The Chamber will advocate for full funding and timely completion of work on major interchanges located at I-44/Broadway Extension and I-240/I-35 (Crossroads), as well as the following major projects: I-40 east of I-240, I-40 east of I-35 (Tinker Air Force Base); necessary improvements to State Highway 74 (north of Lake Hefner Parkway) and expansion of I-40 to six lanes (to Shawnee).
Governor’s Bridge Improvement Plan
The Chamber supports providing adequate annual appropriations to implement Gov. Mary Fallin and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) Bridge Improvement Plan to repair or replace all of Oklahoma’s structurally deficient bridges on the state’s highway system by 2020 and further ensure that ODOT is able to maintain a nationally leading bridge improvement program.
ODOT Eight-Year Plan
The Chamber supports annual appropriations necessary to preserve and implement ODOT’s eight-year construction work plan. Further, the Chamber will strongly oppose any effort to divert dedicated transportation funding to other areas of government.
To ensure funding is available to ODOT for the performance of critical project completion and maintenance work on the state’s transportation system, the Chamber supports keeping the state’s gasoline tax revenue whole.
Motor Fuels Tax
The Chamber supports increasing the state’s gasoline tax and diesel tax to the regional average and dedicating these taxes exclusively to transportation.
Governor’s Turnpike Plan
The Chamber supports Gov. Fallin and the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority’s “Driving Forward” Turnpike Program and, specifically, the following Oklahoma City-area projects: 1) the construction of a new turnpike facility to link Interstates 40 and 44 (Turner Turnpike) in eastern Oklahoma County; and 2) the construction of a new southwest extension of the existing Kilpatrick Turnpike between I-40 and State Highway 152/Airport Road.
Ports of Entry
The Chamber supports adequate annual state appropriations and staffing levels for the timely completion and effective use of weigh stations at Oklahoma’s ports of entry to ensure the protection of Oklahoma’s roads and bridges from unnecessary damage caused by overweight freight loads.
State Transit Funding
The Chamber supports protecting state revenues allocated into the State of Oklahoma’s Public Transit Revolving Fund to meet citizen demand for public transit.
State Safety Oversight for Passenger Rail
The Chamber supports enabling legislation to appoint ODOT and grant it enforcement authority as the State of Oklahoma’s safety oversight/regulatory agency responsible for passenger rail (and downtown street car) as required by the Federal Transit Administration.
Passenger rail service is a key component of the development of the Oklahoma City intermodal hub and the future development of commuter rail throughout the metropolitan area. The Chamber will work with theOklahoma Congressional delegation, the Oklahoma State Legislature, ODOT, the City of Oklahoma City, and the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG) to oppose efforts to reduce or eliminate state or federal funding received by Oklahoma to operate the Heartland Flyer Amtrak service to Fort Worth, Texas. Moreover, the Chamber supports ongoing efforts by ODOT to negotiate with the State of Texas and Amtrak to ensure Amtrak can be maintained as the passenger rail carrier.
The Chamber supports continued dialogue on extending the Heartland Flyer Amtrak service to Newton, Kansas – which would connect Oklahoma City to Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago and other locations on the Amtrak system.
Oklahoma Rail Safety Improvements Plan
The Chamber supports ODOT’s Rail Safety Improvements plan to address rail safety issues in Oklahoma City and across the state.
The Chamber supports the implementation of ODOT’s long-range freight rail plan and freight plan.
The Chamber will work with the congressional delegation, the City of Oklahoma City and ODOT to ensure the timely completion of the Downtown Boulevard. Significant delays in completing the Downtown Boulevard will impair access to downtown and negatively impact current and future businesses located along the proposed boulevard route and within the downtown core.
Mass Transit/Commuter Rail
The Chamber supports implementation of transit programs that will best serve central Oklahoma including the Central Oklahoma Transit and Parking Authority (COTPA) 2005 Fixed Guideway Transit Study and its following components:
The Chamber further supports the goals of a task force consisting of core central Oklahoma cities working toward establishing a Regional Transit Authority (RTA) to further plan and launch future regional transit services.
The Chamber will work with ACOG, municipal governments, ODOT and Class 1 railroads to conduct early-stage planning for introducing commuter rail service into downtown Oklahoma City from Norman, Edmond and Midwest City. Further planning consideration should be given to potential future expansion of rail service to the Shawnee and Yukon areas.
The Chamber will work with the City of Oklahoma City, ACOG, COTPA, ODOT and the state legislature to ensure the continued viability of the intermodal hub at the Santa Fe station that will effectively integrate various modes of transportation and enhance economic development opportunities.
The Chamber supports efforts to work with stakeholders to maximize alignment and development of future locally preferred alternatives for mass transportation.
The Chamber supports greater frequency and expanded service hours for bus routes.
The Chamber supports continued construction of additional parking, as appropriate on a case-by-case basis, to allow continued economic development downtown.
The Chamber supports increased construction of sidewalks, trails, bike lanes, bike shares and car shares.
Federal Highway Trust Fund
The Chamber will work with our congressional delegation and ODOT to secure a permanent funding solution for the Federal Highway Trust Fund (including mass transit programs).
The Chamber supports adequate funding levels to properly maintain the national transportation system.
FAA Air Traffic Control Privatization
The Chamber will work with the Oklahoma Congressional delegation to oppose any attempt by Congress or the Executive Branch to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system.
Federal Capital Improvement Grants
The Chamber supports continued funding for TIGER and New Starts grants included within the FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act.
Freight Rail Regulation
The Chamber opposes any effort by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to impose additional regulation on freight rail operators.
For more information, please contact a member of our Government Relations staff.