Turnpike expansion plan
(Mike Allen)

When we got our first look at the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority’s ACCESS Oklahoma $5 billion, 15-year expansion plan a little over a year ago, I felt fairly indifferent about it. Some parts of it I will use, I thought, while other parts I will likely never drive upon in my lifetime. (I’m looking at you, east Norman loop, although I appreciate your goal of diverting a great deal of semi-truck traffic off of Interstate 35 and around the Oklahoma City metro.)

Little did I know this turnpike expansion plan — a subject I personally find as dry as the pavement they’d be laying — would become so controversial of a subject that the attorney general and Oklahoma Supreme Court would be involved. Of course, it’s good that citizens have sought adherence to the Open Meeting Act. And it’s good that the Supreme Court will essentially determine whether the agency has the legal authority to pursue this 15-year, longterm effort, especially before the agency takes out massive loans from national lenders.

Speaking of bonds, the OTA announced last week that it would be pausing operation on these projects. Secretary of Transportation Tim Gatz cited the pending Supreme Court decisions and a requested investigative audit as reasons preventing, ahem, ACCESS to the bond market. Why might the looming audit impede OTA’s financing plan? Well, bond buyers will likely have questions about the audit’s scope and its details, and the process is a long way from over. (Remember the requested audit of the Oklahoma State Department of Education that we’re all waiting for?)

Anyway, the whole thing seemed ripe for a comic this week, and the puns really write themselves here: A bumpy road? A long and winding road? A detour? Road blocks? The OTA is facing all of them currently and hoping they eventually reach their end. You know, like a toll road does.

Past Sundaze comics

Easter Sundaze: Trying to save a dime in the egg aisle
Preserving Hafer Park memories: Welcome to paradise
Oklahoma’s Broadband Office and the mystery of missing meeting minutes
March Madness 2023: So your bracket is in shambles
Will the Oklahoma House lock in Daylight Saving Time?
SQ 820: We’ve got another election on our hands
Cockfighting fight turns back time at Oklahoma Capitol
Valentine voting: For the love of democracy
Last week on This Old Attorney General’s Office
Budget hearing previews the last ride of Mark McBride
Plenty of cooks in the Oklahoma education kitchen
Here’s looking at you, me: The two jobs of Ryan Walters
Compared to recent years, 2022 seemed tolerable
‘This is a BFD’: The romance of nuclear fusion heats up
Weird local rules mean extra Edmond elections
2022 World Cup draws cause cultural comparisons
Straight party voting throws quite a rager in Oklahoma
An ‘I voted’ sticker is the prize for enduring all these ads
Halloween can be a tough time to mind your diet
Answer the question? The art of political dodgeball
How hideous can the Ugly Season get before it’s over?
Down goes Dumpty: OKC Egg Church has a great fall
Many options for brand synergy in the OKC film industry
This season includes new adventures in OU tailgating
SQ 820: Don’t bogart that initiative petition, my friend
Appreciating a brief splash on OKC’s art timeline
New OKC arena proposal benefits from public discussion
Burn it down: Sun exacts revenge on Earth
Project Carrot: Oklahoma weighs battery plant options
Gov. Kevin Stitt asks Auditor Cindy Byrd for a TPS report
Epic affidavit makes for light reading over lunch
Recognize the old man’s wisdom this Father’s Day
What would convince Markwayne Mullin to debate?
Overtime: The match continues with special sessions
Professor Swadley and the cheese-melting machine
Call me Tag Agent: In Catoosa, a replacement steps up
Where Mother’s Day comes sweeping down the plain
It’s a tough life being ‘The Patriot’