HARRAH, Okla. – The final route for a new turnpike in northeast Oklahoma County was just unveiled to the public.
The plans have riled local landowners for the past few months.
Engineers and right-of-way experts will be available from 6-8 p.m. on April 14 at a come-and-go meeting to answer questions and receive feedback from the community on the new design.
The $300 million, 21-mile tollway loop will link Interstates 40 and 44 in eastern Oklahoma County, providing an alternative route to Tulsa that will ease congestion on busy Interstate 35.
The project is part of a planned $900 million worth of bonds state officials announced last year they plan to issue over the next few years to expand and renovate Oklahoma’s turnpike system.
Oklahoma Turnpike Authority Interim Executive Director Neal McCaleb released the following statement:
“Thanks to the input of the public and the diligent work of engineering professionals, the Driving Forward Northeast Oklahoma County Loop project is on track to improve public safety on Oklahoma’s roadways and for local communities. This has been a collaborative process, and the design alignment presented today is the culmination of more than 1,000 public comments provided to the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority through previous public meetings, phone calls, written and online communications. These comments have been used by engineers to identify a route that fulfills all of the criteria for a new alignment. This design alignment serves as the best way for us to connect Eastern Oklahoma County to vital intersections for travel, while minimizing the impact on rooftops, existing property and the environment. Thanks to the public’s aid, engineers have brought the total number of affected rooftops down from 103 to 80. This design alignment represents a 22 percent reduction in the number of rooftops impacted in Eastern Oklahoma County, compared to previously presented alignments. We look forward to advancing this project to provide a safer and an improved means of transportation throughout our great state.”