June 30, 2021
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), applauded two announcements that the Department of Transportation’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant program is awarding $100 million to go towards two large highway projects in Oklahoma. Representatives Frank Lucas (OK-03), Tom Cole (OK-04), Markwayne Mullin (OK-02), Kevin Hern (OK-01) and Stephanie Bice (OK-05) also praised the respective projects in their districts.
“It is welcome news to see more than $100 million in INFRA grant funding come back to important infrastructure projects in Oklahoma,” Inhofe said. “This funding will go towards reconstructing, widening and improving two extremely important highways in Oklahoma: I-40 and I-35, supporting jobs, driving economic growth, and increasing safety for the traveling public. As we continue to discuss a broad, national infrastructure package, regionally important projects like these that are real, tangible, Oklahoma infrastructure will continue to be my focus in Congress.”
“I’m excited to join my colleagues in Oklahoma’s Congressional Delegation in announcing the more than $100 million in INFRA funding for two significant infrastructure projects in Oklahoma,” Lucas said. “Investing in hard infrastructure is critically important to the economic prosperity of Oklahoma’s communities, allowing for increased commerce and economic development to spur growth not only along the corridors of I-40 and I-35 but towns across Oklahoma. I’m proud to have joined Senator Inhofe in our efforts to secure this vital funding and help modernize Oklahoma’s highways. As Congress continues to discuss the need for a national infrastructure package, core infrastructure for Oklahoma and rural America will remain my top priority.”
“I am pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Transportation has selected two critical infrastructure projects in Oklahoma’s Fourth Congressional District to receive significant awards,” Cole said. “The receipt of this tremendous funding will greatly improve and strengthen the ability to move both people and freight in vital commuter and trade corridors while increasing travel safety statewide. This is great news for Oklahoma, and I was delighted to personally advocate for bringing this essential funding to the district I represent within our state. In the years ahead, I look forward to seeing the incredible statewide benefits of DOT’s generous $100 million investment in these key projects.”
“It’s no secret Oklahoma’s highways are in desperate need of repair so I am glad to see this INFRA funding come back to Oklahoma,” Mullin said. “Investing in these two major highways will spur economic growth, increase public safety, and make Tinker Air Force Base more accessible. This is a big win for our state and I will continue to fight for federal investment in projects that improve the lives of Oklahomans.”
“If you’ve driven on I-40 lately, you know this is long overdue,” Hern said. “Roads are a critical piece of our society. These kinds of projects are what most Americans think of when you talk about ‘infrastructure’. These funds will be put to good use in Oklahoma.”
“I-40 is critical to Oklahoma’s ability to serve as a corridor to commerce across the nation, which is why I’m pleased to join with members of Oklahoma’s delegation to announce the awarding of a $50 million INFRA grant for a lane addition and interchange improvement project at I-40 and Douglas Boulevard in the fifth district,” Bice said. “While Congress continues to discuss a nationwide infrastructure package, grants like these ensure that states can maintain interstate safety or expand infrastructure to meet the needs of Oklahoma businesses and residents.”
I-40 Highway Reconstruction and Widening
This $50 million grant to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation will be used for a lane addition and interchange improvement project on I-40 and the Douglas Boulevard Interchange. These upgrades will improve safety and efficiency for more than 50,000 vehicles per day, of which 15 percent are commercial trucks. These crucial grant funds will help advance this critical project’s timetable by five years.
On March 15, 2021, Inhofe led a delegation letter to the Department of Transportation in support of this funding for the I-40 highway reconstruction and widening project.
I-35 Red River Project
This $50 million grant will be used to improve approximately 7.4 miles of I-35 across the Texas and Oklahoma border. The Red River Bridge Project will have significant positive impacts in both Oklahoma and Texas, including within the Chickasaw Nation. The infrastructure that is currently in place was built in the 1960s and can no longer accommodate current traffic volumes of 50,000 vehicles per day.
On March 15, 2021, Inhofe and Cole sent a letter to the Department of Transportation in support of this funding for the I-35 Red River Project.
Oklahoma Stakeholders voiced their support for Sen. Inhofe’s work to secure these grants:
“The additional federal investment in these two critical projects is welcome news,” Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation Tim Gatz said. “The two grants that will improve I-40 in Oklahoma City near Tinker Air Force Base and I-35 in south Oklahoma in partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation are Oklahoma’s primary interstate routes. Oklahoma serves as a crossroads for the efficient moving of goods and services across the nation. Modernizing these two key corridors takes true partnership at the federal and state levels and we are grateful for Sen. Inhofe’s infrastructure leadership along with Congressman Tom Cole, Congresswoman Stephanie Bice and all of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation.”
“Senator Inhofe is a champion for Oklahoma’s infrastructure,” Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said. “His diligence in focusing on the most basic building blocks of our economy—roads, bridges, airports, broadband and rail—provides a solid foundation on which every Oklahoman may work to better their lives and those of their neighbors. The Chickasaw Nation has enjoyed a long and fruitful partnership with Sen. Inhofe, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and county commissioners on a range of transportation issues. The Red River Bridge Project is a great example of the senator’s hard work and intergovernmental cooperation addressing the very real needs of our state.”
“The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber applauds Senator Inhofe for his pivotal role in securing a $50 million grant for key infrastructure improvements in the direct vicinity of Tinker Air Force Base,” President and CEO of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber Roy Williams said. “Tinker, the state’s largest single site employer, is both a major U.S. national security asset but also a crown jewel in economic development terms. This funding will serve to greatly accelerate this project in providing enhanced safe and efficient access to this area, and the OKC business community extends our appreciation for the Senator’s leadership and work on this issue.”