“I want the OTA to get real and stop the turnpike,” residents frustrated as OTA plans for more development

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OKLAHOMA-- Earlier this month a lawsuit was filed after the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority announced plans to build a 21 mile turnpike from the Turner Turnpike down to I-40 and close to Luther Road.

However, new plans for more development are in the works.

"I want the OTA to get real and stop the turnpike. I want the governor to get involved and get engaged in this, because the way it appears right now, OTA can do whatever they want,” Paul Crouch said.

This isn't the first time Paul Crouch has been vocal about the OTA or anyone else who threatens the quiet retirement countryside he built on about three years ago.

"We built the house here in 2013 and thought this was going to be the place forever and ever."

He's known for a while about recent turnpike plans going in less than half a mile from his home, but there could be plans in the works for it to branch out even more with service roads.

"First of all you have to justify a need for a road,” he said.

The OTA normally purchases about 300 feet for their needs but can extend that to about 500 feet for service roads.

"What we've told the cities is we'll partner with them by buying the right of way if it makes sense to do so,” OTA Spokesperson Jack Damrill said. “That will help them move traffic around their city, but our only involvement with the service roads is buying the right of way."

Basically, the OTA buys the land and the city or county builds the roads.

"We don't know where the right of ways are going to be,” Damrill said. “The city has not come up with a final plan as far as where they plan on putting service roads if they're going to."

Right now those plans are in the very early stages, and a committee was just formed to handle the process. County officials want to make sure if the turnpike is happening then the county can reap any benefits that come along with it.

"You can envision like the Kilpatrick Turnpike,” County Commissioner Brian Maughan said. “There are access points all along and that's really where restaurants or a gas station could be or anything like that that could be of local use and do provide some of that economic development."


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