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  1. #26

    Default Re: Driving Forward OK - Oklahoma Turnpike Improvements and New Construction

    Quote Originally Posted by ou48A View Post
    I agree with this…^
    A bypass around the east side of the OKC metro would make I-35 less crowed and safer…. We need another bridge over the river somewhere south of Norman near Noble IMO.
    But I don’t understand why this project is so far east. It seems like it would be better if it was moved about 5 miles west?
    After living out in eastern Oklahoma County for 10 years, I can see the route being placed in the areas between Luther and Tripple X roads. Maybe as far west as Indian Meridian. It's more rural and there's more bottom land to work with in that area. Any farther west would displace a LOT of residential areas ... Think Jones, Spencer, Nicoma Park, Choctaw and eastern Midwest City. ..... Eastern Oklahoma County has been growing for sometime. Someone mentioned up thread that the loop would invite sprawl, but the sprawl has already been happening. There's a lot of people that live out that way.

  2. #27

    Default Re: Driving Forward OK - Oklahoma Turnpike Improvements and New Construction

    I've found this article interesting, and share it time to time with folks on facebook when they go on their anti-toll road rants...

    The Turnpike Myth That Never Dies - Tulsa World: Archives

    The Turnpike Myth That Never Dies
    Posted: Sunday, July 11, 1993 12:00 am
    David Averill

    The late, unlamented series of TV ads by the Oklahoma Turnpike
    Authority is proof enough.
    The toll-meisters are never going to win the hearts and
    minds of Oklahoma motorists, nor are they ever going to
    dispel the myths, legends and misconceptions that persist
    about the turnpike system. No matter what the truth is.
    No matter what kind of public information campaign they
    may devise.
    The oldest and most persistent myth, of course, is that
    the turnpikes, or at least the first one - the Turner -
    was to become a "free" road as soon as the construction
    bonds were paid off. As with many myths, there is a sliver
    of truth in it.
    But never mind the facts, which are these:
    - There are no "free" roads. All roads cost money to build
    and maintain. There are tax-supported roads and user-supported,
    or toll, roads.
    - The 1947 law that authorized the first (Turner) turnpike
    provided that when construction bonds were entirely paid
    off, the turnpike could become part of the state highway
    system. Newspaper clippings from the late 1940s - when civic,
    business and political leaders from Tulsa and Oklahoma City
    were beating the drum for a toll road between the two cities
    - indicate that Gov. Roy Turner mentioned that provision
    in some speeches. But the turnpike was not sold to Oklahomans
    on the basis that it would eventually become "free."
    The primary argument, made over and over, was that the two
    metropolises needed a safer, faster highway link, and the
    only possible way to get one in a state dominated by rural
    interests was to sell bonds and build a toll road.
    - The original bonds on the Turner Turnpike would not have
    been completely paid off until 1990 anyway, but a bunch
    of grumpy motorists have been in a dither over the mythological
    "free-road promise" for at least 20 years.
    - Any "free-road promise" became moot in 1954, less than
    four years after construction of the Turner Turnpike began,
    when both the Legislature and a majority of the voters of
    Oklahoma approved a plan to refinance the Turner bonds to
    build what turned out to be two new 'pikes, the Will Rogers
    and H.E. Bailey.
    The turnpike grumps have forgotten the two 1954 state questions
    in which the people voted to continue bond financing. Whenever
    the topic of turnpikes is raised, a bunch of them will write
    and call the newspaper, and phone the radio gabfests to
    recount the "free-road promise."
    It doesn't matter what the toll-meisters do to please their
    customers. Some people want to see evil conspiracy behind
    their every move. Take the PikePass system. The PikePass
    is a convenience to turnpike users that hopefully will reduce
    the Turnpike Authority's manpower needs - and expense. But
    the grumps would have you believe it is much more - a plot
    to con millions of dollars in deposits from unsuspecting
    motorists and get fat on the bank interest.
    Here's the truth about that myth: The authority collected
    about $127,000 in interest last year from PikePass deposits,
    but that amount was far less than the bank service charges,
    postage and other costs of operating the Pike Pass program.
    The toll-meisters, sensitive to their unpopularity, are
    considering a plan to credit to each PikePass account the
    amount of interest it would have earned - a dollar or so
    a year for most. But even that won't quiet the grumping,
    because some people want to believe the worst.
    The toll-meisters' very efforts to dispel the myths and
    misconceptions spawn new myths and misconceptions. Take
    the recent advertising campaign - please. We're talking
    about the ads that were supposed to look like a TV talk
    show. This wasn't the hottest idea ever to come down the
    'pike. The ads prompted all kinds of gripes. Some critics
    didn't like Capt. Adams' answers or his stiff delivery;
    some hated the fact that Becky Dixon wore a tie; others
    disapproved of the set, which looked like it was lifted
    from CNN's "Larry King Live."
    But the most damaging criticism, the real grumping, was
    that the ads were "a waste of taxpayers' money."
    For the record, taxpayers' money was not spent on the ads.
    The Turnpike Authority doesn't receive or spend tax money.
    It receives no subsidy from the State of Oklahoma. The turnpike
    system operates entirely on toll receipts. Even the salaries
    of the Highway Patrol officers who patrol the turnpikes
    are paid from toll receipts. But does this matter to those
    who choose to believe that the toll-meisters are wasting
    taxpayers' money? Not for a minute.
    Toll-road construction has some real advantages over construction
    of tax-supported roads:
    - Toll roads are quicker to build, because the money, from
    private investors, is available when it's needed (it doesn't
    depend on legislative or congressional appropriation) and
    because the process is absent the environmental impact studies
    and other paper shuffling that come with federal highway
    dollars.
    - Toll-road maintenance is more certain, because the tolls
    that retire construction bonds also provide money for upkeep.
    - Toll roads are paid for entirely by those who use them,
    and only by those who use them.
    - In Oklahoma's case, more than half of the toll-road tab
    is picked up by out-of-state motorists who use the state's
    turnpikes. Oklahoma's "free" roads, on the other hand,
    are paid for entirely by taxes collected by the State of
    Oklahoma and taxes collected in Oklahoma by the federal
    government and returned to Oklahoma.
    None of these arguments, however, are going to change minds
    of the truly dedicated grumps. Some people just don't want
    to know the truth. They prefer to live happily with their
    cherished myths and misconceptions.

  3. #28

    Default Re: Driving Forward OK - Oklahoma Turnpike Improvements and New Construction

    ^^ Thanks for posting that.

    I never looked into the details, but I always figured that was bs.

  4. #29

    Default Re: Driving Forward OK - Oklahoma Turnpike Improvements and New Construction

    Just to provide perspective on population numbers of the area, about 41,000 people lived in the area bounded by I-44, Westminster Rd, I-40, and Harrah Rd in 2010.

  5. #30

    Default Re: Driving Forward OK - Oklahoma Turnpike Improvements and New Construction

    Quote Originally Posted by rezman View Post
    After living out in eastern Oklahoma County for 10 years, I can see the route being placed in the areas between Luther and Tripple X roads. Maybe as far west as Indian Meridian. It's more rural and there's more bottom land to work with in that area. Any farther west would displace a LOT of residential areas ... Think Jones, Spencer, Nicoma Park, Choctaw and eastern Midwest City. ..... Eastern Oklahoma County has been growing for sometime. Someone mentioned up thread that the loop would invite sprawl, but the sprawl has already been happening. There's a lot of people that live out that way.
    Thanks…..Your reasons are probably why it’s as far east as it is.

    However, if it’s ever extended south I hope it’s routed southwesterly on the west side of lake Thunderbird, crossing the river west of the Noble area and then connects with I-35 near Ladd Rd.

  6. #31

    Default Re: Driving Forward OK - Oklahoma Turnpike Improvements and New Construction

    Quote Originally Posted by KayneMo View Post
    Just to provide perspective on population numbers of the area, about 41,000 people lived in the area bounded by I-44, Westminster Rd, I-40, and Harrah Rd in 2010.
    I wonder what that number is almost 6 years later. There's been a lot of building going on out there.

    And don't forget about north of I-44, inside those same east and west boundaries ... say all the way to Waterloo to the north.

  7. #32

    Default Re: Driving Forward OK - Oklahoma Turnpike Improvements and New Construction

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is roughly how I'd like to see the Turner bypass look, pull off between Luther and Wellston, connect with I-40/I-240 split for Tulsa to Tinker/Moore/Will Rogers traffic, and then continue on down to the east of Norman for OU traffic, and reconnect near Purcell for TX traffic. The main objective is to get those trucks onto pay roads instead of wearing down I 35 metro with their tonnage, while causing delays (and safety hazards) with so much metro congestion.

  8. #33

    Default Re: Driving Forward OK - Oklahoma Turnpike Improvements and New Construction

    ^^you can almost guarantee that this east toll road will and should be a future bypass around the city. Heck you could even connect it father north from I35 to the i44 section. Seeing Steves chat today and people complaining about sprawl just made me laugh. Most of the city won't use this toll road but that's the point. It's for traffic through the state. I'd honestly rather them add this toll road then try and widen the highways more in the city where most would agree mass transit could exist. But you can't have mass transit if the highways are still clogged with semis.

  9. #34

    Default Re: Driving Forward OK - Oklahoma Turnpike Improvements and New Construction

    Make it limited access and that helps limit the sprawl around it. Do something like the toll road that bypasses Austin's nightmarish I-35

  10. #35

    Default Re: Driving Forward OK - Oklahoma Turnpike Improvements and New Construction

    Quote Originally Posted by pahdz View Post
    Make it limited access and that helps limit the sprawl around it. Do something like the toll road that bypasses Austin's nightmarish I-35
    That example might not be the best comparison--despite having relatively limited access, it's pushed Austin's sprawling quest for middle-income-friendly housing to the fringes of the eastern metro counties, where commutes were suddenly (upon opening of the tollway) reduced from an hour or more to about 25 minutes.

  11. #36

    Default Re: Driving Forward OK - Oklahoma Turnpike Improvements and New Construction

    Quote Originally Posted by TexanOkie View Post
    That example might not be the best comparison--despite having relatively limited access, it's pushed Austin's sprawling quest for middle-income-friendly housing to the fringes of the eastern metro counties, where commutes were suddenly (upon opening of the tollway) reduced from an hour or more to about 25 minutes.
    And I did not know that, thanks for clarifying. Exactly how limited is the access?

  12. #37

    Default Re: Driving Forward OK - Oklahoma Turnpike Improvements and New Construction

    Quote Originally Posted by rezman View Post
    I wonder what that number is almost 6 years later. There's been a lot of building going on out there.

    And don't forget about north of I-44, inside those same east and west boundaries ... say all the way to Waterloo to the north.
    To Waterloo is an additional 3,100 people.

  13. #38

  14. #39

    Default Re: Driving Forward OK - Oklahoma Turnpike Improvements and New Construction

    Quote Originally Posted by gopokes88 View Post
    It's actually a usage tax not regressive. Despite your opinions on whether its regressive or not, taking the turnpike is 100% optional, don't like it, don't take it. That makes it a usage tax not regressive. A tax can only be regressive if it's mandatory.
    Define it however you want, but all usage fees/taxes are regressive, regardless of optionality. The quantity of sales and property taxes are also optional, but are by definition regressive. Notice that IRS definition include park and museum entrance fees as well. Furthermore, tolls are very locationally biased, which doesn't necessarily make it regressive but does make it biased and hurts the whole "Don't like it, don't use it" argument. Really, I dislike the location bias more than regressiveness, its just when the two are added it can become a bigger deal for some people.

    But like I said, these projects wouldn't happen without the tolls, so it is a necessary evil.

    I really think with the improvement in fuel mileage, and the unwillingness of government to raise gas taxes, that we should go to a true usage fee system where you pay an annual fee with your car tag based on the GVW and the miles driven. You'd have to figure out how to handle out of state users, but I am sure that could be figured out. It will either eventually be a system like this, or every highway will eventual be turned into a tollway as funding dries up and construction costs increase.

  15. #40

    Default Re: Driving Forward OK - Oklahoma Turnpike Improvements and New Construction

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTravellers View Post
    I asked about that here a while back and was given the information that they miscalculated the load between spans and it was supposed to flatten out once the concrete was poured, and they apparently assigned that task to the 1st-year psychology students (because even 1st-year engineers shouldn't've been able to screw it up that badly), and it's happened on quite a few other bridges/flyovers on the Kilpatrick. Huge, huge, huge embarrassment that we can't even figure that out properly, I'm amazed that it got all the way through and finished, it's pretty much completely inexcusable, never ever driven over anything that badly in any other state in the union (and I've been through a lot of them).
    All bridge beams are initially chambered upward, and then they flatten out as the deadweight of the bridge deck is added. Pre-stressed concrete beams have a much more noticeable chamber initially than steel beam because the lower part of the beam is pre-stressed into compression. Even after the deadweight is applied concrete beams will retain some chamber since they design the pre-stress high enough to ensure the bottom of the beam is always kept in compression (concrete cracks with just a slight amount of tension).

    Since the beams will retain chamber after the deck is applied, when they pour the decking they pour a variable thickness "haunch." The haunch is basically the concrete that connects the deck to the beams. If you closely look at the underside of a concrete beam bridge you can easily see this variable thickness between the beams and the decking.

    Basically every other state requires the engineers to do the haunch thickness calculations and put them on the drawings. Oklahoma, however, leaves it up to the bridge construction company. Not only are these calculations fairly complicated for the non-engineers, the state further ties their hands by limiting the min/max thickness range. So even if the contractor did the calcs perfectly, they may still not be able to create a smooth bridge.

    Each hump you feel on these bridges is one beam span. The Creek Turnpike South Loop in Tulsa has this problem in a big way too. But it is an issue all over the state. Notice that Texas uses concrete bridges all over the place, including a lot of the new I-635, not a single one has this issue because the engineers do the haunch calculations.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    More info: http://uknowledge.uky.edu/cgi/viewco...ontext=ce_etds

  16. #41

    Default Re: Driving Forward OK - Oklahoma Turnpike Improvements and New Construction

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorba View Post
    All bridge beams are initially chambered upward, and then they flatten out as the deadweight of the bridge deck is added. Pre-stressed concrete beams have a much more noticeable chamber initially than steel beam because the lower part of the beam is pre-stressed into compression. Even after the deadweight is applied concrete beams will retain some chamber since they design the pre-stress high enough to ensure the bottom of the beam is always kept in compression (concrete cracks with just a slight amount of tension).

    Since the beams will retain chamber after the deck is applied, when they pour the decking they pour a variable thickness "haunch." The haunch is basically the concrete that connects the deck to the beams. If you closely look at the underside of a concrete beam bridge you can easily see this variable thickness between the beams and the decking.

    Basically every other state requires the engineers to do the haunch thickness calculations and put them on the drawings. Oklahoma, however, leaves it up to the bridge construction company. Not only are these calculations fairly complicated for the non-engineers, the state further ties their hands by limiting the min/max thickness range. So even if the contractor did the calcs perfectly, they may still not be able to create a smooth bridge.

    Each hump you feel on these bridges is one beam span. The Creek Turnpike South Loop in Tulsa has this problem in a big way too. But it is an issue all over the state. Notice that Texas uses concrete bridges all over the place, including a lot of the new I-635, not a single one has this issue because the engineers do the haunch calculations.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    More info: http://uknowledge.uky.edu/cgi/viewco...ontext=ce_etds
    Fantastic explanation. You know, it is a shame the OTA allowed these bridges in question to be completed at final inspections.

  17. #42

    Default Re: Driving Forward OK - Oklahoma Turnpike Improvements and New Construction

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorba View Post
    All bridge beams are initially chambered upward, and then they flatten out as the deadweight of the bridge deck is added. Pre-stressed concrete beams have a much more noticeable chamber initially than steel beam because the lower part of the beam is pre-stressed into compression. Even after the deadweight is applied concrete beams will retain some chamber since they design the pre-stress high enough to ensure the bottom of the beam is always kept in compression (concrete cracks with just a slight amount of tension).

    Since the beams will retain chamber after the deck is applied, when they pour the decking they pour a variable thickness "haunch." The haunch is basically the concrete that connects the deck to the beams. If you closely look at the underside of a concrete beam bridge you can easily see this variable thickness between the beams and the decking.

    Basically every other state requires the engineers to do the haunch thickness calculations and put them on the drawings. Oklahoma, however, leaves it up to the bridge construction company. Not only are these calculations fairly complicated for the non-engineers, the state further ties their hands by limiting the min/max thickness range. So even if the contractor did the calcs perfectly, they may still not be able to create a smooth bridge.

    Each hump you feel on these bridges is one beam span. The Creek Turnpike South Loop in Tulsa has this problem in a big way too. But it is an issue all over the state. Notice that Texas uses concrete bridges all over the place, including a lot of the new I-635, not a single one has this issue because the engineers do the haunch calculations.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    More info: http://uknowledge.uky.edu/cgi/viewco...ontext=ce_etds
    Zorba, thank you for your explanation. I've wondered about that every time I've crossed those spans, and only heard that the crown or "chamber" as you describe it, was miscalulated.

    I'm not an engineer but I've also wondered about the what the stresses are from all the vehicles bouncing over those spans over the years. Especially from trucks. I call it unsprung weight however that may not be the proper term, but everytime a vehicle goes over each span and the weight bottoms out in the dips between each one, has to be putting extra stresses on the joints and bridge components.

  18. Default Re: Driving Forward OK - Oklahoma Turnpike Improvements and New Construction

    Thanks for the details behind my blathering, Zorba, confirms my suspicions that TPTB at OTA are idiots...

    Just boggles my mind that this kind of crap keeps happening over and over in OK, not sure why OK thinks they're exceptional or there are no precedents for what they're doing, and why they don't bother to find out how it's done *the right way* because other states/municipalities *have* done this kind of thing before (pretty much no matter what kind of "thing" it is) and know how to do it right.

  19. #44

    Default Re: Driving Forward OK - Oklahoma Turnpike Improvements and New Construction

    I'm not real wild about this plan. I feel like the areas they are focusing on are the most brain-dead they possibly could... Easy gimmies. It'd be a lot harder, but the metro would benefit a lot more from a turnpike that offloads some of the horrendous I-35 traffic through the southern parts of the metro where there are currently no highway alternatives.

  20. Default Re: Driving Forward OK - Oklahoma Turnpike Improvements and New Construction

    I know this is probably not feasible now, but it would be cool if they could make Sooner a bit more limited access, there really isn't a good way for Eastern Norman to get to MWC, and Sooner is just getting busier and busier. Also it is prime time for 9 to be built up to HWY standards on the South side of Norman, there is plenty of space to do that with on and off ramps if they elevate like 240 is.

  21. #46

    Default Re: Driving Forward OK - Oklahoma Turnpike Improvements and New Construction

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTravellers View Post
    Thanks for the details behind my blathering, Zorba, confirms my suspicions that TPTB at OTA are idiots...

    Just boggles my mind that this kind of crap keeps happening over and over in OK, not sure why OK thinks they're exceptional or there are no precedents for what they're doing, and why they don't bother to find out how it's done *the right way* because other states/municipalities *have* done this kind of thing before (pretty much no matter what kind of "thing" it is) and know how to do it right.
    Something along these same lines that is insane are bridges and approaches. Many bridges across the state on highways have a noticeable jarring when your vehicle goes onto a bridge and then leaves a bridge. I frequent 35 between OKC and Dallas and man just about every bridge you drive across there's a definite "blam-blam" when you go onto the bridge and another "blam-blam" when you leave the bridge -- enough to jolt the family around a little in the car. But when you get into Texas there are almost seamless transitions from roadway to bridge.

  22. Default Re: Driving Forward OK - Oklahoma Turnpike Improvements and New Construction

    ^^^^^^
    It's not so difficult to figure out why Texas might have better infrastructure. Despite being a little over 4x the size of Oklahoma, it has 10x the population and considerably more corporate wealth. Texas' available pot of tax dollars is enormous by comparison.

    That 4x area figure itself is misleading, as there are vast areas of Texas that have extremely sparse population (and resulting infrastructure).

    Comparing Texas to Oklahoma (or almost anyplace in the central U.S.) will never be an apples-to-apples comparison.

  23. #48

    Default Re: Driving Forward OK - Oklahoma Turnpike Improvements and New Construction

    Quote Originally Posted by MagzOK View Post
    Something along these same lines that is insane are bridges and approaches. Many bridges across the state on highways have a noticeable jarring when your vehicle goes onto a bridge and then leaves a bridge. I frequent 35 between OKC and Dallas and man just about every bridge you drive across there's a definite "blam-blam" when you go onto the bridge and another "blam-blam" when you leave the bridge -- enough to jolt the family around a little in the car. But when you get into Texas there are almost seamless transitions from roadway to bridge.
    Just like the humps on concrete bridges, this too is because of OK's design standards, as opposed to other states. Basically you spend a lot of money making bridge abutments as stiff/stable as possible, by driving piles down into the soil, etc. But then they put the roadway approach on nothing but compacted soil and gravel. So over time the roadway sinks a little bit as the soil compresses under the load, but the bridge abutment doesn't move, then you end up with a nice bump on each side of the bridge.

    This is similar to years ago on concrete roadways, Oklahoma didn't put in dowel bar between the various sections (the sections are about 10 ft long). So of course each section would sink or pitch differently and you'd end up with a road that felt like a washboard. Likely they finally changed the design code and have gone back and fixed most of the affected highways. This is why on a lot of concrete highways in the state you'll see something that looks like the picture below.


  24. #49

    Default Re: Driving Forward OK - Oklahoma Turnpike Improvements and New Construction

    Quote Originally Posted by Questor View Post
    I'm not real wild about this plan. I feel like the areas they are focusing on are the most brain-dead they possibly could... Easy gimmies. It'd be a lot harder, but the metro would benefit a lot more from a turnpike that offloads some of the horrendous I-35 traffic through the southern parts of the metro where there are currently no highway alternatives.
    I agree, I think in Tulsa a 'pike to Bixby is much more important. And in OKC they should have turned HWY 9 in to a 'pike and then ran it north to I-240 between Sooner and Air Depot.

    Quote Originally Posted by tfvc.org View Post
    I know this is probably not feasible now, but it would be cool if they could make Sooner a bit more limited access, there really isn't a good way for Eastern Norman to get to MWC, and Sooner is just getting busier and busier. Also it is prime time for 9 to be built up to HWY standards on the South side of Norman, there is plenty of space to do that with on and off ramps if they elevate like 240 is.
    They should build a highway near Sooner. Not turn Sooner into a highway. The benefits of a grid system really fall apart when they turn grid streets into highways (especially without proper access roads). It is even worse roads just die for a mile or two, like what happens along I-35 between I-40 and the Turner, where 3 or 4 North-South roads are blocked by or merged onto the highway. If you look at Tulsa, not a single grid street is affect by any highway, except for about 1/2 mile of 51st right at its terminus.

  25. #50

    Default Re: Driving Forward OK - Oklahoma Turnpike Improvements and New Construction

    How bout most of this is completely unnecessary, just like the Boulevard. Woohoo more sprawl, we don't have enough of that already. Gas may be cheap now - doesn't mean this is sustainable. Doesn't matter though, as long as Failin and her friends stay in power.

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