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H. E. Bailey Turnpike

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The H. E. Bailey Turnpike is an 86.4-mile (139.0 km) toll road in the southwestern region of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The route, opened on April 23, 1964, is a four-lane limited access highway that connects Oklahoma City to Lawton in its northern section and Lawton to Wichita Falls along its southern section, paralleling. The turnpike also includes an 8.2-mile (13.2 km) spur route that leads toward Norman, Oklahoma. The entire mainline runs roughly parallel to US Route 277. Since 1982, it has been signed as a part of Interstate 44, and as such uses its mileposts.[3] Travel along the full length of the toll road costs $5.50 for a two-axle vehicle.

H.E. Bailey Turnpike marker

H. E. Bailey Turnpike
H.E. Bailey Turnpike highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by OTA
ExistedApril 23, 1964[1]–present
HistoryNorman Spur completed October 19, 2001
Component
highways
I-44 entire length (Mainline)
Western (Southern) Segment
Length25.0 mi[2] (40.2 km)
West end I-44 / US-70 / US-277 / US-281 near Randlett
East end I-44 / US-277 / US-281 / SH-36 near Geronimo
Eastern (Northern) Segment
Length61.4 mi[2] (98.8 km)
West end I-44 / US-62 / US-277 / US-281 near Lawton
Major
junctions
US-81 / US-277 in Chickasha
US-62 / US-277 / SH-9 in Chickasha
East end I-44 / US-62 / US-277 in Newcastle
Norman Spur
Length8.2 mi[2] (13.2 km)
West end I-44 / SH-5 near Bridge Creek
East end US-62 / SH-9 near Blanchard
Highway system
Oklahoma State Highway System

Route descriptionEdit

The H. E. Bailey Turnpike takes a generally south to north route from Wichita Falls to Lawton before turning northeast toward Oklahoma City. The turnpike's 25 miles (40 km) southern section begins at US 70, 6 miles (9.7 km) north of the Texas state line. US 277 and US 281 leave I-44 at US 70, and together run parallel to the Turnpike. The turnpike runs north-northeast for 15 miles, intersecting SH 5 along with US 277 and US 281. A toll plaza is located underneath the SH 5 overpass; loop ramps feed all entering and exiting traffic into the toll plaza. Just north of SH 5, a Service Area is located in the median of the turnpike, featuring food, fuel, and restroom amenities, as well as an Oklahoma Welcome Center. The turnpike then continues north for ten more miles until it again reaches US 277 and US 281, also intersecting SH 36. The turnpike temporarily ends at this interchange, and the two US Routes join a free ODOT-maintained I-44 through Lawton.

After leaving the Lawton/Fort Sill area, US Highway 62, having joined the I-44 freeway in Lawton, along with US 277 and US 281, once again leave I-44 at an interchange north of Lawton, marking the south end of the northern 61.4-mile (98.8 km) section of the turnpike. The turnpike proceeds northeast, coming to an Interchange with US 277 at Elgin. A toll plaza is located near Mile 66. This plaza replaced an older facility just south of Chickasha in 2017.[4] The turnpike continues toward Chickasha, intersecting US 81 and US 277 at the first interchange. A second interchange again junctions US 277, along with US 62 and SH 9. North of Chickasha, a Service Area is located in the median, which provides food, fuel, and restroom services. The turnpike goes north through northern Grady County, coming to a second toll plaza at Mile 97. The turnpike then has a cloverleaf interchange with the Norman Spur and SH 4. The turnpike continues northeast for ten more miles before ending at the interchange of US-62 and US 277 north of Newcastle where the three routes continue to Oklahoma City as an urban freeway.[5]

Aside from the mainline, the turnpike also consists of a 8.2-mile (13.2 km) extension southwest of Newcastle also referred to as the H. E. Bailey Norman Spur. It connects I-44 and SH 4 to SH 9 and provides a shorter route to Norman when traveling from Lawton.[6] The spur proceeds east from the mainline turnpike, and almost immediately comes to a toll plaza. Two miles east, the turnpike intersects SH 76. The Norman Spur ends at the interchange with US 62, US 277, and SH 9. Traffic coming off the spur continues straight, and is joined by SH 9 which continues the rest of the way to Norman as a divided highway.

HistoryEdit

Ideas for connecting Lawton and Oklahoma City started in 1953. The state highways between Oklahoma City and Lawton, were dangerously narrow, which included many 'cramped, death-trap' bridges. The route was not part of any federal interstate highway system plans, so only a turnpike was feasible.[7] Oklahoma Senate Bill 454, which amended House Bill 933 that authorized creation of the Will Rogers Turnpike, allowed creation of a southwest turnpike and a proposed turnpike connecting Oklahoma City toward Wichita, Kansas, which was later constructed by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and became Interstate 35.[1]

Both HB 933 and SB 454 were submitted as State Question 359 and 360 and passed on January 26, 1954. In July 1960, an economic feasibility study was completed for the H.E. Bailey Turnpike and in November 1961, $56 Million in bonds were issued for the turnpike's construction.[1] The north section of the H. E. Bailey from southwest Oklahoma City to north Lawton was completed on March 1, 1964. The south section from south Lawton to the Texas border was completed on April 23, 1964.[1]

In 1982, as part of Oklahoma's 75th statehood "Diamond Jubilee" celebrations, I-44 was signed through Oklahoma City to the Red River encompassing the turnpike.[3][8] On October 19, 2001, the H. E. Bailey Norman Spur connecting I-44 to State Highway 9 was opened.[1][9]

The route's namesake, H. E. Bailey, served as the city manager of Oklahoma City from 1941 to 1944, and later as the director of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.[10]

TollsEdit

A two-axle vehicle currently pays $5.50 ($5.05 with Pikepass) to drive the full length of the Turnpike and an additional 65¢ (60¢ with Pikepass) to drive the Norman Spur. PikePass customers get free toll on the Norman Spur if they also pass through the Newcastle Mainline Toll Plaza on the same trip. Lesser tolls are also charged at some entrance ramps where Shunpiking would otherwise be possible.[2]

Full toll plazas on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike are located near the intersection with the H.E. Bailey Norman Spur, southwest of Chickasha, and under the overpass at SH-5 (Walters exit). Unattended ramp toll plazas are located at US-62 (Chickasha/Anadarko exit - eastbound exit and westbound entrance only), US-277 (Elgin/Fletcher exit - eastbound exit and westbound entrance only) on the I-44 portion of the turnpike and at SH-76 (Blanchard/Tuttle exit - westbound exit and eastbound entrance only) on the Norman Spur.

ServicesEdit

Law enforcement along the H. E. Bailey Turnpike is provided by Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troop YC, a special troop assigned to the turnpike.[11]

The turnpike has two service areas with both located in the median of the highway. The Walters Service Area is located north of exit number 20. The Chickasha Service Area is located north of exit number 83. Both service areas offer food, gas, and a convenience store.[5]

Exit listEdit

MainlineEdit

Southern SegmentEdit

CountyLocationmikmExitDestinationsNotes
Cotton5.79.2West End of Turnpike
    I-44 / US-277 / US-281 continue south toward Wichita Falls, TX
5    US-70 / US-277 north / US-281 north – Waurika, RandlettLast free exit eastbound, eastern end of US-277/US-281 concurrency
Walters20.232.520    SH-5 / US-277 / US-281 – WaltersWalters toll plaza is located at this interchange
Comanche30.348.830    US-277 south / US-281 south / SH-36 west – Geronimo, Faxon, FrederickLast free exit westbound, western end of US-277/US-281 concurrency
30.649.2East End of Western Section
    I-44 east / US-277 / US-281 north continue into Lawton
Lawton30.6–
46.2
49.2–
74.4
Pioneer Expressway (free highway through Lawton)
46.274.4West End of Eastern Section
     I-44 / US-62 west / US-277 / US-281 south continue into Lawton
46.675.046    US-62 east / US-277 / US-281 north – Elgin, Apache, AnadarkoLast free exit eastbound; eastbound exit and westbound entrance; eastern end of US-62/US-277/US-281 concurrency
Elgin53.285.653  US-277 – Fletcher, Elgin, Sterling
62.099.862Fletcher, Cyril, SterlingWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
Grady66.1106.4Chickasha Toll Plaza
Chickasha80.5129.680  US-81 (US-277) – Duncan, Chickasha
83.0133.683  US-62 (US-277) – Chickasha, Anadarko
97.3156.6Newcastle Toll Plaza
99.1159.5H.E. Bailey Spur – Blanchard, Norman
  SH-4 – Yukon, Mustang, Tuttle
McClainNewcastle107.1172.4107   US-62 west / US-277 south – Newcastle, BlanchardLast free exit westbound, western end of US-62 concurrency
107.3172.7East End of Turnpike
   I-44 / US-62 continue toward Oklahoma City
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

H. E. Bailey Norman SpurEdit

Note: Mile numbers on the Norman Spur are posted 100 more than the mile they represent. For example, Mile 4 is posted as Mile 104. All exits are unnumbered.

CountyLocationmi[12]kmDestinationsNotes
Grady0.000.00SH-4 north – Tuttle, Mustang, YukonContinuation beyond western terminus
  I-44 (H.E. Bailey Turnpike) – Oklahoma City, Chickasha, LawtonWestern terminus of Norman Spur
1.01.6Toll plaza
McClainBlanchard3.65.8  SH-76 – Blanchard
BlanchardNewcastle line7.7–
7.8
12.4–
12.6
  SH-9 west / US-62 (US-277) – Blanchard, NewcastleEastern terminus of Norman Spur
Newcastle  SH-9 east – NormanContinuation beyond eastern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
  •       Tolled
  •       Route transition

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. "OTA History". Archived from the original on May 24, 2011. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. "Toll/Fares Chart". Archived from the original on May 2, 2011. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "I-240 Section Changing to I-44". The Daily Oklahoman. October 9, 1982.
  4. ^ http://swoknews.com/business/new-toll-plaza-moves-south-chickasha
  5. ^ a b Official State Highway Map (Map) (2009-2010 ed.). Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
  6. ^ "Bailey Turnpike's new spur to open". The Oklahoman. October 18, 2001.
  7. ^ Harris, Fred R. (2008). Does People do it: a memoir. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-8061-3913-5.
  8. ^ 1983 Official State Map (Map) (1983 ed.). Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
  9. ^ The Oklahoman (October 18, 2001). "Bailey Turnpike's new spur to open".
  10. ^ "City of Oklahoma City: City Manager". Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  11. ^ "Oklahoma Highway Patrol". Retrieved April 5, 2008.
  12. ^ Google Maps (Map). Cartography by NAVTEQ. Google Inc. Retrieved October 21, 2007.

External linksEdit