NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma will lead the Southern Plains Regional Transportation Center (SPRTC), a University Transportation Center (UTC) funded by a $2.6 million grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
“Becoming a Regional Transportation Center presents a great opportunity to OU to become an even stronger leader in the field,” said OU President David L. Boren.
In addition to OU, the Southern Plains Regional Transportation Center consortium includes Oklahoma State University, Langston University, University of Arkansas, The University of New Mexico, Louisiana Tech University, The University of Texas at El Paso and Texas Tech University. Regional transportation centers differ from other U.S. Department of Transportation funded centers in that consortium members must be located in the region they serve and address regional needs.
“Oklahoma’s central location positions our state at a critical crossroad for the shipment of goods and travel across the nation,” said U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “Two primary constitutional duties of the government are providing a strong national defense and supporting a strong transportation and infrastructure system to facilitate commerce. With this grant, our Oklahoma universities will continue to advance Oklahoma’s research, technology and expertise in the transportation industry.”
“I am pleased that the Department of Transportation will award more than $2.5 million in grant money to the University of Oklahoma’s UTC consortium,” said Congressman Tom Cole. “This grant recognizes that Oklahoma is advancing viable solutions that will repair broken infrastructure and improve other transportation needs nationwide. I look forward to the difference this money will make through the bright minds in Norman and through the seven other consortium universities in Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas and New Mexico.”
The funding helps advance U.S. technology and expertise in transportation through education, research, technology transfer, and workforce development at university-based centers of excellence.