Officials concerned about Crosstown funding

Monday, July 7th 2008, 6:58 pm
By: News 9

By Alex Cameron, NEWS 9

State officials are worried about future federal funding for the Interstate 40 relocation.

The new stretch of the interstate is scheduled to open in 2012 and will replace the Crosstown Expressway bridge.

"The transportation bill that we all operate under runs out in 2009, and the funding outlook is certainly questionable at this point in time," said David Streb, director of engineering for Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

Officials said they're also facing increase construction costs.

"How much of that is exactly tied to the fuel costs, I'm not really sure, but all materials, whether concrete, steel, asphalt, all the ingredients that go into those, all of those materials have been escalating substantially," Streb said.

As a result, ODOT may have to ask Congress to approve a more aggressive funding schedule, or push the project's completion date back, Streb said.

In the meantime, the department has $100 million of unencumbered funds for the project.

The project's pricetag is estimated at $557 million. So far the state has spent about $260 million.

Streb said the current Crosstown remains structurally sound.

"We inspect that bridge every six months, monitor it very closely," Streb said. "We're committed to keeping that in good shape."