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State lawmaker says eastern Oklahoma County turnpike essential for keeping Tinker Air Force Base

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MIDWEST CITY, Okla. – Senator Jack Fry is in favor of the eastern Oklahoma County turnpike, because he said it is essential to keeping Tinker Air Force Base.

“To me, it’s not a political issue. This is about saving our base,” Fry said.

Fry used to be the mayor of Midwest City.

He said he had several conversations with high ranking air force and homeland security officials expressing concern over Tinker’s position.

“They always gave us a concern of a northeast loop in the event that something ever happened on the I-35 side of Tinker Air Force Base,” Fry said.

Fry said he breathed a sigh of relief when the governor announced the new turnpike, because he thinks, without that road, Tinker could be in danger of getting shut down.

“It’s that northeast loop that they’re talking about, being able to bring materials that the workers work with and move materials out that are going to be needed at other bases,” Fry said.

Paul Crouch is opposed to the turnpike.

“It’s almost laughable when you think about it. It’s almost comical. It’s fear mongering, trying to scare the good people of Oklahoma,” Crouch said.

The turnpike is set to be built about a quarter of a mile west of his house he just built two years ago.

He also spent 24 years in the air force, 12 of those at Tinker, and he does not agree with Fry’s position.

“I will do anything to keep Tinker alive. Building one road out here 40 miles from it, that’s not going to happen,” Crouch said.

Tinker Air Force Base has not come out with an official position either for or against the turnpike.