The Oklahoma Department of Transportation will use federal stimulus funds to replace 63 of the 6,773 obsolete bridges in the state. Another 53 structures will be renovated with the funding.

Approximately $104 million of the more than $400 million of stimulus funds that ODOT will receive have been approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation for bridge replacement, improvements and construction projects. Road repaving and widening efforts will get $300 million.

Oklahoma Transportation Secretary Gary Ridley said most of the stimulus money received by the department would be spent over the next two years on projects that were in a position to commence when the money came in.

The state received the stimulus funds on March 2, and had 120 days to commit $163 million. Ridley said ODOT obligated $200 million in a little over two weeks and leads the nation in the percentage of its stimulus funding that is earmarked for road and bridge efforts.

ODOT said some 82% of its stimulus funds, or approximately $386 million, is under contract for 136 projects.

The largest stimulus project in Oklahoma is a $75 million effort to replace three miles of pavement on Interstate 244 in Tulsa and re-deck 40 bridges in the highway corridor.

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