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February 5, 2014

Norman’s Lindsey Street improvement project garners maximum share of federal dollars

NORMAN — The Lindsey Street improvement project was the highest-ranked project in the history of the region and will receive maximum federal dollars.

Altogether, 16 Norman transportation projects qualified for nearly 40 percent of available federal funding for the central Oklahoma region, city officials learned recently.

The Association of Central Oklahoma Governments recently identified transportation infrastructure projects for federal funding in the 2015-2018 Transportation Improvement Plan Update. Norman competes with 40 entities for the same dollars.

“Each year, we’re up against a new set of competitors and a new set of projects,” Norman Public Works Director Shawn O’Leary said.

ACOG’s current plan will include 16 of the 22 projects Norman staff submitted, which adds up to $27,508,194 — 39.5 percent — of the $69,480,000 apportionment of federal funds to ACOG for Federal Fiscal Year 2015-2018.

“We do as well as any city in the metro because we’re really focused,” O’Leary said.

Several of the funded projects are part of the $42 million transportation bond voters approved in August 2012.

In addition to the Lindsey Street project, three other bond projects are identified for funding, including the Main Street bridge over Brookhaven Creek, 12th Avenue Southeast from Cedar Lane to State Highway 9 and 24th Avenue Southeast from Lindsey to Robinson streets.

The project on Cedar Lane from 12th Avenue Southeast to just east of 24th Avenue Southeast is under way and is receiving $6,231,280 through FFY 2013.

Two other bond projects, one on East Alameda Street and another on 36th Avenue Northwest from Tecumseh Road to Indian Hills Road, will likely receive funding past FFY 2018. However, there are always chances to come back next year and win a spot on the current funding plan.

“The key is staying committed to the projects,” City Transportation Engineer Angelo Lombardo said.

Making tangible progress on projects can help them rank higher in subsequent years. The city will proceed with design and right of way acquisitions on many of these projects.

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