Wednesday, May 27, 2015
OKLAHOMA CITY -- In light of widespread damage to roads and bridges caused by recent flooding, Governor Mary Fallin has instructed the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) to expedite bidding on county infrastructure projects and to explore additional means of supporting recovery efforts. Fallin also said that the extent of the recovery effort would not be known until flooding recedes.
“Right now, we don’t know the full extent of county-level needs because we don’t know the full extent of the flood damage,” said Fallin. “We won’t know that until the water levels recede.
“We do know, however, that there will be infrastructure needs on the local level and that the state needs to play an active role in helping the counties any way we can. I’ve asked ODOT to do everything in their power to support local road and bridge repairs, including expediting the process by which they award contracts.”
The governor does not have the legal authority to redirect money from the Rainy Day Fund to county infrastructure projects, as some legislators and county commissioners have requested. However, Fallin said she was confident the state would find other ways to provide additional support to county-led recovery and repair efforts.
“Transportation Secretary Gary Ridley and ODOT Director Michael Patterson are working hard to find additional ways we can provide state support to local infrastructure repairs,” said Fallin. “We are making sure, for counties hit the hardest by these storms and floods, that help is on the way.”
The governor has declared a state of emergency for all 77 counties. She spent today touring storm and flooding damage in South Oklahoma.