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For turnpike drivers, higher speed limits aren't just around the corner

Posted at 10:26 PM, Apr 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-19 23:26:07-04

TULSA, OK (KJRH) — Governor Stitt signed a bill to increase the top speed limit on Oklahoma turnpikes to 80 miles per hour, but that won't be rolled out right away, or on all roadways.

First, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority has to analyze all the roadways, but they still need the money to do it.

Oklahoma Turnpike Authority Director of Communications Jack Damrill says engineers will look at all the roadways to complete an analysis that could take from six months to a year.

"We’re still probably a couple years away from seeing any kind of change to our speed limits,” Damrill said.

According to the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, a couple points of interests are the southern portion of the Indian Nation Turnpike and the Cimmaron Turnpike, because those roads aren’t as heavily traveled and the terrain is flat.

“They look for numerous things," Damrill said, "the engineering of the roadway, they look at travel distance or sight distance for people; do they have a long line of sight? What kind of traffic is on that roadway?”

The turnpike authority will also look at the Turner and Will Rogers turnpikes, but because traffic is much higher on those roads, it could spark safety concerns.

The delay is mostly caused by money; right now there’s not enough in the capital plan to start the engineering analysis, so the study will have to begin in 2020.

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