Skip to comments.Turner Turnpike expansion project west of Tulsa is months ahead of schedule
Posted on 10/10/2018 8:21:11 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Expansion of the Turner Turnpike between Sapulpa and Bristow is anticipated to be done by early next summer months ahead of the initially announced estimated completion date.
This is a long-term project, and we ask the public for their patience because the end results are going to be tremendous, said Oklahoma Turnpike Authority spokesman Jack Damrill.
We should have whatever is currently under construction substantially complete by summer, he said. Unless we have a terrible winter, we should have all six lanes open summer of 2019.
He said the project has been progressing very nicely.
The 22-mile, $300 million project involves expanding the turnpike from four lanes to six and adding lighting between west Tulsa and Bristow.
When the project began in August 2017, officials estimated it would be complete in spring of 2020. Favorable weather has helped the project, Damrill said.
Motorists traveling Interstate 44 between Tulsa and Oklahoma City may have noticed that a 3½-mile stretch of the highway is already finished complete with lighting just west of Kellyville.
Another 5 miles west of the completed section is expected to be finished by October or November, Damrill said. With those 8 or so total miles completed, more than a third of the entire project will be done.
The last stage of the project to be under construction next year will involve improvements on a relatively short stretch between west Tulsa and the Creek Turnpike interchange in Sapulpa.
Damrill said quite a few accidents occurred in the construction zone between August 2017 and early June, mainly due to speeding motorists and truckers.
The speed limit in most of the zone is 60 mph, with some areas where the lanes temporarily side wind reduced to 50 mph. The normal speed limit on the turnpike is 75 mph.
Damrill said the delay due to reduced speed limits throughout the 22-mile project is less than four minutes.
People complain, Why do you have to have the speed limit so low? When we have found that their delay at a slower speed is less than four minutes ... from if they were going 75 mph, he said. The speed limits are down for a reason.
The number of accidents has gone down substantially since June 1 after the OTA added signs and engaged in social media safety campaigns, Damrill said.
The Turner Turnpike opened in 1953.
On average, 15,500 to 21,700 vehicles travel it between Bristow and west Tulsa per day as of 2017, the most recent OTA data available show.
Turnpike toll increases are funding the expansion.
The project is part of the Turnpike Authoritys $935 million Driving Forward initiative, which also includes work on the Gilcrease Expressway, the Muskogee Turnpike, the H.E. Bailey Turnpike, the Kilpatrick Turnpike and a new Oklahoma City-area turnpike.
For more information on the projects, go to drivingforwardok.com.
The Turner Turnpike was supposed to become a toll-free highway once the tolls paid of the cost of building it.
Here we are 65 years later and still a toll road.
And don’t get me started on how much those tolls have gone up.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.