Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Council Considers Extending Turnpike toward Will Rogers

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Council Considers Extending Turnpike toward Will Rogers

Article excerpt

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By Tim Hartley The prospect of landing United Airlines' proposed $1 billion aircraft maintenance center has captured the imagination of Oklahoma City, and with an "outer loop" turnpike under construction in the northeast part of the city, the thought of pushing the project around to Will Rogers World Airport is receiving renewed consideration.

City Engineer Paul Brum has been asked to study the plan and report to the Oklahoma City Council how it could be accomplished and how much it would cost.

Richard Ridings, executive director of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, said the ongoing Kilpatrick Turnpike project has shown that outer loop construction runs about $10 million per mile.

"That's total project cost, for bond sales, engineering, right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation and road construction," Ridings said.

The northwest quadrant of an outer loop from N. Meridian Ave. to Int. Hwy. 40 would be about 25 miles. The southwest quadrant from Int. Hwy. 40, past the airport to Int. Hwy. 35 between Moore and Norman, would be another 20 to 25 miles, depending on the route selected.

Brum said the council, in light of United's pending decision on a site for its new maintenance center, requested an update on the outer loop plan. Brum was scheduled to make a presentation to the council Tuesday, but because of the absence of Ward 5 Councilman Jim Scott, the report was delayed until next week.

"One of the council members most interested in this report is Jim Scott, who was working with the (Oklahoma) Legislature Tuesday on the United proposal," Brum said. "We didn't want to present our report without him."

Brum declined to comment on the contents of the report, saying he preferred to present it first to the city council.

"It is just information, and no action by the council is requested," Brum said. "It is planned as an informal exchange for the answering of any questions the council may have. …

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