ODOT Commissioners move ahead with I-35 six-lane expansion in southern Oklahoma



Approval of continued expansion of Interstate 35 to six lanes in southern Oklahoma was one of the high-lights of the recent meeting of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission.

The $40 million project located near Thackerville was one of many projects included in the $2.5 billion budget for the Transportation Department.  The expansion to six lanes includes an interchange reconstruction at SH-153 in Love County.

This project picks up at mile marker 3, where six lanes were just completed, and extends north two miles to SH-153. This project is one of many programmed along the I-35 corridor between Oklahoma City and the Texas state line.

Interstate-35 is currently being widening at SH-9W south of Norman and preliminary engineering is being done for a project near Johnson Rd. in McClain County. A corridor study of the I-35 expansion can be found here along with an interactive dashboard: https://oklahoma.gov/odot/i-35.html

Commissioners voted to approve the department’s Fiscal Year 2025 preliminary $2.5 billion Budget Work Program. A few highlights of the SFY 2025 budget include:

  • The ROADS Fund remained unchanged and was authorized at $590 million to continue infrastructure investments in Oklahoma’s future
  • A $4.8 million increase (2.2%) from last year’s appropriations to the State Transportation Fund base derived from motor fuel taxes
  • $30 million from the state’s General Revenue Fund
  • A 3.6% increase to the County Improvement for Roads and Bridges (CIRB) program to $101 million available for county projects

“I want to recognize that the legislative leadership worked through an arduous process that produced a budget which recognizes the continuing needs of the transportation system. We are very appreciative of the opportunity to deliver projects in accordance with that budgetary approval,” said Gatz.

Also included in the General Appropriations bill, was an allocation of $200 million authorized in the Rural Economic Transportation Reliability and Optimization Fund (RETRO Fund). Per RETRO Fund provisions, these resources will help accelerate construction, repair and maintenance of Eight-Year Construction Work Plan projects in qualifying rural areas that have experienced robust economic development causing an impactful increase to traffic volumes and safety concerns.

ODOT Executive Director Tim Gatz invited commissioners and the public to help the department celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Heartland Flyer this month. Festivities will be held at the Santa Fe depot on Friday, June 14. Amtrak is passing along anniversary savings with a 25% discount for ticket purchases; more information on the Flyer can be found here: https://www.amtrak.com/heartland-flyer-anniversary-sale

Heartland Flyer


The department was recently awarded the State Agency Partnership Award at the annual Keep America Beautiful national awards ceremony in San Diego. One of four state agencies to receive the honor, it is presented to agencies that successfully partner with their local KAB affiliate to combat litter during the Great American Cleanup.

The department has been partners with local affiliate Keep Oklahoma Beautiful since 1965. According to KOB Executive Director Evelyn Schaefer, during the 2023 litter clean-up effort, all 77 counties and 13,000 volunteers participated; 5,000 acres of land were cleared and 23 million pounds of trash collected.

Commissioners voted to award 16 contracts totaling $82 million to improve highways, roads and bridges statewide. The public may access a list of all awarded contracts at https://oklahoma.gov/odot/business-center/contracts-and-proposals.html selecting the May 9, and May 16, 2024 lettings.

The next Oklahoma Transportation Commission meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, July 1. The meeting will be available to view live via Ustream and past meetings are available at vimeo.com/odot.

Source: ODOT press release