Oklahoma Turnpike Authority Announces Long-Term Plan For Highway System

Tuesday, December 7th 2021, 10:13 pm

TULSA, Oklahoma -

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority announced Tuesday its first long-term plan for the turnpike system.

The plan could help grow business along turnpikes.

The idea behind the plan is to give people a better look at when and where certain construction projects will begin.

Up until now, Transportation Spokeswoman Terri Angier said when a new turnpike project was completed, communities and towns weren't told where and when future projects would start.

"Over the years as we’ve done these projects communities have come to us and said, “Okay so what’s next?’ And we haven’t had the answer, so we want to be able to have an answer of what’s next and when it’s to come," she said.

Angier says that's especially important to communities like Bristow which is connected to Tulsa and Oklahoma City by the Turner Turnpike.

"That way if somebody is planning on looking at a business location in Oklahoma, they know what is coming down the pike," she said.

In a statement Bristow's economic development director Jake Manus said, We’ve been meeting with the Turnpike Authority for just more than two years to discuss future growth and the redesign of interchanges. Partnerships on projects like the turnpike widening, updating interchanges and access roads are not only essential but critical for Bristow’s accessibility and long-term economic growth."

Turnpikes are built where there are gaps left by tax-supported roads.

Angier says the long-term plan shows where gaps will be filled and how traffic and commerce will be directed through cities.

"It engages the community and the businesses and stakeholders in the sense of knowing what’s to come," Angier said.

The plan is still in development - but Angier says projects to widen and increase access to the Turner and Gilcrease expressways are all but guaranteed to make the long-term list.

A more complete list of projects will be presented to the state transportation authority in February.