Gilcrease Expressway is Key to Growth
By KAREN KEITH
People have been talking about the Gilcrease Expressway for decades. I’ve been honored to work on this project with an incredible team of stakeholders including Oklahoma House Speaker Chris Benge and several other legislators, Mayor Dewey Bartlett and many City of Tulsa officials, INCOG, the Tulsa Metro Chamber, the City of Sand Springs, Osage County, school district leaders, community leaders and transportation planners.
The highway was part of Tulsa’s transportation planning starting in the 1950’s. And when you look at a map of the Tulsa area, you can easily see that the western and northern parts of our metro area are the most ripe for growth. The completion of the highway will create a new loop starting in west Tulsa County traveling through Berryhill, across the Arkansas River and north through part of Osage County and then connect to the north leg of the Gilcrease in north Tulsa County.
Due to the work of our team, the western leg of the highway has a future. Recently, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority approved more than $700,000 for a feasibility study.
The Gilcrease Expressway is the key for development in the Berryhill, Red Fork communities as well as the area along Charles Page Boulevard between Tulsa and Sand Springs.
It is also a key for north Tusla County as a main corridor for Tulsa North and Turley and even the southeast part of Osage County. The bottom line is that a completed Gilcrease Expressway poises our area for growth in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors.
Attention to the project has come and gone over the decades. The project was largely dormant until the early 1990’s when then State Senators Lewis Long and Maxine Horner along with Representative Russ Roach worked on legislation to get the project moving again. They were involved with the purchase of the right-of-way and later the construction of the northern leg of the highway. But the project then lost steam.
While we’re back on the road to completing the project, our team could certainly use more help. We are always recruiting advocates for the project. I’d urge you to call your local and state elected officials to express your interest in the project.
The completed Gilcrease Expressway will open new possibilities for undeveloped and underdeveloped areas of our communities, and will help bring jobs, bolster school districts, local government services and create opportunities for our workforce.
While it is probably the most important transportation project for the Tulsa area in a generation, I hope it doesn’t take another generation to get finished.
- — Keith PErry Nov 23, 04:15 AM #