OTA says speed limits may change on turnpikes

| 8/15/2002

If the Oklahoma Transportation Authority approves a measure Thursday, drivers soon could be driving faster on the Kilpatrick Turnpike. The OTA will consider a speed limit change from 65 mph to 70 mph on the turnpike.

The final leg of the Creek Turnpike in the Tulsa area - 9.1 miles east from the Muskogee Turnpike to the Will Rogers Turnpike at I-44 scheduled to open Aug.16 - also would be affected by the speed increase.

According to an OTA released statement, the increase in speed is in response to customers' requests for the speed limit on Kilpatrick to be the same as that on I-40 and I-35. "The speed will be the same for all vehicles," said Michelle Paul, spokesperson for the OTA. "The study said only about 3 percent of semi-trucks use urban turnpikes for travel."

Before considering the change, the OTA commissioned a traffic study to assess the viability of increasing the speed limit. Eighty-five percent of motorists on Kilpatrick drive 70 mph or lower, the study said.

The measure is expected to be approved at Thursday's meeting. The Transportation Authority will then send the proposal to Public Safety Department Commissioner Bob Ricks for final approval.

The Transportation Authority also will consider approval of a $9.5 million bid for pavement reconstruction on the Cimarron Turnpike and will review a cost estimate for the toll collection equipment in conjunction with the planned reconstruction of the Chandler toll plaza on the Turner Turnpike.