In Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (“Department”) is the state agency that is committed to provide a safe, economical, and effective transportation network for the people, commerce, and communities of Oklahoma. The Department is established pursuant to 69 Okl. St. § 4002. The Department provides for safe, adequate, and efficient transportation facilities at reasonable cost to the people that are essential to the economic growth of the state and the well-being of its people. The planning and development of such facilities are coordinated by a State Department of Transportation with overall responsibility for balanced transportation policy and planning.
The functions of the Department are under the direct control and supervision of the Commission of the Department as a part of the executive branch of state government in carrying out the transportation policies, plans, and programs of this state.
The following are the functions of the Department:
- To coordinate and develop for the State of Oklahoma a comprehensive transportation plan to meet present and future needs for adequate, safe, and efficient transportation facilities at reasonable cost to the people;
- To coordinate the development and operation of such transportation facilities in the state including, but not limited to, highways, public transportation, railroad, marine, and waterways and aeronautics;
- To develop, periodically revise, and maintain a comprehensive state master plan for transportation facilities;
- To develop measurable objectives and goals designed to carry out the master plan for transportation and report progress in achievement of objectives and goals to the Governor and Legislature as part of the annual budget submission;
- To make such studies and analyses of transportation problems as may be requested by the Governor or Legislature relative to any aspect of transportation in the state;
- To exercise and perform such functions, powers, and duties as may be from time to time conferred or imposed by law, including all the functions, powers, and duties assigned and transferred to the Department of Transportation by this act;
- To apply for, accept and receive and be the administrator for and in behalf of the state agencies, boards, and commissions of all federal government funds hereafter available for purposes of transportation.
- To cooperate with local governments in the planning and development of transportation-related activities, and encourage the state master plan for transportation; and
- To evaluate and encourage the development and use of public transportation in Oklahoma where such use will contribute to a reduction in traffic congestion, public convenience, air quality, or energy conservation.
The administrative head of the Department will be the Director of the Department of Transportation (“Director”). The Director has the authority and duty to supervise, direct, account for, organize, plan, administer, and execute the functions of the Department consistent with the general policies and procedures prescribed and established by the Commission. The Director employs a professional civil engineer who has a broad experience in design and construction of complex highways or other transportation-related projects[i].
The Department may be divided into divisions which may include the following[ii]:
- The Division of Planning and Research;
- The Division of Design;
- The Division of Administration;
- The Division of Contract Administration;
- The Division of Construction and Maintenance;
- The Division of Land Acquisition;
- The Division of Traffic Services; and
- The Division of Highway Safety.
[i] 69 Okl. St. § 4007.
[ii] 69 Okl. St. § 4004.