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Tinker expansion to close two miles of Douglas Blvd.

Oklahoma City officials announced today at a two-mile stretch of Douglas Blvd. between SE 44th and SE 74th streets will close to accommodate expansion of Tinker Air Force Base. (Photo by Jeff Harrison).

OKLAHOMA CITY –A two-mile stretch of Douglas Blvd. will be closing to accommodate expansion of Tinker Air Force Base.

The expansion is on the southeast part of the base along Douglas Blvd. from SE 44th to SE 74th streets. A portion of SE 59th and 49th streets will also be closed just east of Douglas Blvd. The closure is expected to happen in late 2022 or early 2023.

The new perimeter would protect existing Department of Defense assets on the east side of Douglas, placing them securely inside the perimeter fence.

Officials of the Oklahoma Industries Authority and Greater Oklahoma City Chamber announced a plan Thursday to facilitate Tinker’s ability to enhance security and safety, while also creating an opportunity for future mission growth.

“Since 1941, Tinker has been a cornerstone of our city’s economic base,” explained Clay Bennett, chairman of the Oklahoma Industries Authority (OIA).  “This base is arguably our most important economic asset, and it is vital that we do everything necessary to secure its safety and plan for its needs.”

Oklahoma Industries Authority has acquired 220 acres east of Douglas Blvd. to provide for additional Department of Defense missions and to attract additional private sector jobs. No private property would be impacted by the road closure.

“We have been in conversation with Tinker officials about the issues of security for some time,” said Sean Trauschke, chair of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. “We always want to think ahead and plan for any concerns that might jeopardize operations. At the same time, we want to look for any opportunities that make the base attractive for new missions. We did that with the former GM plant and then the BNSF rail yard. That work has been instrumental to base expansion, and we believe this work will do the same.”

Tinker AFB is the center of the aviation industry in Oklahoma City, and the industry is a primary driver of diversification beyond oil and gas. There are more than 26,000 people employed on the base, and the annual economic impact on the region is approximately $4.83 billion. Job growth in the last 10 years has been responsible for growing population and average incomes in the region, according to a study recently released by the Chamber.

The realigned perimeter also presents an opportunity for the base to redesign its current gates, making them more efficient and safer in managing the daily load of vehicles. The new gates would prevent the long backups that currently extend onto the interstates during commute times.

Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt applauded the move. “As we continue to facilitate the growth of Tinker, this is a necessary and important next step. We cannot overlook the security enhancements and the need to encompass all operations inside the security perimeter, nor can we miss the opportunity to position the base for more workload. This is simply the right thing to do.”

Brian Maughan, chairman of the Oklahoma County Commissioners agreed. “Time and again our community has stepped up to support Tinker and this another one of those times for us to make a small sacrifice for long term gains. These changes are important to the Air Force, and they are important to Oklahoma County.”

U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe also voiced his support for the project.

“As a longtime advocate of Tinker Air Force Base, I am incredibly proud of the announcement that OIA will acquire 220 acres to continue Tinker’s mission of defending our nation,” Inhofe said. “Tinker is vital to the Oklahoma City community and our state as a whole—creating billions of dollars in economic impact and thousands of jobs. It should come as no surprise that Oklahoma is continuing to invest in this vital military installation so it can acquire and support new missions. I look forward to continuing to fight for Tinker here in Congress as they thrive and expand. Congratulations to Oklahoma City—this is yet another example demonstrating how Oklahoma is the most military friendly state in the country.”

42 Comments

  1. Larry Doyle on July 22, 2021 at 5:18 pm

    Will Douglas be closed permanently? That’s one of the only through streets to 240.

    • Midwest City Beacon on July 22, 2021 at 5:34 pm

      Yes, this would be a permanent road closure.

      • Josh on July 22, 2021 at 6:09 pm

        Will there still be access to Douglas from 74th to get on 240?

      • Lisa Dow on July 22, 2021 at 10:26 pm

        There are alot of residents in Midwest City that take Douglas to 240 to our jobs. If Douglas is closing are they going to provide us another way to get to 240? If there will be no other way for the East MWC residents to get to 240 it will add 20-25 more miles to my commute to work and another 30 minutes drive time. This is going to be a HUGE problem for us.

        • James Reynolds on July 23, 2021 at 12:08 pm

          If I’m not mistaken, Post and Anderson Road as well as Sooner Road all 3 go through to I-240. I don’t know where you are driving from but utilizing one of these 3 streets, would add at most 4-6 miles per day, depending if you are going I-240 east or I-240 west bound.

          • Mel on July 23, 2021 at 2:58 pm

            No they do not both Post and Anderson pass over the highways their are not on for them.



          • robinson on July 23, 2021 at 3:40 pm

            Yes, you are mistaken. There is no access from Post to I-240. Vehicles will need to drive on two lane rural roads with no shoulders and often in poor repair such as 89th, 74th or 149th over to Anderson at I-240 exit. Sooner exit will require using 29th street westbound from Post or Anderson, an additional distance of 10 miles plus on very congested roads with multiple stop lights and a major shopping center. Douglas exit is the ONLY one that allows cars to thread between the base and Draper Lake. This is going to be a huge mess. I hope to have moved out of Oklahoma City and County by then.



          • robinson Robinson on July 23, 2021 at 3:57 pm

            Now i am mistaken, and must eat crow. Anderson has an exit to I-40, not I-240. Good call, Mel.



          • Barbara Cortez on July 25, 2021 at 1:45 pm

            Anderson Rd has entrances/exits to both I-40 and I-240. The next entrance/exit going west is Air Depot which requires using 59th to Sooner Rd to get to Midwest City. Then the next entrance/exit from I-240 is Sooner Rd.



          • Donna on July 25, 2021 at 4:42 pm

            Post does not have an entrance ramp to I-240, Anderson does. It they close the ramp on Douglas, if your going east you will have to use Anderson to get there. A ramp at Sooner, then at Anderson, completely by passing Midwest City.



          • Stephen Lawson on August 4, 2021 at 8:53 am

            There is no access to I-240 from Post Road, as there are no on- or off-ramps. There is access to I-240 from Anderson Road, but that is three miles east of Douglas. It seems to me that access to I-240 will have to be added from Post Road.



          • TB on August 24, 2021 at 8:02 am

            Yeah! Come down all our residential roads! We welcome 5 times more traffic! Just love the vehicle sounds at all hours off the day and night.



      • g wells on July 23, 2021 at 9:35 am

        you can probably take post road to 74 and over but that through road needs work on it. lots of paving needs.

        • K dub on July 23, 2021 at 11:30 am

          I’m sure Uncle Sam would willingly pick up the tab for the re-route construction needs..right?🤔

        • robinson on July 23, 2021 at 3:49 pm

          You are correct. That section of 74th is in horrendous shape. 89th between East Draper Drive and Douglas has been freshly paved and is a beautiful two lane road with hiking and biking trail. Not suited to heavy commuter traffic, i think, and a negation of the expensive effort to make the area better for recreation.
          You are assuming that the Douglas exit stays open for access from 74th and the lake roads. I guess that will happen, but i am not sure.

          • Suzanne on July 24, 2021 at 8:49 am

            I agree, 89TH is a beautiful drive right there…I see a big issue that the speed limit is only 25mph through there! Eeeeek! Meaning, no one ever goes just 25mph and with added traffic, it could be a little scary.



        • Cheryl on July 24, 2021 at 7:13 pm

          There is an exit and entrance from Anderson Road to both I-240 and I-40.

    • Donna Hopkins on July 22, 2021 at 5:48 pm

      Yes, it will be to enclose all their buildings inside a perimeter. That will be a huge headache unless ti build new gates, plus the roads that will be impacted. S. Post and SE 74th can’t handle the two lane toads down there now plus the congestion of the trying to get on base at schedule shift changes or at lunch.

      • robinson Robinson on July 23, 2021 at 3:54 pm

        Seems like there will have to be new gates on Post. Post will need to be rebuilt to four lanes and probably people living next to it will lose their houses. On the other hand, aren’t the gates on Douglas closed for construction right now? What are Tinker workers doing about that? If Douglas closes, why are its gates under construction? Typical failure to plan?

    • Dave on July 23, 2021 at 8:19 am

      I’m very surprised to hear this. Douglas Blvd. is a major access point to MWC from I-240. Anyone coming from the East on 240 would now have to go all the way to Sooner!

  2. Ray Ticer on July 22, 2021 at 6:23 pm

    Are there any plans to put on and off ramps on Post road at I-40 and 240? Douglas is the main exit on those two highways for eastern Midwest City.

  3. TB on July 22, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    Great! Just fantastic! That means more traffic on Post! I hate this town!!

    • Catherine Clifton on August 17, 2021 at 7:04 pm

      I have lived around Midwest city all my life. I use Douglas Boulevard from Reno to I240 all the time. To go west I have to go out of my way ,if I use Post and Sooner there are too many stoplights and stop signs. I agree we need Tinker Air Force Base but it sure going to be an inconvenience not having Douglas Boulevard.

  4. Mark Knight on July 22, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    So I have to find another way to get to Lake Draper? I’ve always gone down Douglas.

  5. Doug Moore on July 22, 2021 at 9:22 pm

    How will people who currently use Douglas Get on base at Lancer and Liberator gates if the only road is no longer?

  6. Curtis Winders on July 23, 2021 at 12:09 am

    Will Post Rd be reconstructed and widened to accommodate the increase in traffic to access I-240 on the East side of the base?

  7. David Baker on July 23, 2021 at 12:28 am

    While they are widening I-40 and rebuilding overpasses, will there be another exit created on I-40 to allow southbound traffic? With future plans to close Douglas Blvd. southbound from SE 44th, it would prevent southbound traffic from I-40 for 6 miles between Sooner and Anderson..

  8. David R Burrows on July 23, 2021 at 8:36 am

    This has been discussed since at least 1991. I was on the management team for the first mission specific building east of Douglas (Fuel Control Facility [largest carburetor shop in Oklahoma]) and this very thing was discussed frequently with the base planners.

    That this is finally going forward, although somewhat inconvenient for some few folks, is a great statement for our local commitment to national security and especially for the financial growth of Central Oklahoma.

    • James Reynolds on July 23, 2021 at 12:18 pm

      Thank you, David R. Burrows, for clarifying the long term planning for this. I understand it not being more widely publicized. It would be just like the other segments of the “loop” around the southern end of Okc metro are. Ever year this stuff is postponed the more expensive it gets. That being said there was a lot of people whose tranquil live in eastern Okla County were either disturbed or out right taken when the Turnpike Authority went in and the people either sold right of way or it would be condemned and taken.

    • G. McMillian on July 27, 2021 at 5:57 pm

      Says who? You? A few unimportant people will be astronomically affected but hey, if it makes others look more important, who cares? Let them eat cake!

  9. Ron Ainsworth on July 23, 2021 at 9:13 am

    What is the plan to reroute current traffic flow on the east side of the base between I240 and I40?

  10. Wendell on July 23, 2021 at 10:10 am

    Is the city cutting an on/off ramp to I 240 on post road?
    This should be a must so that people do not have to drive two miles out of the way just to get on I 240.
    This is a bad move OKC.
    Do the right thing and think about all the people who use the Douglas ramps.

    • Gloria Mcmillian on July 27, 2021 at 6:00 pm

      They care less. This city has poor planning. Always has. 50 years of it from what I’ve seen. I use 240 and AirvDepot, Midwest Blvd, and Douglas often to visit my daughter in Midwest City where I grew up. Just one big mess.

  11. robinson Robinson on July 23, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    Now i am mistaken, and must eat crow. Anderson has an exit to I-40, not I-240. Good call, Mel.

    • Barbara Cortez on July 25, 2021 at 1:54 pm

      Anderson Road has exits to both I-40 and I-240

  12. Lyndia Ivey on July 24, 2021 at 9:59 am

    That closure is certainly going to impact traffic in a different way. It is a vital through street with access to I-240, & will cause exponentially worse traffic backups for other business employee commutes. We can only hope that in the long run, some reasonable adaptions will be made for commuters, & travelers alike. I can foresee it taking some business traffic away from Midwest City, while presenting convenient & necessary travel from 44th, to I-240, which will have an impact on the area from 29th south. I’m in favor of protecting & securing Tinkers future, but hope some adjustments might be in the plan, to facilitate convenience & necessity travels to commuters to I-240 from that area of Midwest City.

  13. Sterling on July 25, 2021 at 2:33 pm

    I hope Tinker Air Force Base and the City of Oklahoma City announce how they’re going to deal with the traffic nightmare this is going to create. Douglas Blvd.has been my route to southeast, south,and southwest OKC since I’ve lived in east MWC, for over 30 years. I think this plan doesn’t take in to account how many people use Douglas Blvd. I hope they plan on making S Post RD a four-lane from SE29th to SE74th, and SE74th from Post RD to Douglas Blvd as well.

    • Gloria Mcmillian on July 27, 2021 at 6:04 pm

      These roads have been my go to from west to east to Midwest City since 240 was built. Much easier than Crosstown especially they made it a mess. This city doesn’t do well with road construction.

  14. Misty on July 26, 2021 at 7:06 am

    Anderson and Sooner both have entrances to both interstates, and if I’m wrong both are roughly only 3 miles give or take, Tinker has stated MANY years ago that eventually Douglas Rd would eventually become part of the base expansion. I don’t understand why people are so upset. You chose to live near a military base, so…. 🤷🏽‍♀️ That’s just as bad as the people who complain about the airplanes flying so low overhead. smh

    • Gloria Mcmillian on July 27, 2021 at 6:05 pm

      Smh! What is the profit for you?

  15. burt Ward on July 26, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    So I’ve gone via Post nearly my entire life to avoid running into the various AFL/CIO shifts at TAFB. Way back in the day, I called them the MEK heads for methyl Ethyl Ketone they use to work on the E3A dome. All my life visiting the family in MWC I would go down post and enjoy looking at the dude’s Model T collection at 44th. Then proceed south to 59th where I sometimes turned west there to catch Douglas. But often I went further south noticing the underground bunker stuff on the left that my 2nd cousin pointed out one day. I would reach 74th and then turn west and noticed “Dad’s Cemetery” where I’m actually thinking of being buried some day. Then its to Douglas where there is a light. If I’m taking 240, I’ll turn left on Douglas to catch the ramp. If I need to fire some rounds through the OCPD range, I’ll go straight and stay on 74th until Air Depot. The range is just south of 240. The make us shoot 100 rounds at various stances and hit at least 80 percent inside the silhouette. Bob’s your uncle Okahoma.

    • Tanya Moore on August 26, 2021 at 11:51 am

      The city and the base are acutely aware of how many vehicles use Douglas on a daily basis and how many of those are Tinker bound. The base has just remodeled a gate directly onto 74th that is currently being used just for shift change traffic. So a gate on 74th, a gate at 44th, takes care of Future Tinker traffic. Why would anyone wanting to get to Tinker use Post or Anderson to get on base? As for getting from Midwest City to 240, use sooner or Anderson. I live in the 240/40 triangle area. If I’m in MWC proper and need to head south, I use sooner or if going to Norman or SWOKC, I use I-40, when there isn’t construction, it is way faster than using Douglas and dealing with base traffic.

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