Oklahoma Department of Transportation

Edmond Police Department / Twitter

Thunderstorms, blizzards, flooding — Oklahoma saw them all last month, and the cost of responding to them is adding up for the department of transportation.

"Our storm-related activities has cost the agency $1.6 million during the month of December," said ODOT Director Mike Patterson. "The bulk of that, $1.4 million, has come in since Christmas Day."

ODOT sent crews out to treat slick roads and help motorists navigate highways with lanes closed because of ice and snow. They’re also assessing damage caused by ice storms and heavy rain.

Oklahoma Department of Transportation

The state’s revenue failure means the Oklahoma Department of Transportation will lose money for a fund supported by personal income taxes.

The Rebuilding Oklahoma Access and Driver Safety — or ROADS — fund was set up in 2005. Each year, it typically receives the same funding as the previous year plus about $60 million, up to a cap of $575 million.

ODOT expects to cut $13 million from the fund, which Director Mike Patterson said will likely delay new projects.

A front-end loader places debris into a truck parked along I-35 that will haul the rocks to a nearby quarry.
Oklahoma Department of Transportation

Late last week the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and two contractors started hauling away more than 28 million pounds of rock debris from the site of a rockslide two months ago along Interstate 35 between Oklahoma City and Dallas.

The 14,000 tons of rock from the June 18 collapse will be hauled away over the next several weeks, and ODOT says all lanes of Interstate 35 should be reopened by the end of August.

Engineers and demolition experts blast unstable rock from a formation in the Arbuckle Mountains after last month's rockslide along Interstate 35
Oklahoma Department of Transportation / Twitter

Few things in this world are more exciting to watch than organized, controlled destruction.

Wednesday afternoon, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation detonated a series of small charges on a rock face along Interstate 35 in the Arbuckle Mountains. The project was postponed a day due to heavy rainfall across the state on Tuesday.

Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

The Democratic leader in the Oklahoma House is joining a growing chorus of state legislators asking Gov. Mary Fallin to call a special session to address county roads and bridges damaged or destroyed by heavy flooding. 

Rep. Scott Inman said Thursday he wants the Legislature to access as much as $175 million from the state's Rainy Day Fund to help county commissioners pay for extensive damage that resulted from record-breaking rainfall this month.

Aerial footage of floodwaters covering Alameda Street as it crosses Lake Thunderbird in far east Norman on May 24, 2015.
Lawrence McEwen / YouTube

Gov. Mary Fallin has directed the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to speed up bidding on county infrastructure projects and find more ways to support recovery efforts in light of widespread damage after flooding throughout the month of May.

Fallin says some state lawmakers have asked her to redirect money from Oklahoma's Rainy Day Fund to county infrastructure projects, which she doesn't have the legal authority to do.

Mitch Groff / Flickr Creative Commons

An Ardmore company has been awarded a $9.5 million contract to build a new weigh and inspection station on Interstate 35 just north of the Texas border.

The Oklahoma Transportation Commission voted Monday to award the contract to Overland Corporation of Ardmore. Construction on the new station 12 miles north of the Oklahoma-Texas border is expected to begin the spring and take a little more than a year to complete.

ODOT Game Plan Is To Play Defense Next Session

Jan 6, 2015
At its Monday, Dec. 8 meeting, the Oklahoma Transportation Commission approved a contract for reconstruction the I-35 interchanges at SH-9 East and Lindsey St. in Norman, pictured here looking south.
Oklahoma Department of Transportation

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation will be playing primarily defense and little offense next legislative session, said Executive Director Mike Patterson Monday. The department’s legislative game plan, he said, came after discussions last session that threatened to reduce funding to the state agency.

At its Monday, Dec. 8 meeting, the Oklahoma Transportation Commission approved a contract for reconstruction the I-35 interchanges at SH-9 East and Lindsey St. in Norman, pictured here looking south.
Oklahoma Department of Transportation

A contract with a base bid of more than $71 million was awarded Monday by the Oklahoma Transportation Commission, the largest construction agreement in its history. Work on the project that involves the reconstruction of two interchanges along Interstate 35 in Norman is expected to begin in early 2015.

doug_wertman / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma Department of Transportation Director Mike Patterson praised the five-year County Improvement for Roads and Bridges (CIRB) construction work plan Monday during a Transportation Commission meeting. 

The CIRB plan, which was effectively created through the passage of House Bill 1176 in 2006, allows for county officials to suggest road and bridge projects to engineers, and ultimately the state, for completion. The plan will include structurally deficient county bridges.

Oklahoma State Highway 9
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is unveiling plans to widen a 3-mile stretch of Oklahoma Highway 9 east of Norman.

State highway officials say there have been at least 136 wrecks on a 2-mile stretch of the highway over the past 10 years. The transportation department unveiled plans to widen the highway from two to four lanes at a public meeting Tuesday at the Little Axe Community Center.

Gov. Mary Fallin tours the closed James C. Nance Bridge over the Canadian River - Feb. 7, 2014
Governor Mary Fallin / Facebook

The Oklahoma Transportation Commission unanimously approved the Department of Transportation’s new eight-year plan Monday.

ODOT Director Mike Patterson said the plan, which covers federal fiscal years 2015 to 2022, includes 1,947 total projects with a cost of $6.3 billion.

The latest eight-year plan, Patterson said, accelerates some projects and delays others based on anticipated funding and need.

Provided / Oklahoma Department of Transportation

Gov. Mary Fallin announced Wednesday she’s asking for federal aid for businesses in Purcell and Lexington affected by the closure of a state bridge that connects the two communities.

In a statement, Fallin said she’s requesting an economic injury declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration. That allows McClain and Cleveland county businesses to apply for federally subsidized loans.

Fallin declared a state of emergency two months ago that allowed state reimbursements of up to $100,000 for each of the cities and the two counties. 

A new exit opens Friday afternoon providing better access to and from downtown Oklahoma CIty.
Oklahoma Department of Transportation

The Oklahoma Transportation Commission is set to meet and plans to discuss proposed state funding changes that have been passed by a state Senate committee.

The Senate Appropriations Committee last week voted 20-3 for a bill that would divert hundreds of millions of dollars in state revenue from transportation directly to public schools in Oklahoma during the next several years.

The bill now goes to the full Senate.

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation says a damaged bridge in Cleveland County will likely remain closed for several months, creating commuting nightmares for residents of Purcell and Lexington.

The James C. Nance bridge over the Canadian River connecting Lexington to Purcell was closed last week after the discovery of several cracks in the truss beams.

Department officials told the Oklahoma Transportation Commission this week that the repairs could take several months.

The closure isn't welcome news to many residents of Purcell and Lexington.