The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority finally breaks ground on a new portion of the Gilcrease Expressway in Tulsa County. The Gilcrease Expressway Extension will connect Highway 412 and ultimately the Tisdale with I-44 on the west side of town.
The groundbreaking was held Tuesday morning just east of Chandler Park in Tulsa.
News On 6 has followed this project for a few years now, and the OTA says the 5-mile stretch is expected to relieve congestion during peak travel times especially along Interstate 244 and Highway 97.
Governor Kevin Stitt was on hand for Tuesday's groundbreaking, along with leaders from ODOT, the City of Tulsa, and Tulsa County.
"It's long overdue, and I think we are going to see a continued boom in the Tulsa economy," said Gov. Kevin Stitt.
Officials said the new expressway should bring more businesses and jobs to the north and west sides of Tulsa.
"This facility is going to help fill in that access need to the area into the future and allow some additional development opportunities and growth opportunities that just wouldn't exist without that river crossing," said Tim Gatz, OTA director.
"The bottom line is access, and that's what this is going to bring to West Tulsa - a new level of access."
The governor and Gatz also reference the areas around Oklahoma City seeing continued growth after the Kilpatrick Turnpike was finished. That road connects Interstate 40 to Interstate 35 and Interstate 44 around the city. He hopes Tulsa sees growth like this.
"They are normally built when there's not the development but for anticipated growth over the next 50 years, and that will kind of push the city to grow this direction, grow north," Gov. Stitt said.
The road will cross the Arkansas River at 57th West Avenue. The project will cost around $330 million.
Turnpike authority leaders say construction is scheduled to start in November, and they expect the road to be open by November of 2022.