Traffic Flowing Again On Will Rogers Turnpike

Sunday, November 26th 2006, 4:55 pm
By: News On 6

Holiday headaches on an Oklahoma turnpike as Thanksgiving travelers ran into traffic tie-ups. News on 6 reporter Joshua Brakhage says record crowds hit highways, interstates and airports.

It was 6 solid miles of bumper to bumper backup. The worst stretch of highway this Thanksgiving holiday weekend ran through northeastern Oklahoma.

"Yeah, it's horrible right now. It all kinda funnels into one lane on the Will Rogers Turnpike," said Captain Mike Harrell with the OHP.

Construction put the squeeze on drivers, and hundreds of headlights snaked down the Interstate. Turnpike turnstiles clogged with testy travelers eager to get home from the holidays.

"We have almost a complete standstill," Harrell said.

Where the problems weren't: America's airports. Wendy Abrams, Chicago Aviation: "For the most part, things have gone very smoothly this weekend, we're very pleased," said Wendy Abrams, Chicago Aviation.

Pittsburgh's International Airport set new travel records this weekend, but visitors still flew through the terminal.

One Oklahoma traveler hit turbulence in Las Vegas, but says it was smooth sailing after that.

"I had a delay of 50 minutes actually and that was the only one so, outside of long lines, nothing really too much to complain about," said traveler Jason Seipel.

America's highways were also busy but not unbearable. Law enforcers say traffic crackdowns kept drivers in line.

"They've got every trooper on the Will Rogers Turnpike in that general vicinity right now, plus they've got the Department of Transportation trying to help. They've got the Oklahoma Transportation Authority out there, and all their maintenance people out trying to get people slowed down," Captain Harrell said.

A team effort to get thousands home safe and sound.

At one point, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol asked the News on 6 to get the word out and tell drivers to avoid the Will Rogers westbound. They say that's not the case anymore.