughly 40 projects out of its latest eight-year construction plan, approved by the state transportation commission in October. Patterson said the agency has lost around $840 million in funding since 2010, and lawmakers had plenty of warning projects would slide out of the plan.

"We told the legislature in the 2016 session when we took that reduction if we did it again, we would have to take projects out of the plan, and so our forecast was right," Patterson said.

ODOT's latest plan covers work statewide through 2025, focusing on deficient bridges, crumbling pavement, and major transportation and freight corridors, including Tulsa's Inner Dispersal Loop and U.S. 69.