Oklahoma official says state needs more road money

| 11/3/2003

An Oklahoma transportation official said the state may have to consider new taxes - including increases in fuel taxes - to bring its roads up to snuff, The Norman Transcript reported Oct. 30.

Gary Ridley, director of transportation for the state of Oklahoma, said that even though most of the state's fuel taxes go to roads, the tax - 14 cents a gallon on diesel and 17 cents a gallon on gas - did not bring in enough when compared with surrounding states, which he said averaged 20.5 cents a gallon.

According to the newspaper account, he said the money should be put in a transportation trust fund, and that the state should report each year on how the money was spent.

Ridley said the state needs $150 million more in road money to bring its highways to standards. The state official said almost 50 percent of the state's 670 miles of interstate highways outside of its toll system were in fair, mediocre or poor condition, The Transcript reported. The national average is 35 percent.