WASHINGTON D. C. — Thursday, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-OK, announced the Oklahoma Department of Transportation will receive a $22 million BUILD Grant from the Department of Transportation to make improvements and repairs to the historic, two-lane Bridgeport Bridge along US-281/Route 66 in Oklahoma’s Caddo and Canadian counties.
Inhofe has strongly supported this project, sending a letter to Secretary Chao advocating for it in May.
“I applaud the selection of the Bridgeport Bridge on US-281/Route 66 for a BUILD Grant this year,” Inhofe said. “The $22 million in federal grant funds will ensure this historic, 86-year-old bridge is upgraded to meet modern day safety requirements. These improvements are needed urgently for motorist safety, freight mobility, and regional economic growth, while also supporting the historic nature of the bridge and regional tourism. The Bridgeport Bridge project, which will preserve the iconic pony truss spans, will ensure Route 66 remains an important part of Oklahoma’s surface transportation network. Oklahoma alone has the longest drivable stretch of Route 66 — also known as Will Rogers Highway — and I am proud to support efforts to ensure this iconic route is taken care of well in to the future.”
“This Administration is making significant investments in infrastructure, and this $1 billion in BUILD grants will repair, rebuild, and revitalize transportation systems across America,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao said.
“This grant is great news for Oklahoma drivers and Route 66 enthusiasts worldwide as we approach the centennial celebration of the Mother Road. We are so grateful to Senator Inhofe for his efforts in securing this BUILD Grant and for his long-standing commitment and support for improving Oklahoma’s infrastructure,” Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation and Oklahoma Department of Transportation Executive Director Tim Gatz said. “This funding will allow us to make the needed improvements to keep our citizens, commerce and the economy moving safely and efficiently while also honoring the Bridgeport Bridge’s history as one of the most iconic Route 66 structures in the nation.”
“We welcome the news that the Route 66 Bridgeport Bridge project was selected for a BUILD Grant,” Route 66 Alliance Executive Director and CEO Ken Busby said. “The upgrades and repairs made possible with this $22 million grant will ensure Oklahoma’s surface transportation network can continue to support economic growth, while at the same time appropriately preserving the bridge’s historic and iconic structure. We are glad to have a leader like Sen. Inhofe on our side as we continue to keep Route 66 drivable for years to come.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Grant program provides a unique opportunity for the DOT to invest in road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives.