OTA Holds Public Meeting Over Turnpike Expansion In Choctaw

Thursday, February 18th 2016, 11:27 pm
By: News 9

It was a packed meeting with heated exchanges at from residents opposing the new turnpike.

This is the second public meeting Oklahoma Turnpike Authority has held hoping to clear up any false rumors and allow for open dialogue.

OTA stressed several times during the meeting that despite rumors there is no route set at this time.

The plan for the new turnpike is to connect to I-44 to I-40, providing a north-south route for traffic.

1/6/16 Related Story: Oklahomans Start Petition To Stop Turnpike Expansion

Several weeks ago white “X's” began to appear along Peebly Road, stirring up lots of fear and confusion for residents who live nearby.

“I can't think of any other term to use that really captures it, other than to say that we screwed up. This government that screwed up (clapping).”

OTA explained the “X's” were only meant to serve as markers for land surveys not to mark the turnpike route.

Congressman Steve Russell spoke not as a US congressman but also as a Peebly Road homeowner.

"We have to recognize growth. We have to we can't ignore it. ," he said.

"I don't think you are listening to what we are saying. I don't think these people want a turnpike out here," one resident said. 

"If the goal is divert traffic north and south then why don't you use an existing corridor that doesn't have all the homes in it," said another resident. 

But not all who attended the meeting opposed the plan. 

"I'm all for it. The reason I'm all for it is because I travel up to Tulsa and forth all the time," said a supporter. 

But those supporters of the turnpike were overshadowed by those who oppose it.

"Why make it more congested? That's with your own map and your own number sir, can you not see that we're not stupid sir," a resident said. 

For the first time, residents were able to meet with engineers and mark on maps like this one areas they say should be avoided.

OTA should announce the route for the turnpike in the upcoming months.