Norman Photographer Documents Human Cost Of Turnpike Expansion


Wednesday, October 12th 2022, 8:51 pm



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As the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority awaits authorization from the state Supreme Court to move forward on its $5 billion ACCESS Oklahoma plan, a photographer is documenting homes that lie in the proposed path of new toll roads.  

Jessie Newell of Shawnee is a member of Pike Off OTA, a Norman-based group formed to oppose the plan to build new turnpikes in Cleveland County. Although she does not live in the path herself, she called the potential destruction of homes in East Norman “heartbreaking.”  

“Everyone is living in what they would call their dream home,” she said. “And it’s just going to be taken away from them.”  

The OTA is requesting authorization to issue $500 million in bond funding to fund preliminary studies and planning for the projects. In addition to the proposed turnpikes, the ACCESS Oklahoma plan includes several other projects.  

Related: Oklahoma Supreme Court Considers Challenge To Turnpike Expansion Plan 

Newell photographed several families who live in the proposed line of the new turnpikes. Watch the full story in the video player above.  


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