The Oklahoma Statewide Intermodal Transportation Plan, which
projects future improvement projects through 2020, has estimated
costs of $2.68 billion, according to the state Department of
Estimated state funding for the 25-year plan totals $1.9
billion. The department said federal funding, which is not
included in the revenue projections, is expected to more than
offset the difference.
The plan is a result of a federal law passed in December 1991
requiring states to develop a transportation plan covering a
minimum of 20 years. Oklahoma's plan details transportation
improvements involving the state through 2020.
"What's different about this plan is that we had to include
all modes of transportation," said David Streb, statewide plan
coordinator for the Oklahoma Transportation Department.
The department included a state system of highways, rural
transit, freight and passenger rail, bicycle and pedestrian
facilities, commercial trucking, and access to air and water
"Oklahoma is definitely a highway state, and it will probably
stay that way," he said.
During the organization of the plan, the department set up
four funding alternatives and requested public opinion on them.
After consideration, a funding alternative proposing an annual 2
percent increase in state funds from 1995 to 2020 was preferred.
The funding focuses on three primary modes of transportation _
highways and bridges, rural transit and freight rail, according
to the agency.
If the department receives more than the projected 2 percent
increase in funding from the state, the money will be spent on
other modes of transportation besides the highway system, Streb
The transportation plan was approved May 1 by an eight-member
transportation commission appointed by the governor. The members
represent geographic regions of the state.
Oklahoma has "gone a step further (than other states) in
identifying transportation corridors and funding strategies,"
"We have identified transportation improvement corridors in
the state highway system. These are highways we have projected to
need increased capacity in the future," Streb said.
According to the plan, there are 16 transportation improvement
corridors across the state.
The plan has identified one highway for improvement based on
economic development considerations. State Hwy. 6 from Interstate
40 near Elk City to U.S. Hwy. 62 in Altus in southwestern
Oklahoma has been designated an economic development corridor.
These transportation corridors and also those that will be
part of the national highway system are top priority, Streb
The plan also recognizes the need for improvements along
important north-south routes such as Interstate 35 and other
secondary routes. …