After a legal ruling favored resident groups who charged the OTA with illegal practices and a lack of transparency, the authority ordered all work on a major turnpike expansion stopped.
In a victory for the state’s freeway fighters, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority (OTA) has halted work on a major turnpike expansion known as ACCESS Oklahoma, reports Asia Mieleszko in Strong Towns.
The authority was sued by residents who charged OTA with a lack of transparency in January. Plaintiffs claimed they were given inadequate notice about OTA's plans, even finding out about the potential displacement of their homes or businesses from newspaper reports.
A judge agreed, ruling that the OTA ‘wilfully violated’ the state’s Open Meetings Act. “On March 15, 2023, Oklahoma’s attorney general stepped in and seemingly sided with the plaintiffs, requesting an audit of the OTA.”
While OTA plans to continue the work in the future, “At the very least, the devastation of hundreds of homes, businesses, and natural areas necessary for the project’s scope is being put on hold,” Mieleszko writes.
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