ODOT request to expedite Crosstown ruling may delay it further

From The Oklahoma Gazette:

A letter from the director of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) to a federal board asking that board to “expeditiously issue” a ruling actually caused the ruling to be delayed further, according to an attorney.

The letter, dated Jan. 30 and sent by ODOT Director Gary Ridley to the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB), states that a pending decision by the board regarding a railway abandonment in the path of the proposed Crosstown Expressway relocation project is holding up construction and indicated $70 million in construction costs is at stake.


However, Fritz Kahn, a Washington, D.C., attorney who represents several entities opposed to the Crosstown relocation project, said the letter reopened the case for review as well as for competing filings, almost certainly ensuring a delay.

“That letter that was submitted on behalf of ODOT, though it was intended to urge the agency to render a decision, will have the practical effect of slowing things down,” Kahn said. “They (the STB) will now have to take that letter into consideration. (Opposed groups) responded, I responded … so, all those will need to be dealt with.”

Kahn estimated Ridley’s letter could delay the STB’s ruling by several months.

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