Turner Turnpike

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Turner Turnpike

Turner Turnpike highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by Oklahoma Turnpike Authority
Length86.5 mi[1] (139.2 km)
ExistedMay 16, 1953[2]–present
Major junctions
West end I-35 / I-44 / Kilpatrick Turnpike in Oklahoma City
Major intersections
East end I-44 / SH-66 near Tulsa
CountryUnited States
CountiesOklahoma, Lincoln, Creek
Highway system
  • Oklahoma State Highway System

The Turner Turnpike is a toll road in central Oklahoma, connecting its two largest cities, Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Authorized by the Oklahoma Legislature in 1947 and opened in May 1953, it is the oldest of the state's eleven turnpikes.[1] The route is signed as Interstate 44 for its entire length, but was constructed prior to its designation as such. The Turner Turnpike was named after Governor Roy J. Turner, who pushed for efforts to build this toll road to connect the state's two largest cities.

Route description

The route begins north of Oklahoma City, as Interstates 35 and 44 and SH-66 approach it from the south. I-35/SH-66 split to the north, and I-44 begins its journey eastward as the Turnpike. (Traffic may also travel west at this point, along the John Kilpatrick Turnpike.) It ends 86 miles (138 km) later, southwest of Tulsa, at a junction with SH-66. The posted speed limit is as high as 80 mph (130 km/h), making it possible to drive legally from Tulsa to downtown Oklahoma City in under 90 minutes.

In addition to the Oklahoma City and Tulsa entrance points on the turnpike, other interchanges are located in Wellston, Chandler, Stroud, Bristow, near Kellyville and Sapulpa. Toll plazas are located at each of those interchanges. The toll plaza at Bristow was the first of the new plazas reconstructed incorporating "state-of-the-industry" electronic toll collection (ETC) and other operational features for the convenience and safety of motorists utilizing the turnpike system. Additional toll plazas, similar in design, were subsequently reconstructed at Chandler, Stroud, Kellyville, and Sapulpa. A new interchange 11 miles (18 km) east of the western terminus was added at Hogback Road in Luther, and was opened in May 2011.[3][4]


On August 2, 2021, the Oklahoma Transportation Commission approved the designation of the portion of the Turner Turnpike from its western terminus to the Kickapoo Turnpike as part of an extension of Interstate 240, forming a beltway around Oklahoma City. ODOT Director Tim Gatz stated in the Transportation Commission meeting that the numbering change was primarily to aid in navigation using digital mapping and routing applications. Gatz also said, "If you look at the Interstate 240 designation on the loop around the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, we are finally to the point where we have a truly contiguous route there that can shoulder the burden of some of that transportation need in a loop format. That's common practice across the country, and you'll see that in many of the metropolitan areas, and that update will really be beneficial as far as everything from signage to how do you describe that route on a green-and-white sign." The designation must be approved by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to take effect.[5]


A two-axle vehicle currently pays $5 ($3.90 with Pikepass) to drive the full length of the Turnpike. When adjusted for inflation, tolls have fallen over 50% to 4.65 cents per mile (2.89 ¢/km), among the cheapest in the nation. (In 2005 dollars, the toll was $9 in 1953.) However, despite being paid off, the Turner Turnpike will remain tolled, as Oklahoma does not toll its roads on a "per road" basis, instead pooling all toll revenue to apply toward paying off all such projects. This is called cross-pledging, which has allowed OTA to build many turnpikes that would not be economically feasible alone.

The Turner Turnpike (as well as the Will Rogers Turnpike on the other side of Tulsa) uses a somewhat unusual tolling system. The Turnpike has only one barrier toll plaza, located northeast of Stroud, at which drivers pay the full toll and are issued a receipt. If one exits before reaching this plaza or enters at an interchange past the plaza, the toll for the portion traveled is collected at the interchange. If one's desired exit is located after the plaza, the motorist pays the full toll at the barrier plaza, then presents their receipt at the ramp for a refund of the untraveled portion. If one enters at an interchange before the main plazas, a ticket is issued at the ramp and presented at the barrier plaza; the fare for the untraveled portion is deducted from the full toll. Travelers exiting the turnpike westbound at Wellston or Luther, eastbound at Kellyville, as well as at the two termini do not receive any refund. This system was implemented in 1992.[6]

OTA is in the process of converting all tolling to a cashless system.[7]


Full service areas featuring McDonald's restaurants and EZ-GO gas stations are located eastbound just east of Chandler and westbound near Stroud. The Stroud facility is located in the median and previously served both eastbound and westbound traffic until June 2020 when the new Chandler service area opened.[8] Future plans call for reconstruction of the Stroud service area in the same general location as the existing facility. The turnpike will also be reconstructed to make the new westbound service area a right-hand exit off the turnpike.

Full service areas featuring similar amenities as the Stroud Service Area were previously located eastbound at Bristow and westbound at Wellston. The fuel stations at these locations closed in 2007,[9] and the McDonald's restaurants were closed and demolished ca. 2011. A westbound gas station near Heyburn was closed in June 2017 in anticipation of a major turnpike reconstruction project and an eastbound gas station at Chandler was closed following the opening of the new eastbound Chandler service area. These five service areas were originally Howard Johnson's restaurants and full-service Phillips 66 stations, but changed to their current configurations in the 1980s as was the case with concession areas along other Oklahoma turnpikes.[10]

Law enforcement along the Turner Turnpike is provided by Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troop YB, a special troop assigned to the turnpike.[11]

Exit list

Exit numbers follow I-44.

OklahomaOklahoma City0.000.00
Kilpatrick Turnpike west
Continuation beyond I-35

I-44 west / I-35 (SH-66) / Sooner Road – Wichita, Oklahoma City, Downtown
West end of I-44 overlap; I-35 exit 138A
139Post RoadProposed interchange on the existing turnpike
11.418.3146Luther / Jones

Kickapoo Turnpike south
Opened October 14, 2020[12]
Lincoln155 SH-102 – WellstonProposed interchange on the existing turnpike
Wellston22.335.9158 SH-66 – WellstonFormer US 66
31.851.2166 SH-18 – Chandler, Cushing
173DavenportProposed interchange on the existing turnpike
US 377 south / SH-99 – Stroud, Drumright
Creek47.376.1Toll plaza
188DepewProposed interchange on the existing turnpike
61.398.7196 SH-48 (SH-66) – Bristow, Lake KeystoneFormer US 66
68.2109.8203 SH-66 – KellyvilleProposed interchange on the existing turnpike
SH-33 to SH-66 – Kellyville, Sapulpa, Drumright
Sapulpa80.7129.9215 SH-97 – Sapulpa, Sand Springs
82.2132.3218A SH-66 – SapulpaEastbound exit and westbound entrance
82.3132.4218B Creek Turnpike – Joplin, Jenks, Broken ArrowEastbound exit and westbound entrance
county line
86.5139.2 SH-66Eastern terminus of Turner Tpk.; I-44 exit 221; no access to SH-66 from Turner Tpk. east
I-44 / SH-66 east – Joplin
Continuation beyond eastern terminus; east end of I-44 overlap
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also


  1. ^ a b Everett, Dianna, Turnpikes and Toll Bridges Archived July 19, 2010, at the Wayback Machine," Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture Archived May 31, 2010, at the Wayback Machine (accessed June 17, 2010).
  2. ^ PIKEPASS History Archived April 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, Pikepass.com (accessed June 17, 2010).
  3. ^ Hoberock, Barbara (June 17, 2010). "5 Construction Projects Planned for Turnpike". Tulsa World. World Publishing Company. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  4. ^ "New turnpike interchange opens in Oklahoma County". Associated Press at KOTV-DT. May 21, 2011. Retrieved May 21, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Oklahoma Transportation Commission (2 August 2021). "ODOT Commission Meeting". Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  6. ^ Greiner, John (November 16, 1991). "Refund Plan OK'd for Turner, Will Rogers Turnpikes". The Oklahoman. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  7. ^ "Home". platepay.com.
  8. ^ https://www.oklahoman.com/story/news/columns/2020/06/03/new-chandler-service-plaza-to-open-on-turner-turnpike/60397730007/
  9. ^ "2 turnpike stations end fuel service". Tulsa World. April 3, 2007. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  10. ^ Nelson, Mary Jo (November 16, 1991). "Howard Johnson's Restaurants On Turnpike to Be Torn Down". The Oklahoman. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  11. ^ "Oklahoma Highway Patrol". Retrieved April 5, 2008.
  12. ^ "Turnpike Construction Begins". Luther Register. January 18, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2018.

External links