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Rejoice! We’re getting a new turnpike!!!

Ring the bells, pop the champagne, and party like a Mathis Brother, the OKC metro is getting another turnpike!

Yes, I'm not making that up. We're getting a brand new turnpike! Exciting, huh? Who couldn't use another glowing orange reminder that your Pike Pass balance is low.

The turnpike, which will connect Tinker to Luther, is part of a $900-million statewide turnpike plan unveiled yesterday by Governor Fallin. It's called "Driving Forward." Get it? Driving forward? I like it, because nothing symbolizes progress more than building roads that people have to pay to use.

Here are the details via

Plans for six major Oklahoma turnpike projects — including two that will involve the construction of new toll roads in the Oklahoma City metro area — were unveiled Thursday by Gov. Mary Fallin and state turnpike officials.

The cost of the projects is estimated at a combined $892 million, officials said.
Fallin praised the plans as “a comprehensive blueprint for the state to modernize our turnpike system.”

One new stretch of turnpike, dubbed the Northeast Oklahoma County Loop, will require the construction of 21 miles of toll roads that will link Interstate 40 and the Turner Turnpike (Interstate 44) in the eastern part of the Oklahoma City metro area. The new turnpike is expected to link up with I-40 a few miles east of Tinker Air Force Base and the Choctaw Road interchange and extend north to hook up with the Turner Turnpike near Luther, transportation officials said.

Wow. That is so awesome. I know when I'm driving around the Oklahoma City metro, dodging pot holes and wondering if the Belle Isle Bridge is going to collapse, the first thing that pops in my head is "Hey, wouldn't it be great if we had a turnpike that connected Midwest City to Luther!? Let's get on that immediately!"

In addition to this new turnpike to nowhere, we're also extending the unfortunately-named Kilpatrick Turnpike:

Designed to alleviate traffic congestion and reduce the drive time between Tulsa and the Oklahoma City metro area, the cost of that project alone is estimated at $300 million.

The second turnpike project in the Oklahoma City metro area is called the Southwest Oklahoma City Kilpatrick Extension.

That 7-mile project, projected to cost $190 million, will begin where the Kilpatrick Turnpike currently ends at I-40 in western Oklahoma County and extend south to link up with State Highway 152/Airport Road. It will make it easier for people to move between southwest Oklahoma City and the rest of the metro area and improve access to Will Rogers World Airport.

Yeah, I'm not sure about that. Do we really want to make it easier for people in Mustang to move around the metro? I'm not sure the rest of our roads and highways – you know, the ones that are in a constant need of repair – can handle the extra traffic.

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