Last week, the following meme of Kevin Stitt self-lampooning himself at a press conference made the rounds on Twitter:

Wow. How embarrassing! They forgot to put the ‘4’ in front of the ‘9’. Awkward! Someone from ODOT is never going to live that one down!

Actually, it looks like the #9 was very intentional. The photo was taken at a press event where Kevin Stitt was celebrating Oklahoma’s official status as a Top 10 State for Bridge Safety – a sentence that Grammarly just flagged as “impossible.”

Here’s the official press release:

Governor Kevin Stitt and Secretary of Transportation Tim Gatz today announced Oklahoma has achieved Top Ten status in bridge conditions for the first time by ranking ninth according the latest data from the Federal Highway Administration.

For years, Oklahoma was ranked near the bottom in national bridge conditions, including as low as 49th in 2004, due to the number of structurally deficient bridges on the state highway system.

“Top Ten isn’t just a slogan — it is the vision that helps form and guide our road map to improving state government and changing the future of all 4 million Oklahomans for the better,” said Gov. Stitt. “Transportation is the backbone of the economy, and this designation shows Oklahoma is a new national leader in highway bridge infrastructure thanks to the dedication of ODOT employees and an unprecedented investment in our bridges by the Legislature.”

That’s cool and everything, but shouldn’t we save the highway signs for when we are actually #1 at something? You know, like teenage pregnancy. We’re coming at you Mississippi!

Also, it’s not like Stitt had a lot to do with the improvement of our bridges. Because good bridges also benefit Oil Overlords and our Ruling Class, it’s something our state’s been slowly addressing for over a decade:

ODOT embarked on a massive effort in 2005 to improve highway bridges after decades of underfunding to transportation infrastructure took a toll, causing a backlog of critically needed projects. A targeted approach to fixing bridges began taking shape through a series of legislative funding mechanisms and identifying key funding opportunities by the congressional delegation.

“This overhaul on our highway bridges took more than 15 years and has only been possible thanks to the consistent vision and support of our governors, legislators and congressional delegates,” said Sec. Gatz. “We also have to thank Oklahomans for making transportation a priority, as this issue rose to the top of state needs due to significant citizen support. This unprecedented program was only possible with a united focus on Oklahoma’s future.”

You have to wonder why Kevin Stitt didn’t invite some of those old governors to the ceremony. Where was Mary Fallin? I know Sturgis was happening, but she could have at least rode around on her motor-trike and pulled donuts in the parking lot. She was very instrumental in the success of the bridge improvement program, and should get her proper due! Then again, if Bob Stoops can claim a national title with John Blake’s (RIP) players, maybe it’s okay for Kevin Stitt to declare victory for Mary Fallin’s accomplishments.

Anyway, this news is kind of bittersweet. We’ve had a lot of fun at our roads and bridges expense and expenses over the years. Remember the old Crosstown of Terror the cut to the south of OKC? That thing was scary as hell. Then again, they replaced that dangerous bridge with an equally, if not more dangerous, Boulevard of Fear. Maybe that explains why Oklahoma shot up on the bridge safety rankings, but not roads? Either way, I’ll miss making fun of our shitty bridges on this site. Thank God for teen pregnancy.


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9 Responses

  1. Politics is the art of taking credit for what goes right while avoiding blame for what goes wrong. That second part is why we have two political parties, not just one.

    “In less than two years, I led Oklahoma into being Top Ten in something good for a change. It only took 15 years for me to make it happen.” – Gov. Stitt

    And President Trump presided over a really good economy… for about two years. Then the Democrats screwed it up.

    1. That’s not far from 11.

  2. To paraphrase The Sphinx from Mystery Men: “We are Number 9. All others are Number 8 or higher, or Number 10 or lower.”

  3. Bullstitt is just a Number 2.

  4. And in other news today, Kevin Stitt showed compassion for those unemployed by the Covid situation. Earlier this week he requested the $300 federal weekly stipend to go to unemployed Oklahomans. The request was approved, and the money will be released tomorrow. Some states have announced the money will be out to the unemployed this week.

    However in the usual one step forward, two steps backwards, state officials warn that it will be at least a month before the money will be sent to unemployed Oklahomans, but assured them the benefits will be retroactive to August 1.

    Good thing the Gov has the backs of those currently unemployed, you remember the ones he wanted to remove the federal $600 stipend because it was an incentive for them not to work.

  5. Which bridge did they gauge that off of?

    1. Right, I will gladly show Governor Stitt 4 narrow unsafe bridges in a 20-mile stretch of US 60/OK 51 between Seiling and Vici that are not on the plan to be replaced for another 4-5 years.

  6. Oklahoma roads and bridges are abysmal. ODOT is either unwilling or unable to build good roads. There is no excuse for the roads here other than the ignorance of ODOT.

  7. Chin up, Patrick. The Teabilly Derplahomans will be with us always…..unfortunately.

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