ACCESS PROGRAM UPDATE
On Aug. 1, 2023, the Oklahoma Supreme Court affirmed the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority’s request for bond validation for the ACCESS Oklahoma long-range plan. This means that the 15-year plan, including three new routes to complete the Oklahoma City Outer Loop and relieve I-35 congestion, are now able to move forward.
We are at the beginning stages of this long-range plan. OTA will move forward to enter the bond market, which will allow the Authority to restart the preliminary engineering activities for projects across the state in the coming months.
This long-range plan has always been about the safety of Oklahoma motorists. OTA’s mission is to help facilitate traffic throughout the state by seamlessly connecting with the state highway system, thereby providing a choice for a safe, convenient and efficient user-funded transportation network. Our goal is to provide safe infrastructure while maintaining the lowest toll rate for our customers.
ACCESS Oklahoma stands for Advancing and Connecting Communities and Economies Safely Statewide. This $5 billion, 15-year long-range
plan identifies and addresses on-going highway infrastructure needs to improve access to communities across the Oklahoma turnpike network.
Does work on the program restart immediately?No, it will take months to obtain funding from the bond market and restart the engineering work on the many projects across the state. Updates on project timelines will be made available on those project pages.
Where can I find information about a project affecting me or my community?You can find the interactive project map on this homepage below and project information on each individual project page from the menu on the top of this page.
Why did the OTA stop working on all new projects?Several factors impacted this decision. In recent months, legal matters pending before the Supreme Court, including the “validation” case have prevented access to the bond market. Previously, OTA stopped work on several legally challenged projects to try and minimize the impacts to Oklahomans while waiting for a validation decision from the Supreme Court. OTA’s hope was that the issues could be resolved quickly. After much consideration, OTA’s leadership team feels it is necessary to stop all work on the comprehensive, long-range plan as of Friday, April 14. This stoppage includes the work on the Turner Turnpike as well as the widening and interchange additions for safety and community access on other highly used turnpikes across the state – projects that are high priorities to the board and OTA as a whole.
OTA’s #1 priority is the safety and security of our travelers. These projects will create safer Oklahoma roadways by addressing current needs and providing increased access to communities across the Oklahoma turnpike network.
TRAVEL TIME RELIABILITY
These additional routes and improvements will provide motorists alternative travel options. This helps improve safety and decrease congestion and travel time, directly relates to one’s quality of life.
Oklahomans need to proactively address these issues to improve safety and enhance access to jobs and commerce in our state. Every mile and dollar we invest in our roads and bridges today pays dividends for future generations across our state.
The interactive GIS map below shows the program’s preliminary alignments and locations which are within the orange shaded areas. The shaded areas are approximately 1200 ft wide and provide a starting point for environmental impact studies. Design engineers will use information from those studies to narrow the alignments to approximately 600 ft or less. Those changes will be updated through this public platform.