New Bill Would Give Legislature and Local Residents Control Over Turnpike Placements

KOKH - January 22, 2024 6:17 am

A new senate bill filed before deadline would put the power to create new turnpikes under the state legislature and the people who live near the proposed turnpike.

Sen. Shane Jett filed the bill in December.

In the bill, the legislature, not the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, would have “sole discretion to authorize and determine the location and overall route of a toll turnpike” in the state.

The bill also says the legislature cannot authorize the expansion or construction of a toll road unless it receives the results of a special election held among property owners whose land is within a 1-mile radius of the proposed route.

Authorization can only be allowed if a majority of those property owners vote in favor of the construction of a new turnpike.

Projects will be authorized for 4 years, and if they do not receive legislative approval during that period, they will be considered lapsed.

The bill comes amid a battle between the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority and people living near proposed routes for new turnpikes in the Norman area, what’s known as the Access Oklahoma project.

If Sen. Jett’s bill becomes law, it will go into effect on November 1, 2024.

 

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