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Gilcrease turnpike bonds gain approval from Oklahoma Supreme Court

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Wednesday approved the issuance of up to $125 million in revenue bonds to help fund construction of the Gilcrease Expressway turnpike in the Tulsa area.

No legal protests were filed with the court, justices noted.

The five-mile, four-lane road construction project will link Interstate 44 with U.S. 412 and complete the western loop around the Tulsa metro area.

It is expected to help relieve urban traffic congestion during peak periods and provide a new and more direct route to city attractions and points of interest in the Tulsa urban core. It also will provide an additional route over the Arkansas River.

Turnpike officials hope to let the contract by late spring of 2019 and have construction completed by early 2022.

Revenue bonds will provide only part of the funding for the project, which is expected to cost about $300 million, said Jack Damrill, spokesman for the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. The toll for that five-mile section of road is projected to be $1.85, he said.

Randy Ellis

For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two... Read more ›