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Section of new Kickapoo Turnpike in eastern Oklahoma County expected to open Oct. 13

Randy Ellis - Gannett Oklahoma
New turnpike section.

A partial opening of the new Kickapoo Turnpike in eastern Oklahoma County is planned for Oct. 13, Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation Secretary Tim Gatz announced Monday.

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority will be opening an 11-mile stretch of the new turnpike that stretches from the Turner Turnpike on the north to NE 23 Street/US Highway 62 on the south, officials said.

The remaining section of the new turnpike that will extend south from NE 23 Street to Interstate 40 is expected to open in February or March of next year, Gatz said.

The speed limit on the Kickapoo Turnpike will be 80 mph, Gatz said.

"It's a high capacity, high speed, modern transportation facility," he said. "We're looking forward to getting it open."

The new turnpike will be a four-lane divided highway.

Gatz said officials decided to open the north part of the turnpike early because work proceeded faster on that section.

"They're putting the finishing touches on it this week," Gatz said of the north section of the turnpike. "We're really looking forward to the opportunity to use part of that facility from 23rd north. Our target is the 13th. I don't think we'll have anything that will hold us up on that."

A passenger car with a Pikepass will pay $1.10 to travel the north section of the turnpike that is slated to open next week, while cash customers will be charged $2.25. A tractor-trailer with a Pikepass will be charged $4.95 to travel that stretch, while a tractor-trailer paying cash will be charged $10.25.

Once the full Kickapoo Turnpike is open next year, a passenger car with a Pikepass will pay $1.90 to travel the full length of the turnpike from the Turner Turnpike to I-40, while a tractor-trailer with a Pikepass will pay $8.55.

Cash customers will be charged the same amount to travel the full length of the turnpike as they are charged to travel the northern section that opens next week — $2.25 for passenger cars and $10.25 for tractor-trailers.

The entire length of the Kickapoo Turnpike will be about 20 miles, once it is complete.

The opening of the north section of the Kickapoo Turnpike is expected to be a boon to eastern Oklahoma County communities like Harrah, Jones, Choctaw and McLoud, said Terri Angier, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

Once the full Kickapoo Turnpike opens, it will serve as a reliever route for the traffic coming up Interstate 35 from the south that wants to head northeast toward Tulsa, Gatz said.

A major goal is to "keep some of that traffic volume out of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area from a congestion standpoint as we head toward the future," he said.