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Oklahoma legislators monitor downtown Oklahoma City boulevard debate

State Sen. Al McAffrey and Rep. Richard Morrissette, who represent downtown Oklahoma City, say they're monitoring the debate over a planned boulevard set to replace the old Interstate 40.
by Steve Lackmeyer Published: July 31, 2012
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Two state legislators who represent downtown Oklahoma City say they're monitoring the debate over a planned boulevard set to replace the old Interstate 40.

The state Transportation Department is continuing with plans to rebuild the boulevard as an elevated roadway for five blocks east of Western Avenue. In interviews with The Oklahoman, all members of the Oklahoma City Council have indicated they do not support building the elevated structure.

State Sen. Al McAffrey said Monday he has visited with Gary Ridley, state Transportation Department director, and said he was assured state highway engineers will not force city officials to accept a road they do not want.

“I'm waiting to see what comes out,” McAffrey said. “They are willing to do what the city wants — as long as it is in the current right of way.”

Rep. Richard Morrissette, meanwhile, is urging the Transportation Department to slow down on the project, which Ridley says must be completed by 2014 unless he is formally told otherwise by City Manager Jim Couch.

“If people have serious concerns, we need to slow this down a bit,” Morrissette said.

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by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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