Community meeting

Gilcrease Extension Concerns Will Be Addressed At OTA Holding Community Meeting

Residents of the Berryhill community are hoping to get answers Tuesday night from the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority about the new Gilcrease Turnpike.

OTA said they were still working out exact toll rates, but a Berryhill business owner said any charge for Berryhill exits was too high.

Mary Colebrook’s business is right next to the new freeway and she’s frustrated with the changes.

“It will definitely impact our business with people having to travel four or five different ways to get here,” Colebrook said.

She said she originally voted to pass the Gilcrease freeway project which did not include tolls. The OTA said tolls have always been included since their involvement in the project. OTA said their involvement means the road will be built faster.

“It would take more than 20 years to be built in less than five years. At the time OTA got involved and we say so in our town hall meetings and on our website, this was going to be a toll road because OTA does not operate on state taxes and revenues,” said James Poling.

Poling said they hoped to address concerns at the public meeting.

Colebrook said his biggest concern about the tolls was how it would affect businesses.

“It doesn’t look good to us. As our business, you know, this could shut us down. We have been here for 30 years. I’ve lived in Berryhill for 72 years so it’s really going to have an impact on the neighborhood,” Colebrook said.