We are fighting for our homes and the land we cherish. On February 22, 2022 we first learned of the plans for two proposed toll roads through Moore, Norman, Noble, and Purcell on the news and on social media. As we learned more about ACCESS Oklahoma, we also found our legislators, our municipal leaders, and our county commissioners were all learning about these roads alongside us. There has been a blatant lack of transparency in the development of these toll roads. We are united in our concern for the threat to our environment, the water, wildlife, and the well being of fellow Oklahomans.
We have repeatedly reached out to the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority to try and understand why this devastating route was chosen and how the state entity justifies the tremendous destruction these toll roads would require. We have not gotten any solid answers. While we are told the path is not certain, the Oklahoma Transportation Authority has already hired engineers that are forging through with plans for these roads on their current route without environmental studies, without any impact studies, and without the input from the thousands of affected families.
The Republican platform on turnpikes states that there should be a moratorium on the creation of additional turnpikes until the existing toll roads have generated enough toll revenue to repay their original costs and are conveyed to state ownership and are toll-free. We currently have 11 turnpikes that are not toll-free and the proposed roads would create, at minimum, an additional 5 billion dollars of debt. This is in stark and appalling contrast to the Republican platform.
We appreciate your support in passing the bill through committee to require the Oklahoma Transportation Authority be transparent and forthcoming. With so much at stake, your support is critical.