Interstate 44 in Oklahoma

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Interstate 44

I-44 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by ODOT and OTA
Length328.53 mi[1] (528.72 km)
Existed1956–present
NHSEntire route
Major junctions
West end I-44 / US 277 / US 281 at the Texas state line
Major intersections
East end I-44 at the Missouri state line
Location
CountryUnited States
StateOklahoma
CountiesCotton, Comanche, Caddo, Grady, McClain, Cleveland, Oklahoma, Lincoln, Creek, Tulsa, Rogers, Mayes, Craig, Ottawa
Highway system
  • Oklahoma State Highway System
SH-43 SH-44

Interstate 44 (I-44) is an Interstate Highway that runs diagonally through the U.S. state of Oklahoma, spanning from the Texas state line near Wichita Falls, Texas, to the Missouri border near Joplin, Missouri. It connects three of Oklahoma's largest cities: Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Lawton. Most of I-44 in Oklahoma is a toll road. In southwestern Oklahoma, I-44 is the H. E. Bailey Turnpike and follows a diagonally northwest–southeast (and vice versa) direction. From Oklahoma City to Tulsa, I-44 follows the Turner Turnpike. As I-44 leaves Tulsa, it becomes the Will Rogers Turnpike to the Missouri border. In the Lawton, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa metropolitan areas, I-44 is toll-free. In Oklahoma City, I-44 is also known as the Will Rogers Expressway.

I-44 is paralleled by former U.S. Highway 66 (US-66, now mostly State Highway 66, or SH-66) from Oklahoma City to the Missouri state line.

Route description

I-44 westbound as it enters Oklahoma near Joplin, Missouri

I-44 crosses the Red River near Burkburnett, Texas. It enters the state on a mostly north–south alignment. The route is toll-free until exit 5, which is the last free exit before the start of the southern section of the H. E. Bailey Turnpike. At exit 30, the tolls end, and I-44 becomes a non-tolled highway again through Lawton and Fort Sill until exit 46. The northern section of the H. E. Bailey Turnpike carries I-44 north, serving Chickasha before ending at US-62 (exit 107) in Newcastle.

The I-44 and I-235/US-77 junction. The eastbound exits are labeled 127A for southbound I-235 toward Downtown Oklahoma City and 127B for northbound US-77 toward Edmond. However, traveling westbound, both exits are labeled 127. This junction also signifies the northern end for I-235. The exit has since been reconfigured.

From Newcastle, I-44 enters a northeast–southwest alignment and heads north through rural parts of Oklahoma City before serving as the western terminus of I-240. It then indirectly serves Will Rogers World Airport by connecting to Southwest 59th Street (which becomes Southwest 54th Street before reaching the airport) and SH-152, the Airport Road freeway. I-44 meets I-40 west of downtown at an interchange sometimes referred to as the Amarillo Junction. I-44 then passes west of the state fairgrounds and continues north to provide access to Bethany and Warr Acres. It then turns more eastbound before reaching a junction with I-235, which also signifies the northern end of I-235, and US-77 also known as the Broadway Extension, which connects Downtown Oklahoma City to Edmond. It then meets and follows a stretch of I-35, which it runs concurrently with until the Turner Turnpike interchange, where it takes an easterly turn again.

I-44 then follows the Turner Turnpike to Sapulpa, where it becomes a non-tolled road after meeting SH-66. I-44 bypasses Downtown Tulsa; I-244 serves the downtown areas. After meeting the Creek Turnpike again on the east side of the city, I-44 becomes a turnpike once again, gaining the Will Rogers Turnpike designation.

The Will Rogers Turnpike section serves many northeast Oklahoma towns, including Claremore, Vinita (where it passes under the world's former largest McDonald's), and Miami. After passing Miami, I-44 crosses the state line into Missouri, about 600 feet (180 m) south of the Kansas–Missouri–Oklahoma tripoint.

History

I-44 was designated through Oklahoma to replace the section of US-66 running from Oklahoma City to Joplin, Missouri. I-44 covered the already-existing Turner and Will Rogers turnpikes, with a western terminus at I-35 in Oklahoma City, the current western terminus of the Turner Turnpike.

I-44 was assigned to the H. E. Bailey Turnpike in 1982, when I-44 was assigned to the western and northern legs of I-240 (then a semi-beltway around Oklahoma City) and the H. E. Bailey Turnpike as part of Oklahoma's "Diamond Jubilee" celebrations.[2] Before I-44 was assigned to it, the freeway connector to the north end of the H. E. Bailey Turnpike was named the Will Rogers Expressway.[3] The non-tolled section through Lawton was the Pioneer Expressway.[3]

Westbound I-44 northeast of Tulsa was affected by a sinkhole found on June 2, 2010. According to the local news, the sinkhole measured 12 feet (3.7 m) wide and 24 feet (7.3 m) long. Traffic was only affected for a short period of time and the roadway has since been reopened.

Southeast of Catoosa, I-44 was redesigned to have an interchange with the eastern expansion of the Creek Turnpike. A 1.5-mile (2.4 km) stretch of the original roadbed remains; it, however, is unused and is not maintained by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) or any of the surrounding cities. In 2012, the only bridge over the abandoned stretch, Pine Street, was removed and replaced with graded fill over the old turnpike.

Abandoned route of the Will Rogers Turnpike near Catoosa, Oklahoma, looking southwest from Pine Street

As part of a project to widen I-235 and US-77 to accommodate the increase amount of traffic, its interchange with I-44/SH-66 was reconstructed from a cloverleaf interchange to a four-level interchange beginning in 2011. The project eliminated two cloverleaf ramps, widened the other two cloverleaves, and added two new flyover ramps. The four-level interchange was the first of its kind in Oklahoma. The project lasted 11 years and was opened on March 3, 2022.[4] An additional $16 million is being provided to reconstruct the I-44 to US-77 ramp and provide a direct connection to North Lincoln Boulevard. The project is expected to be started in 2023.[5][6][needs update]

I-44 is also known for being crossed by the 1999 Bridge Creek–Moore tornado on May 3, 1999, during the 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak, and by the 2013 Moore tornado on May 20, 2013, during the tornado outbreak of May 18–21, 2013.[7]

On February 14, 2021, icy conditions caused a multi-vehicle pileup near Oklahoma City. Both eastbound and westbound lanes were shut down because of the incident.[8]

The H. E. Bailey Turnpike section of I-44 was converted to cashless tolling via PlatePay and PikePass in mid-2022. This was done to remove the need for toll plazas, which were seen as inefficient and prone to traffic accidents.[9] The project, along with a project to rehabilitate the pavement between Lawton to the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, is being done in order to raise the speed limit from 75 to 80 mph (121 to 129 km/h).[10]

Interstate 440

Interstate 440

LocationOklahoma City
NHSEntire route

Interstate 440 (I-440) was the designation given to a stretch of Interstate Highway from I-240 to US-66 in Oklahoma City. It was a part of the original Grand Boulevard that had been built in compliance with Interstate Highway standards. In 1975, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approved renumbering I-440 as I-240 to create a single numeric designation for the Oklahoma City loop. In 1982, as part of Oklahoma's "Diamond Jubilee", I-44's western terminus was moved from the I-35/I-44 junction near Edmond, to the Texas state line via the Belle Isle Freeway (part of the recently designated I-240 connecting the former I-440 with I-35); I-240, the H. E. Bailey Turnpike; and the turnpike connector road on the eastern edge of Lawton.[11]

Exit list

CountyLocationmikmExitDestinationsNotes
CottonRed River0.000.00


I-44 west / US 277 south / US 281 south – Burkburnett, Wichita Falls
Continuation into Texas
President George W. Bush Bridge
1.121.801 SH-36 – Grandfield
5.298.515
US 277 / US 281 north / US 70 – Randlett

H.E. Bailey Turnpike begins
Eastern end of US-277/US-281 concurrency; western end of H.E. Bailey Turnpike
Walters19.7831.8320 SH-5 / US 277 / US 281 – WaltersWalters toll plaza is located at this interchange
Comanche29.8348.0130


SH-36 west / US 277 south / US 281 south – Geronimo, Faxon, Frederick
Western end of US-277/US-281 concurrency
Lawton33.1953.4133

US 281 Bus. north (11th Street)
36.4758.6936A
SH-7 east (Lee Boulevard) – Duncan
Signed as exits 36A (east) and 36B (west) westbound
37.4860.3237Gore Boulevard
38.5061.9639B

US 281 Bus. south – Lawton
Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
38.7162.3039ACache Road – Lawton Business DistrictSigned as exit 38 eastbound
39.7764.0040
US 62 west (Rogers Lane) – Cache, Altus
Split into exits 40A (east) and 40B (west); exit 40A signed as exit 40C westbound; western end of US-62 concurrency
41.3566.5541Fort Sill Key GateDepartment of Defense ID required
45.0272.4545 SH-49 – Carnegie, Medicine Park
46.3974.6646

US 62 east / US 277 / US 281 north – Elgin, Apache, Anadarko
Eastbound exit and westbound entrance; eastern end of US-62/US-277/US-281 concurrency
Elgin52.7884.9453 US 277 – Fletcher, Elgin, Sterling
61.5299.0162Fletcher, Cyril, SterlingWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
CaddoNo major intersections
GradyChickasha toll plaza
Chickasha80.10128.9180 US 81 (US-277) – Duncan, Chickasha
82.64133.0083 US 62 (US-277) – Chickasha, Anadarko
Newcastle toll plaza
98.70158.8499AH. E. Bailey Norman Spur – Blanchard, NormanCloverleaf interchange; exit numbers not displayed
99B SH-4 – Yukon, Mustang, Tuttle
McClainNewcastle106.59171.54107

US 62 west / US 277 begins – Newcastle, Blanchard

H.E. Bailey Turnpike ends
Western end of US-62 concurrency; eastern end of H.E. Bailey Turnpike
107.37172.80108
SH-37 west – Minco, Tuttle
Western end of SH-37 concurrency
107.89173.63108AFrontage RoadWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
ClevelandOklahoma City109.33175.95109SW 149th Street
110.37177.62110
SH-37 east (SW 134th Street) – Moore
Eastern end of SH-37 concurrency
111.43179.33111SW 119th Street
112.49181.04112SW 104th Street
Oklahoma113.51182.68113SW 89th Street
114.52184.30114SW 74th Street
114.84184.82115
I-240 / US 62 / SH-3 east – Dallas, Fort Smith
Eastern end of US-62 concurrency; western end of SH-3 concurrency; left exit & no exit number westbound; I-240 exit 1A
115.59186.02116ASW 59th Street
116.36187.26116B
SH-152 west (Airport Road)
116.89188.12117ASW 44th StreetSigned as exit 117B westbound
117.74189.48118SW 29th Street
118.77191.14119SW 15th Street
119.55192.40120 I-40 – Amarillo, Fort SmithSigned as exits 120A (west) and 120B (east); I-40 exits 147A-B
120.84194.47121NW 10th Street – Fair ParkSigned as exits 121A (east) and 121B (west)
121.87196.13122NW 23rd Street
122.90197.79123ANW 36th StreetEastbound exit and westbound entrance
123.16198.21

SH-3 west / SH-74 north (Lake Hefner Parkway)
Eastern end of SH-3 concurrency; eastbound exit and westbound entrance
123.26198.37123B
SH-66 west – Warr Acres, Bethany
Western end of SH-66 concurrency; no westbound exit
123.66199.01124N. May AvenueNo westbound entrance
124.75200.77125AN. Penn AvenueFull name is "Pennsylvania"
125.38201.78125CNorthwest ExpresswayNo eastbound exit
125.86202.55125BClassen BoulevardNo westbound entrance
126.16–
126.38
203.03–
203.39
126Western AvenueWestbound exits onto NW Grand Blvd
127.11204.56127A
I-235 / US 77 south – Oklahoma City, Downtown
127.11204.56127B
US 77 north – Edmond
Also includes unnumbered exit to NW 63rd Street
127.66205.45128ALincoln Boulevard  – State Capitol
128.36206.58128BKelley Avenue
129.43208.30129M.L. King Avenue
130.39209.84130

I-35 south to I-40 – Oklahoma City, Dallas
Western end of I-35 concurrency; I-35 exit 133; no exit number westbound
131.18211.11134Wilshire BoulevardExit numbers follow I-35
132.22212.79135Britton Road
133.35214.61136Hefner Road
143.33230.67137NE 122nd Street
134.92217.13
I-35 north (SH-66 east)
Eastern end of I-35/SH-66 concurrency; eastbound exit and westbound entrance; I-35 exit 138A
135.12217.45
Kilpatrick Turnpike west
No eastbound exit

I-35 north (SH-66 east) / Sooner Road – Wichita

Turner Turnpike begins
Westbound exit and eastbound entrance; western end of Turner Turnpike
146.29235.43146Luther / Jones
Luther149

Kickapoo Turnpike south
Kickapoo Tpk. exits 149A-B
LincolnWellston157.13252.88158 SH-66 – Wellston
Chandler166.38267.76166 SH-18 – Chandler, Cushing
Stroud179.12288.27179
US 377 begins / SH-99 – Stroud, Drumright
CreekToll plaza
Bristow196.30315.91196 SH-48 – Bristow, Lake Keystone
203327203 SH-66 – KellyvilleProposed interchange on the existing turnpike
Sapulpa210.61338.94211 SH-33 / SH-66 – Drumright, Kellyville
215.35346.57215 SH-97 – Sapulpa, Sand Springs
216.99349.21218A SH-66 – SapulpaEastbound exit and westbound entrance
217.36349.81218B

Creek Turnpike east – Joplin, Jenks, Broken Arrow
Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
CreekTulsa
county line
221.60356.63221
SH-66 west – Bristow, Sapulpa

Turner Turnpike ends
Westbound exit and eastbound entrance, west end of SH-66 overlap; eastern end of Turner Turnpike
Tulsa221.93357.16222A49th West Avenue
222.08357.40222B55th PlaceEastbound exit only
222C56th StreetWestbound exit only
222.45358.00223A
I-244 east (M. L. King Memorial Expressway) – Downtown Tulsa
Western terminus of I-244; I-244 exit 1A
222.60358.24223B51st StreetAccess via Gilcrease Expressway; no eastbound exit
Tulsa223.02358.92223C33rd West Avenue
224.02360.53224Union AvenueC/D lanes provide access to US-75 and Elwood Ave.
224.30360.98 US 75 – Okmulgee, BartlesvilleCloverleaf interchange; accessible to and from C/D lanes
224.76361.72225Elwood AvenueEastbound access is part of exit 224 accessible from C/D lanes originating at Union Ave. exit
225.54362.97226ARiverside DriveEastbound access via exit 226
226.03363.76226BPeoria AvenueSigned as exit 226 eastbound
227.03365.37227Lewis Avenue
228.03366.98228E. 51st Street / Harvard Avenue
229.11368.72229Yale Avenue
230.06370.25230E. 41st Street / Sheridan Road
231.02371.79231
US 64 / SH-51 to US 169 – Muskogee, Broken Arrow, Sand Springs
231.58372.69232E. 31st Street / Memorial DriveEastbound exit is part of exit 231
233.11375.15233E. 21st StreetSigned as exit 233B westbound
233.73376.15234A US 169 – Owasso, Broken ArrowNo eastbound exit to US-169 south
234.39377.21234BGarnett RoadEastbound exit and westbound entrance
234.63377.60235E. 11th StreetNo westbound entrance
235.72379.35236129th East Avenue
236.15380.05236B
I-244 / US 412 west – Sand Springs, Enid
Westbound exit and eastbound entrance; western end of US-412 concurrency; eastern terminus of I-244
TulsaRogers
county line
TulsaCatoosa line237.78382.67238161st East Avenue
239.79385.90240
SH-167 north (193rd East Avenue)
Catoosa240.25386.64241
SH-66 east – Claremore, Catoosa
No eastbound entrance; east end of SH-66 overlap; no exit number westbound
TulsaFair Oaks line241.43388.54
US 412 east – Chouteau, Siloam Springs
East end of US-412 overlap; left entrances; no westbound exit; former SH-33 east
RogersFair Oaks241.70388.9834

Creek Turnpike west – Oklahoma City

Will Rogers Turnpike begins
Left exit and entrances; no eastbound exit; exit number based on a continuation of Creek Tpk. mileposts
242.40390.1035E. Pine StreetWestbound exit and eastbound entrance; exit number based on a continuation of Creek Tpk. mileposts
Verdigris248.24399.50248
SH-266 west – Port of Catoosa, Claremore
Claremore252 SH-20 – Claremore (Flint Road)New interchange to be built by OTA with cashless tolling
254.17409.05255 SH-20 – Pryor, Claremore
Mayes269.64433.94269 SH-28 – Chelsea, South Grand Lake, AdairEastbound exit and westbound entrance
CraigBig Cabin282.61454.82283 US 69 – Big Cabin
Toll plaza
VinitaService plaza
289.27465.53289
US 60 (US-69) to SH-66 – Vinita
Ottawa301.94485.93302 US 59 / US 60 (US-69) – Fairland, Grove, Afton
Miami313.19504.03313 SH-10 – Miami
OklahomaMissouri line329.36530.05
I-44 east
Continuation into Missouri; eastern end of Will Rogers Turnpike
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References

  1. ^ Starks, Edward (January 27, 2022). "Table 1: Main Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways". FHWA Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. Archived from the original on September 20, 2023. Retrieved January 24, 2024.
  2. ^ "I-240 Section Changing to I-44". The Daily Oklahoman. October 9, 1982. OCLC 26181551.[page needed]
  3. ^ a b Diversified Map Co. Highway Map of Oklahoma (Map) (1966 ed.). Skelly Oil Company. § 11C.
  4. ^ Ogle, Abigail (March 3, 2022). "Oklahoma opens state's first four-level highway". KOCO-TV. Archived from the original on March 14, 2023. Retrieved March 14, 2023.
  5. ^ "I-235 Broadway Extension Corridor Widening and I-44 Interchange". Haskell Company. Archived from the original on March 14, 2023. Retrieved March 14, 2023.
  6. ^ McLoud, Don (March 10, 2022). "Oklahoma's First Four-Level Interchange Completed". Equipment World. Archived from the original on March 14, 2023. Retrieved March 14, 2023.
  7. ^ "Tornado devastates Moore, Oklahoma". CNN. May 2013. Archived from the original on March 14, 2023. Retrieved March 14, 2023.
  8. ^ Brackett, Ron (February 15, 2021). "Fiery Pileup Shuts I-44 in OKC as Winter Storm Uri Makes Travel Hazardous; Knocks Out Power to Tens of Thousands". The Weather Channel. Archived from the original on April 22, 2022. Retrieved February 24, 2022.
  9. ^ Ray, Mike W. (August 2, 2022). "I-44/HEB 'pike completely cashless tolling now". Southwest Ledger. Retrieved March 14, 2023.
  10. ^ Ray, Mike W. (August 2, 2022). "H.E. Bailey project could pave way for higher speed limits". Southwest Ledger. Archived from the original on January 24, 2024. Retrieved March 14, 2023.
  11. ^ "Interstate 240 Oklahoma". Interstate-Guide. Archived from the original on August 29, 2017. Retrieved August 29, 2017.

External links

Interstate 44
Previous state:
Texas
Oklahoma Next state:
Missouri