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OK Turnpike projects to modernize the state

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

OK (KSWO) – The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority has announced six individual projects that they would like to undertake to modernize, enhance and improve safety throughout the state.

The projects include:

  1.  HE Bailey reconstruction and toll plaza safety improvements
  2.  Southwest OKC Kilpatrick Extension
  3.  NE OK County Loop
  4.  Gilcrease Expressway (In partnership with City of Tulsa)
  5.  Muskogee Turnpike reconstruction and toll plaza safety improvements
  6.  Turner Turnpike safety enhancements and widening

These projects will not impact the state’s budget but would rather be paid for by users of the Turnpike system. Tolls will be adjusted only to satisfy project demands that are not otherwise addressed by system growth. Relying on system growth ensures that tolls will remain among the lowest in the nation.

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority released this statement about the project earlier this month:

"At today's Oklahoma Turnpike Authority board meeting a modest toll rate increase was to be considered. Due to the recent litigation brought against the OTA, the board has made the decision to table the toll rate increase until litigation has been resolved."

The $892 million turnpike initiative will begin later this year. These projects will create a safer Oklahoma by addressing current impediments and allowing for less congestion due to new routes and expansion. The projects will also create thousands of construction jobs and feed into many other industries during the building phase. However, the real economic boom is the added miles of roads that will allow for easier and quicker access for consumers and give commerce in many areas a needed boost and new opportunities.

Below is more specific information about each of the six projects the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority will undertake:

  • Gilcrease Expressway
    • Project Length: 2.5 miles
    • Cost: $28 million from OTA and partnership with City of Tulsa
    • Type: New road construction
    • Overview: This project connects L.L. Tisdale to I-44 and completes the Western loop around the Tulsa metro area. It will help relieve urban traffic congestion during peak periods. It will also provide a new and more direct route to city attractions and points of interest in the Tulsa urban core. This will bolster safe access to Tulsa along with economic growth and opportunity.
  • Muskogee Turnpike
    • Project Length: 9.5 miles
    • Cost: $42 million
    • Type: Reconstruction from “ground-up” for safety and modernization of toll plaza
    • Overview: This reconstruction will occur between Creek Turnpike interchange and State Highway 51 near Coweta. It will allow for a safer and more drivable surface and provide increased safety features.
  • Turner Turnpike
    • Project Length: 22 miles
    • Cost: $300 million
    • Type: Reconstruction for more lanes and safety features including lights and other future safety enhancements
    • Overview: The Turner Turnpike is a vital turnpike corridor that connects Oklahoma’s two metro areas.  Improving safety and convenience on this road is a priority for the OTA. This reconstruction/safety project will occur between Bristow and the Creek Turnpike West (State Highway 364) section of the Turner Turnpike. In the last five years there have been 15 fatalities and 514 wrecks on this section of road. This project will create an “urban turnpike corridor” with lighting, wider lanes and the addition of lanes. It will allow for the future creation of truck-specific lanes for quick and safe access.
  • HE Bailey Turnpike
    • Project Length: 7.5 miles
    • Cost: $32 million
    • Type: Turnpike reconstruction for lanes and safety features and toll plaza modernization for better access for PikePass customers
    • Overview: This project will provide wider lanes and enhanced safety features for travel as well as improved technology for toll plaza locations for customer convenience between Bridge Creek and North Meridian Avenue near Newcastle.
  • Southwest OKC Kilpatrick Extension
    • Project Length: 7 miles
    • Cost: $190 million
    • Type: New construction
    • Overview: This project will be an extension of the Kilpatrick Turnpike that will connect SW OKC and the metro area at-large with the urban core. It will increase access and offer another route for Will Rogers World Airport. It will occur between I-40 and State Highway 152/Airport Road.
  • Northeast OK County Loop
    • Project Length: 21 miles
    • Cost: $300 million
    • Type:New construction
    • Overview: This project will allow for a connection from Eastern Oklahoma County to vital intersections for travel. This will produce a drive-time reduction to access Tulsa from the OKC Metro and a needed new loop to alleviate current congested traffic in the Oklahoma City area.  Construction will link I-40 and I-44 (Turner Turnpike) in Eastern Oklahoma County.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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