September 26, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, and Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK-4) today congratulated University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and Langston University for being awarded a grant of approximately $2.5 million through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s University Transportation Centers (UTC) program.
“Oklahoma’s central location positions our state at a critical crossroad for the shipment of goods and travel across the nation,” said Inhofe. “Two primary constitutional duties of the government is providing a strong national defense and supporting a strong transportation and infrastructure system to facilitate commerce. With this grant, our Oklahoma Universities will continue to advance Oklahoma’s research, technology and expertise in the transportation industry.”
"I am pleased that the Department of Transportation will award more than $2.5 million in grant money to the University of Oklahoma’s UTC consortium," said Cole. "This grant recognizes that Oklahoma is advancing viable solutions that will repair broken infrastructure and improve other transportation needs nationwide. I look forward to the difference this money will make through the bright minds in Norman and through the seven other consortium universities in Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas and New Mexico.”
Gary Ridley, Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation, added: “The transportation community in Oklahoma is extremely pleased to hear that the University of Oklahoma is the recipient of a University Transportation Center grant. We are proud of the work OU, OSU, Langston University and others have done to be chosen as one of ten regional centers. These universities will work together to address issues facing the regional and national transportation system thanks to this award.”
"Senator Jim Inhofe understands the vital importance of education, workforce development and research related to transportation in Oklahoma,” said the Dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of Engineering Thomas Landers. “With his leadership and support, the Southern Plains Regional Transportation Center will have the opportunity to address the needs of transportation infrastructure and users in Oklahoma and throughout the region. The University of Oklahoma is pleased to accept the leadership role, working closely with our colleagues at Oklahoma State, Langston, and the collaborating universities in surrounding states."
The U.S. Department of Transportation competitively selected 10 regional UTCs. The University of Oklahoma will be the lead institution for the Southern Plains Regional UTC, and contributing partners will include Oklahoma State University, Langston University, University of Arkansas, University of New Mexico, University of Texas at El Paso, Texas Tech University and Louisiana Technological Institute.
During Inhofe's time as ranking member of EPW, he helped write and pass the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act which authorizes $72.5 million in fiscal years 2013 and 2014 and provides up to 35 competitive grants for UTCs.