Skip to comments.Construction set to begin on Eastern Oklahoma County Turnpike
Posted on 01/16/2018 8:16:55 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
OKLAHOMA COUNTY - Work is set to begin next week on a controversial, new turnpike that will carve a path through eastern Oklahoma County.
The Eastern Oklahoma County Turnpike will connect I-40 to the Turner Turnpike, traveling roughly along Luther Road.
Since the project was first announced almost two and a half years ago, it has drawn protests from many in the area who are set to lose their homes and land.
Even to this day, we dont have a size or an actual line or layout for sure of what they even want, said Joe Krecke.
What Krecke does know is the turnpike will come through part of his 80-acre tract of land in Harrah.
While he has not yet received his initial offer from the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, he hopes it will be fair.
I think thats what everybody hopes is that theyre fair. The issue is theyre not in the business to make everybody happy and rich, Krecke said.
The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority has the right to acquire right of way land through eminent domain.
Its a law that allows a governmental agency to take land for a greater good, like highway officials said will alleviate traffic congestion in the metro.
But, they do have to compensate the landowners, and many of them have turned to an eminent domain attorney for help.
You can negotiate with the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. And, so, what we do for our clients is we make sure that theyre getting the most amount of money they can possibly receive, said Nick Atwood with Atwood Law Firm.
Atwood is representing approximately 15-20 percent of the landowners in the county who are losing their homes to the project.
We go into the process respectfully, and were going to go in negotiating in good faith, said Tim Gatz, executive director of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.
Gatz said theyre about halfway through the process of acquiring all the land they need.
But, he said, in a project this size, there will be disagreements.
Many residents in the area fought the turnpike, even holding rallies and hiring an attorney to keep it from coming in.
Its depressing when you see people having to move and theyre moving out of lifelong homes, said Paul Crouch.
Crouch was at the forefront of the turnpike fight.
While he was not subject to losing his land, the turnpike would have been out his front yard.
He moved and is building again in Choctaw.
Where can we move where there wont be another turnpike coming through?" Crouch said. "So, we had to really turnpike-proof ourselves."
OTA officials said construction begins next Monday on the Turner Turnpike interchange thats just east of Luther Road.
Construction on the I-40 interchange is scheduled to begin in May.
And, OTA officials said they hope to have acquired all the land they need by summer.
The only trial where I ever was a member of jury was a dispute on the price paid by the OK DOT for land in Mustang to expand State Hwy 152 from two-lanes to four. The parties actually let it go all the way to a decision by the jury and we ruled for the plaintiff to receive the payment he requested. He had a way better lawyer (and case) than the state did.
Yet another Oklahoma turnpike?
Maybe not everybody, but a select few will be filthy rich and very happy.
I collect my spare change just to donate to OK when I visit my OKC friends.
The Creek Turnpike is a killer.
I don’t see a lot of use for this road at least for me. I guess it’s meant for Truck and other Thru Traffic connecting 40-44. It will avoid the Oklahoma City cluster duck.
Turnpikes suck, but they are the best roads we have. At least you aren’t tearing the $hit out of your expensive cars.
Just pushing through an interstate may take 20 years with lots of cost overruns. A turnpike can be in within five years because the state will make more money with the tolls brought in than twenty years of construction money.
Turner Turnpike was supposed to be a free road when the bonds were paid off back around 1965. It is such a cash cow that it is still a toll road.
I can remember when you did. The Turnpikes were bumpity, bump until they blacktopped over the concrete highways that Empire Construction always constructed with built in bumps.
I laid sod on the Tulsa to Joplin (Miami exit) turnpike in 56 I think.
Golden Gate Bridge built in 1937 was supposed to do the same thing. 😎
“Turner Turnpike was supposed to be a free road when the bonds were paid off back around 1965”
Just like the Massachusetts Turnpike...
Did you see the price on the new Expedition Decked out. I had one 16 years ago and paid $30k and drove it until it dropped. Now it’s $75+. That’s far more than a year’s salary for most people.
I owned two of those nearly twenty years ago. Bought one used and one new liked the used one much more than the new one. Must have been 07 because I moved to a Toyota mini van for the 7 passenger comfort. The back seat in the 07 gave no head room and very little leg room. Loved them but it wasnt really a seven passenger.
I drove the Toyota for 10 years and spent not one dime on it other than tires and a couple batteries. Not even freon or a light bulb cheapest car to drive I ever owned. People kept running into the back of it so wife got a Rav 4, not really comparable but easier to park and drive.
Take me back to the Cadillac sedan days when you could drive down the road and never hear the road or feel a bump unless it was a huge one and seats were like the modern living room recliner.
Yes! They are wonderful. Unlike the “free” public roads, the turnpikes are actually maintained.