The truth behind Oklahoma turnpikes

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OKLAHOMA - It started back in the early 1950’s with the building of the first turnpike in our state, the Turner Turnpike that connects Oklahoma City with Tulsa.

Today we have 10 turnpikes that cover more than 600 miles.

The Turnpike Authority says they enhance the state’s transportation network by providing an effective and efficient means of travel without straining state appropriations.

But how did this whole system of toll roads get started?

The opposition to our state’s latest proposed turnpikes has been loud and persistent.

Many in eastern Oklahoma County do not want a turnpike cutting through their peaceful, rural landscape.

“I’m going to fight it until the last breath, until they’re pushing dirt. I will be fighting this thing, I’m telling you right now. On my tombstone it will say stop the turnpike,” said Paul Crouch.

Many old timers in the state say they remember a promise that when the first turnpike in our state, the Turner, was paid for - it would become a free road.

“As I understand it, it was developed and sold to the public as you know the tolls will pay off the cost of construction and maintenance and then the road will be free again,” said Barbara VanHanken.

Tonight at 10 p.m. in our special report – why that didn’t happen and why some say we have no one but the voters of Oklahoma to blame.

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