- Associated Press - Thursday, October 20, 2016

JENKS, Okla. (AP) - An all-electronic toll system is set to be introduced at a turnpike in Jenks.

The PlatePay toll plaza will be placed at the Peoria/Elm interchange exit on the Creek Turnpike, according to the Tulsa World (http://bit.ly/2eVrgj9 ). The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority said it’s expected to be operational in January.

Authority spokesman Jack Damrill said once the plaza is operational, motorists will no longer have to stop there to pay a toll, whether or not they have a PikePass. A photo will be taken of the vehicle’s license plate and the driver will then be billed by mail.

Damrill said the authority had been considering electronic tolling for some time, when Jenks officials approached the agency about redesigning the interchange to accommodate area development better. He added that the toll plaza will serve as a test site before considering expansion to other sites.

The Jenks location is considered a good test site because, according to Damrill, it has very few cash customers.

“It has an 88 percent Pike Pass penetration rate, which is one of the highest in our system,” he said.

The total cost of the redesign and new system is about $14 million.

Damrill said while they won’t have the PlatePay rates until approval in December, it is in the drivers’ best interest to invest in the PikePass because it could save the driver money.

Officials said electronic tolling in Oklahoma should make turnpike travel both faster and safer.

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Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com

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