OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Okla. - Residents in eastern Oklahoma County say the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority is destroying their roads during construction.
Residents say stretches of Luther Rd. and others that run along the path of the new Eastern Oklahoma County Turnpike are becoming almost impossible to drive on due to the high volume of semi-trucks.
“So they are being destroyed,” Oklahoma County resident Jason Haynie told News 4. “What starts out as a pothole ends up being complete, total sections of road that gets ripped out. They are turning our paved roads into dirt roads.”
Haynie lives in the Harrah area and says he drives on the roads almost every day on his motorcycle. However, he says the roads are so torn up from construction that it is becoming dangerous to do so.
“There's potholes out here bigger than my motorcycle, and some of them are so deep that if I hit them on my motorcycle, the bottom of the frame will bottom out,” Haynie said. “In fact, there are some big enough to do that to a car out here.”
Oklahoma County Commissioner Brian Maughan says his office has received tons of calls about the road conditions. Maughan says the county is actually in talks with the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority to receive compensation for damage to the roads.
“They've made an initial offer. We've rejected that at this time,” Maughan said. “Because we are holding out for a little more of what we think will be the true cost of the total comprehensive replenishment of these roads that have been damaged by the construction traffic.”
Oklahoma Turnpike Authority spokesman Jack Damrill released this statement regarding damage to roads near construction areas:
"As with any construction project, we work with and will continue to work with cities and counties to help maintain local access during construction. In this instance, we have worked with Oklahoma County and will continue to do so throughout the remainder of the project."