OTA History FAQs

The OTA is an instrumentality of the State created by the state legislature, by statute in 1947 for the purpose of constructing, operating and maintaining the Turner Turnpike. In 1954, the original purpose was statutorily redefined to allow construction of additional turnpikes, and changes were made in the Authority’s membership to include a representative from each of Oklahoma’s congressional districts. The OTA’s governing body (the Authority) consists of the Governor (ex-officio) and six members, appointed by the Governor and approved by the State Senate, serving an eight-year uncompensated term.
Turnpikes provide a way to finance, build and use roads now and pay for them as we use them. The construction of turnpikes provides infrastructure and economic development that might not be possible otherwise. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) at the time did not have the available funds to construct and maintain such roads. In the past fifty years, ODOT has constructed only 162 miles of partial control, limited access interstate type roads, excluding the federally funded interstate system. In that same time, the OTA has been able to construct 606 miles of rural and urban high performance, limited access highways with greater safety and convenience for the Oklahoma road user. If tolls were removed from current roads, an additional $93 million annually would be needed for ODOT to complete the routine maintenance and capital rehabilitation currently performed on the Turnpike System. In addition, the state would have to fund $13 million annually for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol currently patrolling the turnpikes.
The OTA receives no tax money to operate its turnpikes. Revenues from tolls, investments, and concession leases pay all operating and maintenance costs for the turnpikes and pay off the bonds issued to finance their construction. State-maintained roads receive motor fuel tax money generated by the turnpikes. Since 1992, the Authority has received, and immediately remitted to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation just over $365 million.
The Turner Turnpike was authorized in 1947 and opened to traffic in 1953.
There are 10 turnpikes in Oklahoma covering 606 miles.
  1. Turner Turnpike, 86.0 miles in length, connecting Oklahoma City with Tulsa.
  2. Will Rogers Turnpike, 88.5 miles in length, extends from Tulsa to the Oklahoma-Missouri state line.
  3. H.E. Bailey Turnpike, 86.4 miles in length on main route, extending from Oklahoma City just north of the Texas state line, and 8.2 miles on a spur connecting the main route to S.H.9.
  4. Indian Nation Turnpike, 105.2 miles in length, connects Henryetta at I-40 to U.S. 70 near Hugo.
  5. Muskogee Turnpike, 53.1 miles in length, connecting Webbers Falls at I-40 with Tulsa.
  6. Cimarron Turnpike, 59 miles in length on main route, extending from I-35/ U.S. 64 east of Enid to Tulsa, and 8.5 miles on a spur connecting the main route with Stillwater and Oklahoma State University.
  7. John Kilpatrick Turnpike, 25.3 miles in length, extending from the Oklahoma City interchange of the Turner Turnpike and I-35 to I-40 between Mustang and Sara Road.
  8. Cherokee Turnpike, 32.8 miles in length, extends eastward from U.S. 412 at Locust Grove to U.S. 412 west of West Siloam Springs.
  9. Creek Turnpike, 33.2 miles in length, connecting the Turner Turnpike to the Will Rogers Turnpike.
  10. Chickasaw Turnpike, 17.1 miles in length, extends southward from S.H. 3 near Ada to S.H. 7 immediately west of Sulphur.
The people of Oklahoma voted in 1954 to “cross-pledge” the turnpike system. By this action they voted to commit the tolls collected on all turnpikes to pay the debt service, maintenance and expansion for the turnpike system, not each individual road."
Uses of Funds for 2013
Debt Service $95,959,000
Capital Plan $89,369,000
Maintenance & Operating $73,153,000
The bond debt is currently $1.2 billion and is scheduled to be paid off in 2031, assuming no additional debt is incurred.
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