Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) Director Gary Ridley, who also serves as director of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority (OTA), announced he will retire from both positions in March 2013. Ridley will remain secretary of transportation in Governor Mary Fallin’s administration after his departure from ODOT and OTA.

Ridley has worked with ODOT for 44 years and was appointed director of the agency in August 2001 under Governor Frank Keating. In May 2009, he became secretary of transportation to Governor Brad Henry before adding OTA director to his portfolio in October of that year.

Under Ridley, ODOT developed the eight-year construction work plan which serves as the state’s blueprint for addressing critical long-term construction needs. Ridley also oversaw the creation of the Asset Preservation Plan, guarding against the deterioration of existing infrastructure.

Recently, Ridley worked with Governor Fallin to launch the Bridge Improvement and Turnpike Modernization infrastructure plan which will practically eliminate structurally deficient state bridges in Oklahoma by 2019. Since 2004, the number of structurally deficient state bridges has already plummeted from nearly 1,200 to 634.

As part of the Bridge Improvement and Turnpike Modernization plan, ODOT is recycling approximately 2,000 beams from the old I-40 Crosstown Expressway, helping to build hundreds of county level bridges throughout the state. The project is one of the largest recycling projects to benefit transportation infrastructure ever executed.

You can read the full press release here.

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