Operational changes reduce complaints about Oklahoma turnpikes

Oklahoma government as a whole has been working toward better transparency and the turnpike authority is no exception, Gary Ridley, secretary of transportation, said.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD zcampfield@opubco.com Modified: September 22, 2012 at 10:28 pm •  Published: September 24, 2012

Most legitimate complaints filed with the authority in recent years regard the condition of restrooms and facilities at the authority's 11 service plazas, spokesman Jack Damrill said.

The authority is in the process of overhauling half of those, including an $11 million rebuild of the so-called “Glass House” in Vinita within the next year.

Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, said transportation planning is going the way of the rest of state government — open, transparent and responsive to citizen complaints.

“A lot of the criticisms have been dealt with over the past four years,” he said. “For 100 years it was which senator or representative was sitting on the transportation committee, and they steered funds wherever they thought it should go. That's over. Now we have a research-based plan that is dependent on traffic conditions, safety for citizens and looking at where do we need to improve our roads and bridges.”

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