Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Turnpike Opponents to File Protest with Supreme Court

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Turnpike Opponents to File Protest with Supreme Court

Article excerpt

Opponents of a proposed two-lane turnpike from Ada to Sulphur will protest a turnpike bond issue set to be heard Wednesday by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Southern Oklahomans for Better Transportation said their protest brief, to be filed prior to the 9 a.m. hearing, would point out flaws in the legal processes used by the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.

"We intend to ask the Supreme Court to review these various actions and to deny the application of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority for approval of the proposed bond issue," said former state senator Lee Cate of Norman, who was retained as the group's representative.

Incorporators of the association are Wilson Roberts of Ada, Joe Elles of Ardmore and Jimmy Rodgers of Holdenville.

Pete Reed, director of the Ada Chamber of Commerce, led a press conference at the State Capitol, flanked by Rep. Karroll Rhoads, R-Ada, and Sen. Dick Wilkerson, D-Ada.

The turnpike authority in November voted to build four new turnpikes at a cost of about $520 million, including the 17.7-mile, two-lane road from Ada to Sulphur. The others would all be at least four lanes and would be located in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and in Mayes and Delaware Counties in eastern Oklahoma.

Reed called the proposed two-lane toll road a "waste of money, ridiculous, and a slap in the face to the people of south-central Oklahoma."

The road would actually be an 11-mile stretch of new highway from Sulphur to Fitzhugh, with resurfacing of the existing road into Ada, Reed said.

"We're trying to provide economic development growth in that part of the state, where several counties have double-digit unemployment," he said, stressing the need for an "adequate" transportation system that would include four-lane access to Int. Hwy. 35 and Int. Hwy. …

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