U.S. Route 59 in Oklahoma

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U.S. Highway 59

US 59 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by ODOT
Length216.47 mi[1] (348.37 km)
Existedc. 1935[2]–present
Major junctions
South end US 59 / US 270 at the Arkansas state line
Major intersections US 259 near Heavener
US 270 in Heavener
US 271 in Poteau
I-40 / US 64 in Sallisaw
US 62 in Westville
US 412 near Kansas

I-44 Toll / Will Rogers Turnpike / US 60 / US 69 near Afton
North end US-59 at the Kansas state line
CountryUnited States
CountiesLe Flore, Sequoyah, Adair, Delaware, Ottawa, Craig
Highway system
  • Oklahoma State Highway System
SH-58 SH-59

U.S. Highway 59 (US-59) heads along the eastern portion of the state of Oklahoma. US-59's 216.47-mile (348.37 km) route through Oklahoma takes it through the mountainous terrain of the eastern Oklahoma Ouachitas and Ozarks. US-59 serves several lakes and towns through Oklahoma's Green Country, including Grand Lake, a major recreation center. The route enters the state from Arkansas near Fogel, Arkansas, and ends at the Kansas state line south of Chetopa, Kansas.

US-59 was first designated in Oklahoma around 1935. The highway's route at that time was largely the same as it is today; however, between the Afton area and Welch, US-59 passed through Vinita instead following the modern-day route passing east of it. US-59 was changed to follow the present-day route in 1951. Since then, US-59 has undergone only minor adjustments, many of which eliminated curves and provided a more direct route for travelers using the highway to traverse eastern Oklahoma.

Route description

Le Flore County

US-59 enters Oklahoma in Le Flore County, in the Ouachita National Forest, at the state line at Fogel, Arkansas. US-270 is concurrent with US-59 as it crosses the line.[3] The two routes head westward from the state line, passing through a valley between Black Fork Mountain and Rich Mountain.[4] The first Oklahoma town the two routes pass through is unincorporated Page.[5] Northwest of town, US-59 and US-270 form the northern terminus of US-259, which heads south towards Longview, Texas and Nacogdoches, Texas crossing I-30 and I-20. After this junction, US-59 and US-270 curve around to the north and pass through the two small hamlets of Zoe and Stapp. US-59 and US-270 head north, paralleling the Black Fork Poteau River as they leave the national forest, into Hodgen. North of Hodgen, the highways cross the main branch of the Poteau River and pass through the Wister Wildlife Management Area.[4] Upon landing on the north bank of the river, US-59 and US-270 curve to the northeast as they enter Heavener, where SH-128 terminates. On the north side of the town, US-270 splits away to the west. US-59 parallels the Kansas City Southern Railroad and passes Heavener Memorial Cemetery. The highway turns to the northwest, passing through Howe, and intersects with SH-83 at its northern terminus.[3] North of this junction, US-59 crosses the Poteau River again.[4]

US-59 heads northward, coming to an interchange with US-271 just north of the Choctaw Country Club in the city of Poteau, county seat of Le Flore County. At this interchange, US-59 exits from the mainline to join US-271; continuing north through the interchange places the motorist on the Poteau Bypass, an unnumbered state highway.[6] US-59 and US-271 proceed through Poteau, coming to an interchange at the southern terminus of SH-112, which is also the northern terminus of the Poteau Bypass. The two concurrent roads head north through the towns of Shady Point and Panama. North of Panama, US-59 and US-271 form the eastern terminus of SH-31. At Sunset Corner, US-59 turns to the west and US-271 turns to the east, ending the concurrency.[4] SH-9 passes straight through this intersection from west to east; upon turning west, US-59 follows SH-9 for five miles (8.0 km), splitting away southeast of Cowlington.[5] Just north of this junction, US-59 widens to a four-lane divided highway. It crosses the Arkansas River on a bridge just downstream of the dam that impounds Robert S. Kerr Reservoir.[3] Upon crossing the river, the highway enters Sequoyah County.[4]

Sequoyah and Adair counties

US-59's first highway junction in Sequoyah County is with SH-141 west of Gans, where the latter highway reaches its western terminus. US-59 continues northward, crossing Wildhorse Mountain as well as Little Sallisaw Creek, just upstream of where it empties into Robert S. Kerr Reservoir.[4] The highway then enters the county seat of Sequoyah County, Sallisaw, where it has an interchange with Interstate 40 at Exit 308. North of the interstate, US-59 intersects US-64, turning east to follow the latter route into downtown Sallisaw. US-59 splits away to the north, becoming a two-lane highway.[5] North of town, the highway serves as the western terminus of SH-101. US-59 then passes through unincorporated Brushy. North of Brushy, the highway winds through the Brushy Mountains. The road exits Sequoyah County north of this group of mountains.[4]

The next county US-59 enters is mountainous Adair County. The route continues to follow a winding course as it makes its way northeast to unincorporated Cherry Tree. The highway continues northeast past Cherry Tree, before turning back to a due north course as it makes its way into the county seat of Stilwell.[4] Here, the U.S. route has brief concurrencies with SH-100 and SH-51.[3] US-59 leaves Stilwell, twisting through mountainous terrain alongside Peavine Creek until the stream's mouth at the Baron Fork of the Illinois River. The highway crosses the Baron Fork, then passes west of the unincorporated location of Baron.[4] About twelve miles (19 km) north of Stilwell, the highway intersects with US-62 in Westville.[5] From Westville, US-59 heads northward. The highway passes just east of Mission Mountain;[4] north of the mountain, the road begins paralleling a Kansas City Southern railroad line.[5] In northern Adair County, US-59 serves unincorporated Ballard and the town of Watts, where it runs just west of Lake Frances. North of Watts, the highway crosses the Illinois River and continues northward into Delaware County.[4]

Delaware, Ottawa, and Craig counties

In Delaware County, US-59 enters West Siloam Springs and becomes concurrent with US-412. This junction is only 0.07 miles (0.11 km) west of the Oklahoma–Arkansas state line.[7] The two roads head westward through West Siloam Springs before coming to unincorporated Flint. US-59 and US-412 split here, with US-412 following the Cherokee Turnpike, which begins at this interchange. The eastern terminus of US-412 Alternate is also at this interchange; it becomes concurrent with US-59 as the two routes head west.[5] The two highways enter Kansas, Oklahoma, where they part ways at an intersection with SH-10; US-412 Alternate continues to the east, while US-59 turns north along SH-10. Just north of this intersection lies an interchange with mainline US-412, which is still on the Cherokee Turnpike at this point. US-59 and SH-10 head north out of the town of Kansas, intersecting with SH-116 at its western terminus west of Colcord. As US-59 and SH-10 follow a course with many curves as they approach Eucha Lake, which they bridge the east arm of.[4] In Jay, SH-20 joins the concurrency as US-59 and SH-10 turn east toward downtown Jay. There, the three highways form the southern terminus of SH-127. On the east side of Jay, US-59 and SH-10 turn north, leaving SH-20 as it heads east towards its intersection with Arkansas Highway 43. North of Jay, US-59 and SH-10 intersect with SH-127 again, this time at its northern terminus.[5] US-59 and SH-10 cross over the Honey Creek arm of Grand Lake o' the Cherokees before coming to Grove, where SH-10 turns east and US-59 turns west. As it leaves Grove, US-59 turns northwest, running the length of a peninsula out into the lake. At the end of the peninsula, US-59 crosses the lake yet again, landing on the north shore near Copeland. The highway then passes into Ottawa County.[4]

US-59 and SH-10 in Welch

The next highway junction for US-59, the first in Ottawa County, is with SH-125. US-59 turns due west shortly after this junction, then curves to due north. Just east of Afton, US-59 joins US-60 and US-69, and the three highways head northeast. However, only 0.8 miles (1.3 km) northeast of the junction, US-60 splits off at a cloverleaf interchange which also provides access to I-44, the Will Rogers Turnpike.[3] US-59 and US-69 continue northward to Narcissa, where they are the site of SH-25's eastern terminus. Further north, at Dotyville, US-59 meets SH-10 again, turning west along it, while US-69 heads east along SH-10 toward Miami.[5] US-59 and SH-10 continue west, turning north for one mile (1.6 km) before turning back to the west. Southwest of Dawes, the highways cross into Craig County. The northernmost town that US-59 serves in Oklahoma is Welch.[4] Here, US-59 splits away from SH-10, turning northward along unsigned SH-2, its final stretch in Oklahoma. The highway crosses the Kansas state line 14.53 miles (23.38 km) north of Welch.[8]


Before US-59 was designated in Oklahoma, what would become its route was designated as US-270 between the Arkansas state line and Poteau, US-271 between Poteau and Sunset Corner, SH-10 along the modern-day SH-9 concurrency, SH-17 between Sallisaw and West Siloam Springs, SH-33 between West Siloam Springs and the town of Kansas, and SH-10 between Kansas and Grove. There was no road between modern-day SH-9 and Sallisaw.[9] US-59 first appeared on the official state map in 1935. At this time, the road south of Sallisaw was marked as "Conditional Location", and between Grove and the Kansas state line, the highway followed a different route: it proceeded west out of Grove to meet US-60 / US-66 south of Afton, concurring with those two highways to Vinita, where it turned north along SH-2, following it to Welch and the state line.[2]

The gap between SH-10 and Sallisaw was filled by the designation of a state highway there by the Oklahoma State Highway Commission on November 15, 1935. The commission designated this highway as US-59, effective upon the completion of its construction.[10] Maintenance of the portion of this road in Sequoyah County was authorized on October 22, 1936.[11]

On October 3, 1951, the highway commission approved the realignment of US-59 between the highway junction northeast of Afton and Welch.[12][13] The old highway between Vinita and Welch became the northern SH-2.[14] The Highway Commission modified US-59's route through Westville on February 5, 1952. Previously, at the site of the present-day US-59 / US-62 intersection, US-59 turned east along US-62, splitting off at Williams Avenue, then followed Williams Avenue north to Main Street, where it turned east. At the eastern city limit of Westville, US-59 turned north, joining its modern-day alignment 3.2 miles (5.1 km) north of the US-62 junction. With the 1952 realignment, US-59 continued straight through the intersection, bypassing Westville to the west.[15] The next change to US-59 was a realignment between the SH-33 junction in the town of Kansas and downtown Jay. The new highway had several curves straightened, reducing this segment's length from 20.6 miles (33.2 km) to 18.9 miles (30.4 km). This change was approved by the Highway Commission on August 19, 1952.[16]

On July 6, 1964, the Oklahoma State Highway Commission approved a realignment to US-59's route through Poteau.[17] Another change, further north, was approved on March 4, 1968. This moved US-59 onto a new bridge over the Arkansas River upon completion of its construction, with the old highway being turned over to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. An application for this change was received by the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) on March 26, 1968, and approved by that body on June 18, 1968.[18]

The highway commission approved another alteration to US-59 in the Poteau area on February 5, 1973. On that date, the commission approved a realignment of US-59 from a point south of the intersection with US-270 and US-271, to that junction, and on into Poteau. The realignment was submitted to AASHO on April 10 of that year, received on April 13, and approved on June 26.[19] A section of highway north of Jay was straightened on October 7, 1974.[20] Another straightening was approved the following year, this time in the vicinity of Heavener; this change was approved by the highway commission on August 19, 1975, and approved by AASHO, now renamed to AASHTO, on July 13, 1976.[21] On March 7, 1977, the Oklahoma State Transportation Commission (which had replaced the highway commission) approved another straightening in the Howe area. The realignment was approved by AASHTO on July 7, 1977.[22]

The next change to US-59 came on November 2, 1981, when the transportation commission approved moving just over 5+12 miles (8.9 km) of highway between Flint and West Siloam Springs to the north of the previous alignment. AASHTO approved the realignment on June 29, 1982.[23] A section of highway, south of Stilwell, in Sequoyah and Adair counties, was straightened, shortening the highway by 0.22 miles (350 m). The transportation commission approved on October 4, 1982.[24]

On September 7, 1999, the Oklahoma State Transportation Commission approved an item realigning US-59 and SH-100 in Stilwell, removing US-59 from Second Street and placing it on Front Street.[25] On March 3, 2003, the commission approved elimination of two sharp curves in western Ottawa County, shortening the highway by 0.57 miles (0.92 km).[26]

The section of US-59 between I-40 and SH-9 was pressed into service as a detour for eastbound I-40 traffic after the collapse of its bridge over the Arkansas River on May 26, 2002.[27][28]

Junction list

Oklahoma–Arkansas line0.000.00

US 59 south / US 270 east – Mena
Continuation into Arkansas
Le Flore8.513.7 US 259Northern terminus of US-259
Heavener22.536.2 SH-128Western terminus of SH-128
23.337.5 US 270Northern end of US-270 concurrency
30.448.9 SH-83Western terminus of SH-83
US 59 Byp. north (Cavanal Expressway) / US 271 south – Wister, Sallisaw, Fort Smith
Parclo interchange; southern end of US-271 concurrency; southern terminus of US-59 Byp.

US 59 Byp. south (Cavanal Expressway) / SH-112 north
Parclo interchange; northern terminus of US-59 Byp.; southern terminus of SH-112
46.474.7 SH-31Eastern terminus of SH-31
Sunset Corner51.983.5 US 271 / SH-9Northern end of US-271 concurrency, eastern end of SH-9 concurrency
57.492.4 SH-9Western end of SH-9 concurrency
Sequoyah72.6116.8 SH-141Western terminus of SH-141
Sallisaw78.2125.9 I-40 / I-40 BLI-40 exit 308; Western end of BL-40 concurrency
US 64 west
Western end of US-64 concurrency
US 64 / I-40 BL east
Eastern end of US-64 concurrency
83.4134.2 SH-101Western terminus of SH-101
AdairStilwell107.5173.0 SH-100Southern end of SH-100 concurrency
108.1174.0 SH-100Northern end of SH-100 concurrency
109.4176.1 SH-51Southern end of SH-51 concurrency
110.1177.2 SH-51Northern end of SH-51 concurrency
Westville122.1196.5 US 62
DelawareWest Siloam Springs140.5226.1 US 412Southern end of US-412 concurrency
Flint Creek148.8239.5

US 412 / Cherokee Turnpike west / US 412 Alt. begin – Tulsa
Northern end of US-412 concurrency; southern end of US-412 Alt. concurrency; northbound exit and southbound entrance; eastern termini of US-412 Alt. and the Cherokee Tpk.
US 412 Alt. / SH-10
Northern end of US-412 concurrency; Southern end of SH-10 concurrency
153.6247.2 US 412 / Cherokee TurnpikeDiamond interchange
157.4253.3 SH-116
Jay170.3274.1 SH-20Western end of SH-20 concurrency
172.0276.8 SH-127Southern terminus of SH-127
172.5277.6 SH-20Eastern end of SH-20 concurrency
177.6285.8 SH-127Northern terminus of SH-127
Grove184.5296.9 SH-10Northern end of SH-10 concurrency
Ottawa192.8310.3 SH-125

US 60 west / US 69 south
Southern end of US-60/US-69 concurrency
US 60 east
Interchange; northern end of US-60 concurrency
I-44 / Will Rogers Turnpike – Tulsa, Joplin, FairlandI-44 exit 302
Narcissa204.8329.6 SH-25Eastern terminus of SH-25

US 69 north / SH-10 east
Northern end of US-69 concurrency; southern end of SH-10 concurrency

SH-2 south (Washington Street south) / SH-10 west (4th Street west)
Northern end of SH-10 concurrency; southern end of SH-2 concurrency
Oklahoma–Kansas line229.4369.2
SH-2 ends

US-59 north – Chetopa, Oswego
Continuation into Kansas
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Poteau Bypass

By-pass plate.svg

U.S. Highway 59 Bypass

LocationWest of Poteau
Length4.29 mi (6.90 km)

U.S. Route 59 Bypass, also known as the Cavanal Expressway, is a special route of U.S. Route 59 running along the west outskirts of Poteau. It is 4.29 miles (6.90 km) long.[30]

On the official state highway maps, US-59 is shown routed along the bypass.[31] It is signed alternately as US-59 Bypass and US-59/US-271.


  1. ^ Oklahoma Department of Transportation. "State Highway System: Log of U.S. Highway 59" (PDF). Retrieved February 25, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Map Showing Condition of Improvement of the State Highway System and Landing Fields (PDF) (Map) (October 1935 ed.). Oklahoma Department of Highways. Retrieved May 10, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Google (April 19, 2013). "US-59 in Oklahoma: Arkansas to SH-116 junction" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
    Google (April 19, 2013). "US-59 in Oklahoma: SH-116 junction to Kansas" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Oklahoma Atlas and Gazetteer (Map). 1:200,000. DeLorme. 2006.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Official State Map (PDF) (Map) (2011–12 ed.). Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  6. ^ Oklahoma Department of Transportation (n.d.). Control Section Maps: Le Flore County (PDF) (Map) (2010–2011 ed.). Scale not given. Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  7. ^ a b Oklahoma Department of Transportation (n.d.). Control Section Maps: Delaware County (PDF) (Map) (2010–2011 ed.). Scale not given. Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
  8. ^ Oklahoma Department of Transportation (n.d.). Control Section Maps: Craig County (PDF) (Map) (2010–2011 ed.). Scale not given. Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  9. ^ Map Showing Condition of Improvement of the State Highway System and Landing Fields (PDF) (Map) (February 1934 ed.). Oklahoma Department of Highways. Retrieved May 10, 2013.
  10. ^ Moon, Van T. (November 15, 1935). "Minutes—Sequoyah–Le Flore Counties, Designation of State Highway" (PDF). Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  11. ^ Staff (October 22, 1936). "Minutes—Maintenance on Newly Designated Roads" (PDF). Oklahoma State Highway Commission. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  12. ^ Mr. McLelland (October 3, 1951). "Rerouting of U.S. Highway 59—Craig–Ottawa Counties" (PDF). Oklahoma State Highway Commission. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
  13. ^ Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Planning & Research Division. "Memorial Dedication & Revision History - US-59". Retrieved March 22, 2008.
  14. ^ Highways of Oklahoma (PDF) (Map). Oklahoma Department of Highways. 1954. Retrieved March 22, 2008.
  15. ^ Staff (February 5, 1952). "State Highway System—Adair County" (PDF). Oklahoma State Highway Commission. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
  16. ^ Staff (August 19, 1952). "Delaware County—US-59 and SH-10, Changes in State Highway System" (PDF). Oklahoma State Highway Commission. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
  17. ^ Staff (July 6, 1964). "US Highway 59 and 271 and State Highway 112—Relocation—Le Flore County" (PDF). Oklahoma State Highway Commission. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
  18. ^ Staff (March 26, 1968). "U.S. Highway 59 Relocation, Le Flore and Sequoyah Counties" (PDF). Oklahoma State Highway Commission. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
  19. ^ Staff (February 5, 1973). "US 59, 270 and 271 Relocation—Le Flore County" (PDF). Oklahoma State Highway Commission. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
  20. ^ Staff (October 7, 1974). "Relocation of U. S. 59—Delaware County" (PDF). Oklahoma State Highway Commission. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
  21. ^ Staff (August 19, 1975). "Revision to the State Highway System" (PDF). Oklahoma State Highway Commission. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  22. ^ Staff (March 7, 1977). "Revision to the State Highway System" (PDF). Oklahoma State Transportation Commission. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  23. ^ Staff (November 2, 1981). "Revision to the State Highway System" (PDF). Oklahoma State Transportation Commission. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  24. ^ Staff (October 4, 1982). "Revision to the State Highway System—Relocation US 59" (PDF). Oklahoma State Transportation Commission. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  25. ^ Staff (September 7, 1999). "State Highway System Revision—Relocation of US 59 and SH 100 in Stilwell" (PDF). Oklahoma State Transportation Commission. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  26. ^ Staff (March 3, 2003). "State Highway System Revision—Relocation of US 59 and SH 10 West of Miami" (PDF). Oklahoma State Transportation Commission. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  27. ^ "I-40 Webbers Falls Local Detour Route & Map". Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  28. ^ Stewart, D. R. (May 29, 2002). "Truckers weigh cost of detours". Tulsa World. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  29. ^ Oklahoma Department of Transportation (n.d.). Control Section Maps: Adair County (PDF) (Map) (2010–2011 ed.). Scale not given. Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
  30. ^ 2008 Control Section Maps – Le Flore County (PDF) (Map). Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 16, 2010.
  31. ^ Official State Map (PDF) (Map) (2009–10 ed.). Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 17, 2010.

External links

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