The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority will bring its engineers and a new set of maps to Harrah Church on Thursday, April 14 to unveil the proposed route of the controversial new Eastern Oklahoma County Turnpike loop to connect I-40 to I-44.
OTA Eastern Oklahoma County Public Meeting
Thursday, April 14, 2016
6 – 8 p.m.
101 S. Dobbs Rd.
According to the news release, “there will not be a public presentation or hearing at this meeting. Individuals will have the ability to speak one-on-one with engineers and right-of-way experts.”
The last time the OTA acquiesced to hear public comments, back in February, several hundred residents crowded the meeting space and launched many questions and concerns.
Last month, OTA unveiled its preliminary route for the EOC with two possible options: The Blue Route or the Pink Route. The pink route would end in Luther limits near 164th and Dobbs. The blue route would end at the current new Turner Turnpike exchange at Hogback Road, in Oklahoma City limits. The south end of the proposal is in yellow.
The $300 million proposed turnpike is part of a $600 million “Driving Forward OK” project promoted by the Governor, and other state leaders who say the toll road will “provide an enhanced transportation corridor to connect Eastern Oklahoma County to vital intersections in response to the need for increased road safety and reduction of traffic congestion.”
Opponents question the need for the road, the accuracy of traffic counts and other issues. Transportation officials and politicians have apologized for not being forthcoming in their original communication when surveyors began marking the proposed routes and going on to private property.
Last week, the Authority board agreed to seek a $90 million line of credit to pay bills accumulating for Driving Forward until bonds are expected to be sold later this year. Bonds and higher tolls are expected to pay for the projects.