It is no secret that Oklahoma's bridges and roadways could use some work. But now, the state is landing at the bottom of a list that it does not want to be on and getting off of that list may be an uphill battle.
"No one's going to look at a list and say, 'Well, you know, Oklahoma's number two on the 'Top Most Deficient Bridges and Roads in the Nation'' and say, 'Man, I really want to move to Oklahoma,'" said Chief Deputy County Commissioner for Tulsa County, Michael Willis.
That list - put out this week - ranks Oklahoma as having the second-worst bridges of any state in the nation.
Transportation for America - the coalition publishing the report - based its findings on several sources.
The designation does not come as much of a surprise to Oklahomans, with many of our current bridges and overpasses dating back to the Eisenhower administration.
"Roads and bridges are the backbone of what government should be doing to support economic development," said Willis, adding that funding is at the core of the problem.
But, with legislation recently passed to provide more money to counties for road and bridge improvements, the hope is that projects like the one Thursday on I-44 westbound will continue.
"We've put a lot of effort into our construction projects lately, both, on highway improvements, on bridge replacements, bridge rehabilitation -- so, really, we're starting to see the results from all this hard work," said Kenna Carmon with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, pointing out that the widening of the I-44 corridor is a step in the right direction.
But Willis says the county is only able to make repairs to one or two bridges per year. "We've got a lot of infrastructure to take care of and when you've got only a limited amount of tax dollars or funds to take care of those, it turns into a problem, over time," he said.
Nevada ranks first on the list for best bridges in the country.
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Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:35 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:35:49 GMT
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