Work to begin on Oklahoma turnpikes

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Five construction projects totaling $27.6
million are about to start on the Turner Turnpike, but Oklahoma
Turnpike Authority officials say steps are being taken to ease
disruption for motorists.

OTA assistant director Tim Stewart said Wednesday most of the projects will begin after the Independence Day holiday weekend. Stewart says to minimize delays work will be done at night. More than half the projects were set to begin last year, but the Turnpike Authority lacked the funding.

Tolls, the agency's sole funding source, were increased on the system's 10 turnpikes to offset declining traffic, and OTA spokesman Jack Damrill says the hike allowed the agency to pay for the projects. The largest project is $8.9 million in work on Interstate 44 near Tulsa.

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