OTA sets toll rates for Creek Turnpike extension in Tulsa

Friday, July 20th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ The Oklahoma Transportation Authority has set toll rates for vehicles traveling on the Creek Turnpike extension in Tulsa.

The extension between U.S. 169 and 161st East Ave. will cost 55 cents for motorists when the stretch opens Aug. 15, members decided Thursday. When the extension from U.S. 169 reaches the Muskogee Turnpike Oct. 1, the toll for the entire stretch will rise to 75 cents for two-axle vehicles, Wendy Smith, OTA finance director, said.

``For now, it is only open to 161st East Avenue,'' Smith said. ``We discounted the cash toll. It will change when the entire length opens up.''

Tolls on urban turnpikes are usually higher than on rural turnpikes because of the increased cost of right of way acquisition and other expenses, Smith said.

Motorists won't have to pay for traveling the 5.2 miles between U.S. 169 and 161st East Avenue from Aug. 15-19 because the authority is picking up the tab, said Holly Lowe, OTA's acting director.

The tolls for other cash-paying vehicles on the Creek Turnpike on that stretch will pay from 80 cents for three axles, which are cars or trucks pulling a single-axle trailer, larger motor home or moving truck, to $1.80 for six axles, or semis pulling a tandem trailer.

The stretch of the Creek Turnpike from 161st East Avenue to East 101st Street is set to open Dec. 31, while the Creek Turnpike stretch from the Muskogee Turnpike to East 11th St. South will open in March, officials said.

The Creek Turnpike from East 11th Street South to the Will Rogers Turnpike is scheduled to open in July 2002.

The opening dates are subject to change if weather conditions prevent contractors from finishing their work as scheduled, officials said.

When the entire Creek Turnpike is open, including the extensions, the cost for traveling from the Turner Turnpike to the Will Rogers Turnpike will be $2.45 for two-axle cash vehicles, Smith said.

The Creek Turnpike work was part of a $687 million turnpike extensions package that included work on the Kilpatrick Turnpike in Oklahoma City and the H.E. Bailey Turnpike.

Of the $687 million, $622 went to construction. So far, $488 million of the bond issue has been spent, transportation officials said.