The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority (OTA) Board of Directors voted to approve the Kickapoo Turnpike as the official name of the Driving Forward initiative’s Eastern Oklahoma County corridor construction project at its monthly Board meeting.

“We are honored to recognize the Kickapoo Tribe through the naming of the Kickapoo Turnpike,” Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation and OTA Executive Director Tim Gatz said. “Much thought and consideration went into the opportunity to name this current construction project. The Kickapoo name both reflects and will bring awareness to Oklahoma’s strong Native American culture to all who travel this turnpike.”

Targeted for completion in late 2020, The Kickapoo Turnpike will connect I-40 in Oklahoma County and I-44 (Turner Turnpike). The new, 21-mile stretch of road will help to alleviate current traffic congestion and increase safety by reducing the number of dangerous vehicle collisions and fatalities in the Oklahoma City metro area.

 "The Kickapoo Tribe is humbled to have the new turnpike in our name," Kickapoo Chairman David Pacheco, Jr. said. "We appreciate our neighboring tribes, the Absentee Shawnee and the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, for also supporting the name."

The Kickapoo Turnpike joins a list of Oklahoma turnpike names that honor the state’s Native American tribes. These include the Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek and Muskogee Turnpikes.

“Today’s momentous announcement is something I have been looking forward to for a very long time,” OTA Board Chairwoman Dana Webber said. “The Kickapoo Turnpike will serve as a key to the future of Oklahoma’s safe and efficient transportation network, and its proud name will endure for generations to come.”

The Driving Forward initiative is a total of six large-scale corridors to modernize, enhance and improve safety, reduce congestion and support population growth on the turnpike system. To date, two corridors have been completed with the other four currently under construction. The Driving Forward initiative’s number one priority is to improve the safety and security of travelers. When completed, these corridors will create safer Oklahoma roadways by addressing current weaknesses and providing solutions to achieve less congestion.

For more information about this project and the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, please visit www.PIKEPASS.com or www.drivingforwardok.com.

About Oklahoma Turnpike Authority

Oklahoma Turnpike Authority was established in 1947 to construct, operate and maintain Oklahoma turnpikes. Today, Oklahoma turnpikes are the safest and quickest ways to travel across the state. Oklahoma Turnpike Authority is managing multiple renovations throughout the state to maintain and operate the turnpike system to the highest standard. To learn more about the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority and recent projects, visit, www.pikepass.com.