Like a sprawling Lovecraftian terror, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority may be creeping its tendrils towards you.
How the system works is complex, but the long and short is that the authority was birthed just after World War II to connect Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The tolls were expected to pay for the construction and then the turnpike would be free to drivers. Except, less than a decade later, the rules were rewritten so that if another turnpike was constructed, then the tolls would pay for those new roads before the costs of the previous turnpikes. And then, once all the construction costs were paid, the roads would be free.
It’s absolutely true that Oklahoma is going to need more highways constructed as time goes on and linking them to existing roads will be necessary. But should that responsibility be left to six people plus the governor? A district judge recently ruled that the authority violated the Oklahoma Open Meetings Act when it did not release relevant details about the ACCESS Oklahoma expansion, which will cut through and east of Norman on yet another turnpike, so not only is this small group making big decisions, but it’s brazenly doing so under its own shroud of secrecy.
“The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority has spent $132.8 million, spread among 12 engineering firms, and funded such work from money allocated for other capital improvement projects, including a new midway toll plaza on the Turner Turnpike. The turnpike authority also purchased several homes in the path of the proposed Norman area turnpikes,” according to The Oklahoman.
So maybe more ouroboros than Cthulhu.