Oklahoma’s turnpike system could see upwards of $5 billion of upgrades and new construction over the next 15 years under a long-range plan announced Dec. 7.

Major projects included in the plan presented to the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority (OTA) by state transportation secretary Tim Gatz include widening and additional interchanges for both the I-44/Turner Turnpike between Oklahoma City and Tulsa, as well as the Will Rogers Turnpike between Tulsa and the Missouri state line.

The plan would also target proposed enhancements to the Kilpatrick Turnpike in Oklahoma City, complete Tulsa’s Gilcrease Expressway and implement traffic upgrades along I-35 and I-44 in south Oklahoma City. Multiple bridges on the Creek Turnpike in Tulsa are also due for major maintenance work.

“This is the first time OTA has embarked on a comprehensive long-range plan such as this,” Gatz said in a statement, calling the plan a “blueprint” for future OTA projects that can be amended and revised as needed.

The long-range plan coincides with the completion of OTA’s 2016 Driving Forward initiative, which sought to improve travel safety and access to communities bypassed when the turnpikes were first built. Final projects under the program include next summer’s opening of a five-mile extension to Gilcrease Expressway, and the addition of two travel lanes to a section of I-44/Turner Turnpike that also includes reconstruction of the SH-66 interchange. That project is set to be completed by summer 2023.

Over the next year, OTA plans to hire consultants and additional professional services to vet details of the long-range plan’s proposed projects, and begin conceptual design development. While toll increases will likely be necessary to help fund construction, the OTA’s use of “cross-pledging” will allow revenue from one turnpike to be use to build, expand or maintain other highways in the system as needed.