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Oklahoma Turnpike Authority Closes on Federal Loan for Gilcrease Expressway

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The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority earlier this month closed on a $120 million federal loan to help with construction of the Gilcrease Expressway in west Tulsa.

The Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, or TIFIA, loan will be used to pay off private, short-term financing being put up for the project in a few years time.

"That loan was a critical part of being able to deliver the Gilcrease, and, again, a lot of the activities that we put together and the unconventional delivery was in support of our ability to obtain that TIFIA loan," said Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation Tim Gatz, who is also OTA's executive director.

The state, City of Tulsa, Tulsa County, INCOG and a private partner are all putting up money for the $340 million project.

"This is what we’re about, is finding ways to be able to deliver critical infrastructure components for the state of Oklahoma for our future, and the Gilcrease is a great example of that," Gatz said.

Connecting U.S. 412 and I-44 in west Tulsa has been talked about since the 1950s. The four-lane, 5-mile toll road could be ready for a ribbon cutting by summer 2022.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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