Tulsa now has traffic loop around the city

Saturday, August 17th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The new the East Creek Turnpike Extension opened Friday.

It connects the cities of Broken Arrow and Catoosa - adding a turnpike link between the Will Rogers - and Turner Turnpikes.

News on Six Reporter Emory Bryan reports that for the first time drivers passing through Oklahoma can pass by Tulsa - and never see the skyline.

The construction cost $385 million. The opening completes a 35 mile loop around Tulsa - a longer but faster route for traffic just passing by on the interstate.

Dewey Bartlett Jr., with the Transportation Authority says,"This will take away some of that traffic that now uses those roads, they'll use the Creek Turnpike."

But that relief comes at a price - 75 cents to drive the new section - two dollars fifteen cents to drive all the way around.

Many of the first drivers seemed happy to pay and pleased with the drive - but nearly all the out of state drivers were lost - or confused - or both.

And several had to scrounge for change - as they found themselves in the wrong lane.

OHP troopers watched the first flock of drivers - and pulled over the ones who went through without paying.

This new section of the Creek is a four lane divided highway.

It connects with state highway 412 - and the Will Rogers Turnpike at a new interchange, designed to handle traffic better than the old one at Route 66.

With the opening, the state marks the end of a five year turnpike building spree.

For now - there are no more turnpikes planned - though the legislature could authorize more at any time.