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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 59-10
Contact: Nancy Singer
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Phone: 202-366-0660

Interstate-244/Inner Dispersal Loop Project Under Way Thanks to Recovery Act Dollars

Federal Highway Administrator Mendez in Tulsa to See How Project Will Improve the Drive Around Tulsa

TULSA - Commuters in Tulsa will soon experience a safer, smoother ride now that the Interstate-244/Inner Dispersal Loop (IDL) project is well under way with $63.4 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars, Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez announced today.

At a total cost of $70.4 million, the IDL paving and bridge rehabilitation project is the single-largest project ever awarded in the Oklahoma Department of Transportation's history in addition to being the state's largest highway Recovery Act project.

"The Recovery Act is making history in Tulsa by funding a landmark project and also putting people back to work," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "It is working to deliver transportation projects of all sizes, large and small, to meet the needs of diverse communities across the country."

In addition to improving ride quality for drivers of the 65,000 vehicles each day that use the four-mile IDL, a vital link to the central business district encircling downtown Tulsa, the project will also bring tremendous community benefits to an economically distressed area. It will improve access to businesses and create a visually pleasing downtown surrounded by smoother decks and pavements.

"Rebuilding this essential link will improve Tulsa's overall transportation system, which is vital to the city's economic prosperity," Administrator Mendez said. "In addition, it will create a more livable and inviting downtown, boost the economy, and strengthen the sense of community."

Mendez added that doing away with all the patchwork and potholes that resulted in one of the roughest rides in the nation also will have significant safety benefits, especially on such a heavily traveled road.

The IDL project will rebuild the north and west legs of Tulsa's IDL, including portions of I-244, US-412, US-64, and SH-51; replace the decks on 44 bridges on the north and west segments; and reconstruct a total 23 lane miles of heavily deteriorated pavement. The project started in June 2009 and will be completed in early 2011.

Of the $26.6 billion in Recovery Act highway money available nationwide, Oklahoma's share is $464.7 million toward 274 projects.

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