Turnpike Panel Seeks State Law Amendment / concerning Four Projects

Article excerpt

a resolution requesting the Oklahoma Legislature to amend a state law to allow funding and construction of four proposed turnpike projects on an individual basis. The 1987 bill approved by the Legislature originally called for the construction of the four roadways at a total cost of $891.56 million.

However, two separate feasibility studies, an initial study of Feb. 18 and a revised study dated March 3, showed that potential income from the project's revenue sources would be insufficient to meet costs.

"Refinancing of the existing debt and cross-pledging of revenues from the present system is also not adequate," the resolution, addressed to the Oklahoma House and Senate, said.

The revised projection showed that by year 2000, net income from the four projects would be $18.87 million, but that the debt service would total $36.77 million.

A revised plan calling for the projects to be trimmed was presented to the authority on March 3. The original plan calling for 159.3 miles of turnpikes at a cost of $891.56 million was reduced to $395.4 million for 86.4 miles of turnpikes. That plan included:

- Construction of the Oklahoma City Outer Loop from Int. Hwy. 35 to Portland Ave., estimated to cost $1.06 million for 9.1 miles of roadway.

- Construction of the Tulsa South Bypass from U.S. Hwy. 75 to Memorial Dr., estimated at $8.48 million.

- St. Hwy. 33 Turnpike construction from the Grand River to the Flint River, estimated at $1.2 million.

- Construction on Int. Hwy. 35 to Int. Hwy. 40 from Ada to Davis, estimated at $8.4 million.

However, 98.5 miles of roadway in companion projects by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation would cost $234. …