OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority gave its approval Wednesday for a $39 million interchange modification project at the Tulsa end of the Turner Turnpike.
The OTA agreed to let Director Tim Gatz enter an agreement with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation for an interchange modification where Interstate 44 and Oklahoma 66 meet. Gatz also serves as state transportation secretary and ODOT director.
ODOT will provide $10 million for the project, said Turnpike Authority member Gene Love. The project will involve interchange modifications, pavement widening, and bridges and approaches in Creek and Tulsa counties.
Gatz said the interchange will be where the turnpike meets the state highway, so costs are shared. The new interchange will be much safer and will involve a new bridge structure, he said.
Work is expected to start in late spring or summer. The project will take 18 months to two years to complete, Gatz said.
After the interchange is rebuilt, the Turner Turnpike will be widened to six lanes to the Creek Turnpike, Gatz said.
The agency recently completed six-laning the Turner from east of Bristow to Sapulpa, said Jack Damrill, OTA spokesman.
Gatz said the project is part of Driving Forward program, an expansion and improvement initiative for six turnpikes. Announced in 2015, the Driving Forward package includes six bond-financed projects, including three benefiting the Tulsa area. It includes work on the Gilcrease Expressway, Muskogee Turnpike, Turner Turnpike, H.E. Bailey Turnpike, Kilpatrick Turnpike and a new Oklahoma City-area turnpike.
The initial price tag was $892 million, a figure that has grown to $1.1 billion. An increase in tolls is financing the project.