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Oklahoma Turnpike Authority votes for 17 percent toll hikes

OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority has voted to increase the costs on Oklahoma tollways by 17 percent to help expand and renovate the state's turnpike system, including the construction of new toll roads in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

OTA spokesman Jack Damrill says the rate hikes approved on Tuesday are contingent upon the resolution of a lawsuit challenging the use of toll revenue to finance the new construction. That lawsuit is pending before the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Once it is settled and the bonds are sold, Damrill says tolls will increase by 12 percent on Jan. 1, with additional 2.5 percent increases the following two years.

State officials launched an ambitious four-year roads plan last year that calls for about $900 million in bonds to pay for the new toll roads.