ODOT head says budget crunch won't slow projects

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation director says budget cuts endured by the agency shouldn't slow work on road construction programs in the state.

Gary Ridley told the Oklahoma Transportation Commission on
Monday that during the fiscal year that starts July 1, ODOT will receive about $28 million less in state funding than it had expected to receive the previous fiscal year.

The agency's overall budget will be about $1.57 billion, down from about $1.8 billion the previous year because of a reduction in federal stimulus funds.

But Ridley says the agency will be able to issue $215 million
worth of bonds later this year and that contractors' bids in recent
months have been coming in 14 to 15 percent below engineers'
estimates, resulting in savings for ODOT.

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