The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority recently approved requests to surplus a number of parcels of land along Luther Road in Harrah that it purchased for the new Eastern Oklahoma County Turnpike. An OTA spokesman said the parcels of land that are about 12 acres each will go to auction.
The properties are all along Luther Road in Harrah, just north of 63rd Street, on the west side. The latest overview of the 21-mile “Eastern Oklahoma County Corridor,” shows the toll road will be to the west of the parcels that are no longer needed. At the top of the new road, under construction currently in Luther, the EOC will be on the east side of Luther Road at 164th Street, but it will cross Luther Road just north of 150th and be built south toward Peebly. It crosses back over Luther Road at 63rd Street, according to the map, as it winds back and forth over Luther Road to I-40. Upon observation, most of the homes and buildings on the surplus properties still stand, as other homes have been razed for the road.
“This is land that was declared that we did not need the land in building of the roadway,” said Jack Damrill, OTA Director of Communications and Facilities. “We bought the land in negotiations because of the impact to the landowner’s property. We try to put land back on the tax rolls as quick as we determine it is not needed. These will go to public auction and it will be advertised when that auction happens.”
The properties are mostly all along Luther Road between Wilshire and 63rd Street, some are 12 acre lots. Oklahoma Turnpike Authority property is tax exempt. Purchase prices for the properties acquired by OTA through negotiation or condemnation are not disclosed.
Damrill said OTA is likely to offer more of these auctions. Meantime, OTA is still acquiring property for the project and a check of court records, just in 2018, shows about a couple of dozen “eminent domain” lawsuits ongoing in Oklahoma County.
The Driving Forward website says, “This project will allow for a connection from Eastern Oklahoma County to vital intersections for travel. This will produce a drive-time reduction to access Tulsa from the OKC Metro and a needed new loop to alleviate current congested traffic in the Oklahoma City area. Construction will link I-40 and I-44 (Turner Turnpike) in Eastern Oklahoma County.”
On the north end of the EOC, work is progressing on the high-speed interchange where the new toll road will join the Turner Turnpike. There will be no exit to Luther there. The first exit on the north end of the EOC will be at Britton Road.