Oklahoma will receive $26.5 million in federal grants from the Department of Transportation, according to comments made by U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe on Thursday.
Oklahoma City was awarded $14.3 million in BUILD grants to construct the city’s first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line between downtown and the northwest side of the city. The grants also include $5.7 million to enhance the rail system and $6.5 million for safety improvements and transportation infrastructure in Tulsa.
The BRT line would travel along North Classen Boulevard to the Northwest Expressway and Meridian Avenue in Oklahoma City. The service would connect to the streetcar to alleviate increased traffic congestion and commute times.
“Federal investment in Oklahoma infrastructure continues to pay dividends for citizens across the state,” said Senator Inhofe. “These grants to improve bus transit lines in Oklahoma City and Tulsa will foster economic growth, support accessibility and provide critical safety advancements for the community. Furthermore, upgrades to the rail system at the Port of Muskogee will cement its future as a regional hub for jobs and industry.”
Local matching proceeds include $10.8 million in bond funds and $2.2 million in sales tax proceeds, according to Jason Ferbrache, Transit Director. Sidewalks and bike lanes will connect to the route.
Construction is expected to begin in 2021. The project completion date is expected during 2023.