New Travel Centers For Oklahoma

2-9-06- The state will open two new travel information centers for visitors to Oklahoma. The centers will cost about $5 million each.

One will be built along Interstate 40 near Erick in western Oklahoma and the second will open along I-35 near Blackwell in north-central Oklahoma. The centers will be patterned after tourism information centers and will include dog parks, jogging trails and handicapped accessible playgrounds.

State officials say the centers will be built with the help of $3.6 million in federal funds through the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Interim Tourism Director and former Oklahoma Governor George Nigh says the centers should be built in time for the state's 2007 centennial celebration.

Plans call for O-DOT to designate a consultant with 60 days to begin preliminary work on the Erick Center. Ground is to be broken later this year on the Blackwell project.