Rail group criticizes ODOT

From The Norman Transcript:

Oklahoma Department of Transportation officials were criticized for their tactics at a Monday press conference at the state Capitol.

The criticism comes from a group that has been promoting a 200-foot shift of the Interstate-40 Crosstown Expressway to preserve the Union Station railyard and central Oklahoma’s future intermodal hub opportunities.

Oklahomans for New Transportation Alternatives Coalition or OnTrac held the press conference to respond to recent statements by ODOT director Gary Ridley and to urge Gov. Brad Henry to listen to all sides.

{…] Ridley wrote in his Oct. 15 letter to Mayor Cindy Rosenthal that modifying the engineering for the Crosstown Expressway would result in a five-to-eight year delay and an additional cost of $240 million to $340 million.

“It will be extremely difficult for the department to guarantee the safe operation of this fracture critical bridge to the year 2020,” Ridley wrote.

OnTrac communications director Marion Hutchison questioned Ridley’s numbers and time lag and said highway engineers had told them that reengineering the Crosstown to move parts of it about 200 feet to the south and add two rail overpasses would cost about $30 million to $50 million.

“It’s going to cost a lot more than $30 million or $40 million to put back in a hub,” Hutchison said, if the railyard is destroyed. “All we are asking is that we have an opportunity to discuss this.”

Read the rest.

See also:
Ontrac/ODOT trying to sway public opinion on Union Station / The Journal Record

Update:

Also see also:
I-40 work could derail train plan in state, foes say / The Tulsa World

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