Oklahoma Turnpike Authority receiving death threats
Across eastern Oklahoma County, in communities like Harrah and Choctaw, the tension is visible on every corner.
Signs that say "Get Involved," and "Stop The Turnpike," dot most intersections.
"Nobody knows for sure whose property will be in the pathway," concerned citizen Mrs. Arnold said.
Arnold doesn't want her first name used, but talked with Fox 25 outside of her home. In her driveway, we saw three vehicles with "Stop The Turnpike" written across the back windshields.
Current plans suggest the new loop would go about a mile west of her home, maybe right over it.
"Eminent domain is going to be enacted by an agency that doesn't have very much oversight," Arnold said.
The Eastern Oklahoma County Loop is part of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority's and Gov. Mary Fallin's Driving Forward plan. The $900 million plan calls for six new and reconstructed turnpikes, including one connecting Interstate 40 and Interstate 44 somewhere near Peebly Road. Those in opposition have a Facebook page with nearly 2,000 likes and a website.
But not everyone is approaching their opposition peacefully.
"We've received a couple of emails from people who've threatened to shoot us," Oklahoma Turnpike Authority spokesman Jack Damrill said.
Damrill showed Fox 25 one of the E-mails, which read, "Think twice about [stepping] on my land, it's private property trespassers will be shot survivors will be shot again."
"Your first instinct is to brush it off," Damrill said. "But when you look at it and what people are saying, you have to take it seriously."
Arnold agrees, that's not the kind of rhetoric she wants see from either side. She's hoping to get some answers at a public meeting this Thursday:
Oklahoma Turnpike Authority Meeting
Eastern Oklahoma County Loop
Thurs., Feb. 18th, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Eastern Oklahoma Co. Technology Center
4601 N. Choctaw Rd., Choctaw
Damrill stresses that the size of land which will come under eminent domain will be narrow, and he says they're looking forward to answering questions and providing more information.
"The biggest fear right now is the unknown, whether or not they'll be bought out," Damrill said.