OTA Looking To Secure Funding For Controversial Turnpike Expansion

News 9 - June 11, 2022 9:22 pm

At a recent meeting the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority gave the green light to issuing more than $1 billion in funding as part of its multi-billion dollar expansion plan.

Those different projects include widening sections of the Kilpatrick and Turner Turnpike and the controversial building of new turnpikes in Cleveland County.

Now that the Turnpike Authority passed the resolutions the OTA must seek approval to issue the bonds from the Oklahoma Council of Bond Oversight, and validation from the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

It can then move forward with its construction plans. According to Transportation Secretary Tim Gatz the bond funding is quote “expeditiously the right course of action” and that it assures that the OTA is not sidestepping anything.

OTA Looking To Secure Funding For Controversial Turnpike Expansion

However, many people who came to the meeting are still protesting the construction, specifically the planned Turnpike expansions in Cleveland County.

Pike Off OTA, a group challenging the OTA’s authority to use bond funding, estimates about 600 homes could be in the route of the roadway.

“I’m really concerned right now that they’re trying to short-circuit a full and fair hearing on the process,” Robert Norman, a local attorney said.

The OTA says it doesn’t currently have an estimate on how many homes will be impacted, they do estimate the agency would begin reaching out to owners next spring.

 

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