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NORMAN, Oklahoma (KFOR) – Fears of the planned turnpike in Norman are keeping residents on their toes in hopes to avoid the turnpike from coming to the area. 

If you drive around Norman, you’re likely to see “no turnpike” signs.

There are residents who are opposed to a proposed turnpike along Indian Hills Road that would connect Newcastle to Norman.

KFOR McIntyre Law Chopper 4 caught a glimpse of a unique distress signal over the turnpike. It’s a giant message in the grass that says “No Pike.” We tracked down the landowner to ask about it.

Image KFOR

“I really wanted the engineering groups to see it. When they put up their area photos on their project maps, I wanted it to say “No Pike” right there, and they have to put it right there on their board for everyone to see. That’s probably what’s going to happen,” said one resident.

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Another resident is taking even further steps. 

“Yesterday, a group of us met with the state auditor to find out some things that maybe we could do to facilitate this audit. We don’t know where that’s going to go or what’s going to happen there. We are doing a number of things because this turnpike makes no engineering sense. It absolutely does not,” said Randy Carter, director of strategic communications for Pike Off Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.

Carter says “this would take out 15 homes per mile, more than any turnpike has ever taken out in the history of Oklahoma.” 

“I mean, it’s a disaster to the people that live here. It’s a disaster,” said Carter.  

Thursday, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority (OTA) emphasized safety as a driving concern stating, “These access points will allow quicker access on and off turnpikes and provide reliever exit points during traffic snarls like the one earlier this week on the Turner.” 

OTA also says, “ACCESS Oklahoma addresses the state’s current traffic challenges, problems that will only worsen if no additional investments are made. The 15-year, long-range plan touches turnpikes across the state’s network, improving driving conditions by widening approximately 60 miles of the Turner Turnpike, 15 miles of the John Kilpatrick Turnpike, and 12 miles of the Will Rogers Turnpike as well as adding dozens of access points along the way. These access points will allow quicker access on and off turnpikes and provide reliever exit points during traffic snarls like the one earlier this week on the Turner. The ACCESS Oklahoma plan will invest more than $2 billion back into our existing toll roads. The website provides much more detail.”

The battle between Norman residents and the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority is far from over. 

“This is this is going to take a long time and it’s going to be a long fight. I just feel like this could be done so much better. A project, you know, a $5 billion project should be planned and engineered and then the route should be determined. This was reverse engineered. It was done the opposite way,” said Wilson.  

This turnpike could force hundreds of residents out of their homes.