When the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority unveils it’s next proposed alignment for its Eastern Oklahoma County Turnpike loop, neither route proposed in March will be chosen. Instead a hybrid route will be offered for review. That route will not be made public until the April 14 meeting
“After hearing from many residents, we discovered more issues with terrain and farm use. And altering this route made sense from many different angles,” said Helene Murdock, PE, vice president of Poe & Associates. Her company was hired to manage the entire Driving Forward program to expand the Starr’s turnpike system at a cost of $600 million to be paid for through increased tolls and bonds.
“We looked all through the alignment and looked hard at each area in the pink and the blue proposal,” she said. She said the new information helped guide engineers to re-look at the route to save more farmland and rooftops.
She said issues like utilizing the fire ridge from the 2012 Luther fires played into the re-do of the proposed alignmen, wedges of the land that perhaps has not been rehabilited for residents or farm use. And other issues like the high-mass power lines north of the river hampered plans.
She said the “yellow” route between I-40 and just north of Britton Road will move a few feet here and there, and the new proposed alignment will be a hybrid of the “blue” route that curves up at Britton Road and ends at Hogback at the new exit on the Turner Turnpike; and the “pink” route that curves to the east of that and ends in a proposed new exchange near 164th and Dobbs.
Murdock acknowledged this news is devastating and counteracts the “peace” they were trying to offer back in March when they wanted to share the proposed routes so some residents could abate their worry. Residents now must grapple with the information the route might be back in their path.
She also said that some proposed interchanges will be on the maps unveiled at the Thursday meeting.
And she added, this new route could also be subject to change during this painful phase for landowners.
OTA Eastern Oklahoma County Public Meeting
Thursday, April 14, 2016
6 – 8 p.m.
101 S. Dobbs Rd.
As they say, it’s not final, till it’s final.
Please comment below.
This could be good news or it could be bad news. “Good News” would be to forget about doing an unwanted and probably unneeded toll road. Or utilize either hwy 177 or 102. These have already uprooted homes and/or farms and I am sure would be a lot less expensive than the current proposed routes. WE DO NOT NEED THIS TOLL ROAD !
So our suspicion of trying to derail our Capitol rally back in March seems more of a reality after all! It would seem they rushed to just put some colored lines on a map to lessen the opposition. Maybe, the OTA should concede the reason finding a route is so problematic is because a turnpike does not belong in Eastern Oklahoma County!!!
I agree. They were trying to thwart efforts of the turnpike opponents by using divide and conquer tactics.
Agreed Sandra! I will be opening my own horse traing busines very soon. And this would affect it in very big way. We have big dreams for this place but the toll road has threatend that dream now by taking the land we need to run this facility. We have made some amazing contacts around this area also and would all be benifting each other out there. So by taking the land for an unwanted road seem kinda silly. Why take a way from people who are trying to run farms and businesses?
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I guess i will be bouncing around somewhere in between for a bit.
At the last map meeting I asked Jack Dameril why it was such short (3 days) notice? He said it was because they didn’t want to have the meeting during spring break since too many people would miss it. I replied OH.. now all the sudden you care about people? He replied, YEAH we do care about people. I followed up with , well you sure got a funny way of showing it, excluding them from the process until now, nobody wants this! If you cared why not have it after SB why the rush? No answer. I urge everyone ask informed questions to OTA reps. they cant handle it. They’re used to everyone kissing their behinds and they rely on the kindness of their victims. I asked him why CDM smith, a company OTA is using, is being sued in other states for inflating traffic data? Wouldn’t answer. Why turner has not provided growth for Stroud, Wellston etc.? Asked for copy of enviro impact study. Asked about induced demand. Jack the PR man couldn’t answer jack squat. He was getting red in the face and he walked away defeated. When informed locals stand up to them with factual questions/statements OTA is left dismayed.
STOP THE TURNPIKE AUTHORITY!
This needs to be forgotten, we have too many turn pikes some of which should be paid for by now. Its a sham and with our economy its NOT needed.
If your family or business is contacted by OTA. Listen, but get a second opinion. McAfee and Taft have been very successful fighting the OTA. You can go to OSCN and see recent cases they have won against OTA.