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

FHWA 37-11
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Contact: Nancy Singer
Tel: 202-366-0660

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $3.9 Million in Grants for Oklahoma Highway Projects

Funds will help create jobs by upgrading rail crossings and improving access

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced more than $3.9 million in grants for Oklahoma to fund an array of highway-related efforts including constructing the Sky Dance pedestrian bridge in downtown Oklahoma City and installing protected rail crossings in Ardmore.

"Transportation investments like these will create jobs and improve the quality of life for Oklahoma residents as well as strengthen the state's economy," said Secretary LaHood. "The demand from the states for these funds shows just how critical the need is for infrastructure investment."

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) invited states to apply in June for federal funding from 14 grant programs. Requests poured in from every state, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. – more than 1,800 applications, totaling nearly $13 billion, which is more than 30 times the funds available.

"At a time when states are facing serious budgetary constraints, these grants will help fill a critical need," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "Investments like these are immediate and long-lasting and will help create jobs."

Congress created the discretionary grant programs to give FHWA the latitude to support projects that maintain the nation's roads and bridges, improve roadway safety and make communities more livable. In previous years, Congress designated some of this grant money for specific projects and FHWA awarded the remainder through a competitive process. Because the FY11 budget passed by Congress last April directed that all such funds be discretionary, FHWA awarded these funds through a competitive process.

Oklahoma will receive funding for the following projects:

Installing protections at three unprotected crossings in Ardmore $1,450,000
Constructing the Oklahoma City Sky Dance pedestrian bridge $1,304,400
Replacing the main access bridge to the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant $1,150,000
Helping expand the number of active Disadvantaged Business Enterprise firms $48,334
Installing signage along the Rising Waters Ancient Mountains Scenic Byway $31,040
TOTAL $3,983,774

A complete state-by-state list of this year's grant recipients is available online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pressroom/fhwa1137/.

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