Three pivotal projects that created Broken Arrow’s great future

Broken Arrow, OKLA – I am often asked what has been the secret to our city’s rapid growth and success.  Of course, there are many, many reasons for this including affordable housing, inexpensive land, room to grow, and many more. There are three very distinct things have shaped our community and our ability to grow and prosper:

By Wes Smithwick, President & CEO of the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce. Photo provided.

The Broken Arrow Expressway

Originally opened in the late 1960’s, it didn’t fully connect to downtown Tulsa until around 1980. And, it wasn’t officially named the Broken Arrow Expressway until 1999. It is the opening of the “BA” that fueled our community’s rapid growth from 12,000 in 1970 to over 36,000 in 1980! Broken Arrow became the “city next door” and not the “town down the road.” It was the significant widening project around 2000 that really added to the expressway—in some places 10 and 12 lanes wide—all the way to the eastern side of Broken Arrow.

The Creek Turnpike South Loop

After a decade a political wrangling in the state legislature and numerous lawsuits, the Broken Arrow South Loop opened in several phases between 2001 and 2002.  The loop provided a critical near-interstate quality road that, when combined with US-169 and the BA Expressway, literally circles the city.  This ring gives fantastic access to almost all areas of Broken Arrow, making it very easy to traverse our city and the metro.

Northeastern State University Broken Arrow

NSU-BA recently celebrated its 15-year anniversary, after opening in 2001. Today nearly 3,500 students attend the universities Broken Arrow campus. The presence of a higher-ed institution in Broken Arrow makes it easier to attract and grow our advanced manufacturing entities (which pay high wages) and adds to our community’s quality of life.


Early Chamber leadership recognized the strategic importance these items would play in the growth of our community. Today’s Chamber leadership continues this tradition by working on new projects to continue our growth. Projects like interchanges on the Muskogee Turnpike and wider and improved arterial streets within the city. Additionally, we are supporting fly-overs on the BA at 169 and I-44, to ensure that our community’s transportation network is the best shape possible to make it easy to access Broken Arrow.

Excellence is our tradition and we plan to continue that by having the best transportation in the metro.

READ MORE at the Broken Arrow Chamber

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Kris Rush

Kris hails from a small business family. Dad and Mom raised a big family on a small turkey ranch in Fresno, California where lots of love, hard work and long days were a way of life. This early passion for small business led to life of work in their behalf. Right out of...