Right after the new year, Memorial Road between Peebly and Luther Roads will be closed because of turnpike construction. Signs began appearing earlier this week about the closure that begins January 3, 2019. Residents, bus drivers and others began making plans for alternate routes.
The closure is to construct a new bridge on Memorial Road going over the new toll road that is running south, roughly between Dobbs and Peebly Road adjacent to Luther Road, for 21 miles to connect I-44 to I-40 along the agricultural lands of Eastern Oklahoma County. The project was announced in three years ago.
When asked, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority provided a map of closures because it wasn’t on the Driving Forward website. The Memorial Road closure is expected to last 180 days.
Road closures along the turnpike construction route.
Follow Immersive Memories on Facebook to see occasional photos of the construction from a bird’s eye view.
OTA officials said that “maps are updated as new information becomes available and are sent to Oklahoma County governmental officials for distribution to emergency responders and others.”
“The work on Memorial consists of the bridge being built over the EOC and approximately 700’ of new asphalt paving on either side of the bridge,” OTA said.
Meanwhile, court records show that OTA continues with “condemnation” lawsuits to gain rights of way for the road. Two lawsuits were filed this week.
OTA was sued in October by landowners near Luther Road and 164th alleging that OTA contractors have been trespassing on land on either side of the land that OTA bought. “Defendants were using the West Remainder for parking, fuel storage and effectively turned large parts of Plaintiff’s pasture into a barren construction site,” the lawsuit states. The landowners are away from the area and were unable to monitor it until the alleged trespassing was discovered when they returned for a family funeral.
The lawsuit alleges that OTA violated constitutional rights of landowners and seeks compensation for it. “The Oklahoma Constitution provides that ‘private property shall not be taken or damaged for public use without just compensation. Just compensation shall mean the value of the property taken, and in addition, any injury to any part of the property not taken,’” the lawsuit states.