Part of Gilcrease Expressway named in honor of former State Representative

TULSA, Okla. — Part of the Gilcrease Expressway has now been designated as the “Don Ross Expressway” in honor of former State Representative Don Ross.

Mayor G.T. Bynum has designated the section between North Lewis Avenue and the L.L. Tisdale Parkway in his honor, revealing the signage Wednesday.

“Naming this section of the Gilcrease Expressway in honor of Don Ross is a small way that we can show our appreciation for his decades of public service to our city, state and nation,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said.

Tulsa native Don Ross served as a state legislator in the Oklahoma House of Representatives for 20 years, from 1983 to 2003. A graduate of Booker T. Washington High School and U.S. Air Force veteran, Tulsa native Don Ross earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Central Oklahoma.

He and a state senator from Tulsa, the late Maxine Horner, cosponsored a state resolution in 1997 to establish the Tulsa Race Riot Commission. That is the same commission that conducted an in-depth investigation into the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and presented its report in February 2001.

In the early 2000s, Rep. Don Ross helped to secure $32 million in state capital improvement program funds to build the Gilcrease Expressway between U.S. Highway 75 and the L.L. Tisdale Parkway. This was accomplished through two construction projects, one between U.S. 75 and Lewis Avenue, and the other between Lewis Avenue and the Tisdale Parkway. In December 2008, the Gilcrease Expressway from U.S. 75 to the Tisdale Parkway was opened to traffic.

Don Ross as well as his son’s Kavin Ross, chairman of the 1921 Graves Public Oversight Committee, and Edward Ross, a member of the board of directors of the Greenwood Cultural Center, all spoke at Wednesday’s dedication.