The Oklahoma House has approved a bill that would route
large truck traffic around the city of Sulphur.
House lawmakers voted 88-2 April 27 to advance a bill that
would allow the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to take over management
of all or part of the Chickasaw Turnpike. The bill – SB1368 – has since won
final approval in the Senate and has been sent to Gov. Brad Henry for his
The bill focuses on the four-mile stretch of the turnpike
running from Oklahoma Highway 7 to U.S. 177.
Shifting the turnpike to ODOT would allow the agency to
build entrance and exit ramps at the intersection of Chickasaw Turnpike and
The on-and-off ramps would ensure large trucks do not have
to drive through town. It also would create a non-tolled alternate access ramp
giving truckers access around the north side of Sulphur.
“Trucks have no other route to drive besides through town,”
Rep. Wes Hilliard, D-Sulphur, said in a written statement. “With the increasing
tourist traffic as well as the heavy truck traffic, it is about time that the
House does something about this dangerous situation.”
Hilliard, the bill’s House sponsor, said the transfer
wouldn’t affect tolls on the turnpike. In addition, tolls wouldn’t be placed on
the new access ramps.