The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority has approved a project that call for new toll plazas to be built on I-44, south of the current toll plazas outside of Chickisha. According to the new Executive Director of the OTA, Tim Gatz, the project is set to break ground later this month on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike, approximately 12 miles closer to Lawton than the current Chickasha plaza.

The project calls for the construction of a modern toll plaza, similar to those in other regions of the state, including the construction of a second highway-speed Pike Pass lane on on each side of the highway. The project, one of two approved for the I-44 corridor, is slated to take a little over a year to complete, at the estimated cost of $14.764 million for construction and for demolition of the existing plaza. The new site was selected due to a flatter topography, with hills on both sides of the highway.

Turnpike commissioners also approved a plan to rebuild approximately 7.5 miles of the I-44 close to Oklahoma City. A third project did not pass during the session. Funding has not yet been approved for a second I-44 toll booth project, this one near Walters that is intended to move the plaza away from its current location near and over pass. While funding has not yet been identified for this project, it remains on the turnpike authority's five-year master plan.

courtesy of ThinkStock/Getty Images/iStockphoto

source: the Lawton Constitution