Oklahoma Turnpike Authority searches for new director
A new Oklahoma Turnpike Authority director will be responsible solely for overseeing the toll roads. Another person will be hired to head the Oklahoma Transportation Department. Both positions now are held by Gary Ridley, who will retire March 31.
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Before going into the closed session, authority members heard a construction update on work to widen a stretch of the Creek Turnpike in Tulsa.
Work to widen seven miles of the toll road is about 40 percent complete. The contract calls for work to be completed by August, but it could be complete sooner.
Sherwood Construction submitted the lowest bid for the work with $58.8 million. One lane in both directions inside the Creek Turnpike from U.S. 75 to Memorial Drive is being added.
Authority members approved a change order of nearly $1.3 million that would pay for installing a wall on the westbound lanes near the Yale exit. The concrete wall, molded and painted to look like a stone wall, is designed to help block out sound from the roadway to a nearby neighborhood.
Another wall will be built along the roadway in Jenks next to a proposed subdivision. The work was not included in the original bid; it's expected to cost less than the Yale exit wall, said Tim Stewart, the Turnpike Authority's deputy director and chief operating officer.