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South OKC residents mixed over Kilpatrick toll road extension

Devin Winter / Red Dirt Report contributor
Homeowners learning more about the new turnpike projects Tuesday night.
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Fewer than 20 homes should be impacted, OTA spokesman says

MUSTANG, Okla. – From east to west, homeowners are not happy about new turnpike projects.

News that a proposed turnpike will cost residents their homes or depress property values has made headlines lately and Tuesday’s meeting at the Mustang Town Center brought out more upset citizens.

The latest turnpike meeting centered on the extension of the Kilpatrick toll road, which will move north of Mustang for about seven miles and end near State Highway 152 and North Council Road. Proposed interchanges are at SW 15th between Sara Road and Mustang Road and along Sara Road between SW 15th and SW 29th.

The proposed toll road will be west of Mustang North Middle School and Mustang Creek Elementary.

Several residents who live near the project said they’re angry the Oklahoma Turnpike didn’t take a different route.

One man, who asked not to be identified because of the job he holds, said the toll road extension will be less than a quarter-mile from his property.

“We moved out here because of the farm land and to get away from the city,” he said. “We don’t fall within the easement of the project but we will have to look at it every day. We’ll hear the added traffic and noise. Right now, I’m pissed off.”

Those same types of sentiments have been expressed at other informational meetings with OTA officials in eastern Oklahoma County where a new turnpike is planned. Rural homeowners in and around Harrah have been much more vocal than the Mustang-area residents were Tuesday night.

Resident Jeff Taloff said the project will come within 300 feet of his property. During Tuesday’s meeting, Taloff was trying to get OTA officials to answer questions about property values.

“It pretty much goes into my back yard,” he said. “I won’t have to move I’ve learned, but it will increase the noise level.”

Another resident, Dave Logan, called the toll road extension route the “path of least resistance.”

“It will impact everyone within a mile,” he said. “It will be ugly for a lot of people.”

However, Logan admitted extending the Kilpatrick into south Oklahoma City is a logical move for transportation officials who are trying to relieve much of the traffic congestion from Interstate 44 and I-240.

“They’ve got to have it or this area won’t grow,” he said.

Longtime Mustang developer Robert Crout is happy with the idea that a major highway will finally connect this 12-square mile suburb with the rest of the metro area.

“I think it’s wonderful,” he said. “Unless you live underneath the turnpike, why would you not be for it? It gives better access to the area and will provide for better development. The people around here live the (traffic) problems every day. With all of the congestion, they’re not able to get around at certain times of the day.”

Oklahoma City Ward 3 Councilman Larry McAtee said he heard mixed responses Tuesday night. McAtee’s ward includes all of the proposed toll road extension.

“Most have been favorable and a couple feel they will be impacted,” he said.

City officials will decide soon if they want to spend money to build service roads on each side of the turnpike, McAtee said.

Citizen responses to the proposed $190 million project will be examined by staff engineers, OTA spokesman Jack Damrill said. The number of negative remarks has been fewer than with other projects, including the proposed turnpike in eastern Oklahoma County. Less than 20 homeowners will be affected by the Kilpatrick extension, he said.

“There’s not nearly as many houses that will be impacted here,” Damrill said.

However, the spokesman said the number of homes could change if the route is altered by as little as 200 feet.

The eastern Oklahoma County project will force between 200 and 250 homeowners to lose their property, officials have said.

State officials announced earlier this year a package of turnpike projects that will cost an estimated $892 million.

Photos by contributor Devin Winter.

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Tim Farley

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