OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Governor-elect Mary Fallin announced today that Secretary of Transportation Gary Ridley will retain his current role in the Fallin Administration. Ridley will also continue to serve as the director of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation as well as the director of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.
“Gary has been serving Oklahoma’s transportation needs for over four decades,” said Fallin. “I’ve worked with him as a state representative, as lieutenant governor and as a United States Congresswoman on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and I can attest to Gary’s unparalleled expertise and dedication. I’m glad to have him on my team.”
Ridley has served as secretary of transportation since his 2009 appointment by Brad Henry. He also has held the positions of Director of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation since August 2001 and Director of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority since October 2009.
Ridley began his work with ODOT in 1965, when he joined the department as an equipment operator. Ridley continued his work for ODOT, serving in a variety of positions including division engineer, until leaving the department in 1997 to become the executive director of the Oklahoma Asphalt Paving Association. He returned to ODOT in January 2001 to serve as assistant director for operations before becoming ODOT director in August.
During his tenure, the number of bad bridges has been reduced and safety features, such as life-saving cable barriers, have become commonplace on Oklahoma’s highways. Ridley also improved the process of preparing the department’s eight-year Construction Work Plan. With funding increases for transportation, he was able to firm-up commitments made in the fiscally constrained plan, particularly those during the first three years.
Ridley also created ODOT’s four-year Asset Preservation Plan aimed at maximizing the life of Oklahoma’s infrastructure. At the national level, he chaired the committee that celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the interstate highway system, and he has been asked to testify to Congress on several occasions about the challenges faced by state transportation officials.