Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

State Money Woes Cause Cutbacks in Highway Projects

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

State Money Woes Cause Cutbacks in Highway Projects

Article excerpt

State money woes will force a reduction in highway construction projects in Oklahoma for the next couple of months, but rural county roads could be helped by the problem.

Until the budget crunch hits with full force, however, there are some major projects planned.

The Oklahoma Transportation Commission Monday awarded 33 highway construction projects worth $46.78 million, but approved abbreviated programs for the next two months expected to total less than $20 million combined. Work on projects for which contracts were awarded Monday is expected to begin within 60 days.

Commissioners, meeting in Oklahoma City, also added seven major projects worth an estimated $45.18 million to the state highway construction program. No timetable was given for when these projects will be added to the contract letting schedule.

Included is a demonstration on U.S. Hwy. 70 between Durant and Hugo using recycled material.

Intent of that project, estimated to cost $2.6 million, is to resurface a portion of the highway using some sort of recycled material, according to Monty C. Murphy, deputy director of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Length of the resurfacing project is not known.

"We are looking at several types of recycling projects at this time," he said. "We could either chip away old asphalt and mix this in with new or we could till out the concrete and recycle that mixture or we could look at some sort of rubberized asphalt using ground up old tires. Our research people are looking into this." Even though Monday's awards were the largest in the last six months, contractors anticipate a slow down caused by the low April and May lettings and made even lower bids on these projects, Chief Engineer Bob Rose told commissioners.

The 33 projects were 10.5 percent below engineers estimates of $53.4 million.

"Contractors know there will be few projects in the next two months, and they also know this is the time of year when the weather is expected to be good for working on construction projects," Rose said. "For this reason, we got some good bids." Contracts on three major Oklahoma County projects were awarded Monday.

They are:

Resurfacing 4.67 miles of State Hwy. 3, or Northwest Expressway, from Pennsylvania Ave. west to MacArthur Blvd.

Gilbert Central Corp. of Oklahoma City received the $9.5 million contract, which was 6.7 percent below the engineer's estimate of $10.2 million. Two other companies also bid on this project.

Improving Sooner Rd. from SE 44th St. to SE 74th St., a distance of 1.9 miles.

T.J. Campbell Construction Co. of Oklahoma City received the $2.7 million contract, which was 12.5 percent below the engineer's estimate of $3.1 million. Five other companies also bid on this project.

Construction of a noise abatement wall for 0.5 miles along Int.

240 from the Int. …

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