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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 ten turnpikes.[2] 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.

Turner Turnpike marker

Turner Turnpike
Route information
Length86.5 mi[2] (139.2 km)
ExistedMay 16, 1953[1]–present
Component
highways
I-44 entire length
Major junctions
West end I-35 / I-44 / Kilpatrick Turnpike in Oklahoma City
  SH-18 in Chandler
US-377 / SH-99 in Stroud
SH-48 in Bristow
Creek Turnpike in Sapulpa
East end I-44 / SH-66 near Tulsa
Location
CountiesOklahoma, Lincoln, Creek
Highway system
Oklahoma State Highway System

Route descriptionEdit

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 75 mph (120 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]

TollsEdit

A two-axle vehicle currently pays $4.75 ($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, the toll for the portion traveled is collected at the exit. If one's desired exit is located after the plaza, the motorist presents their receipt to the attendant, and the fare for the untraveled portion of the turnpike is refunded to the driver. Travelers exiting the turnpike westbound at Wellston or Luther, eastbound at Kellyville or East Sapulpa (SH 66/Creek Turnpike), as well as at the two termini do not receive any refund. A similar situation exists for motorists entering the turnpike at an interchange. If one is entering in the direction away from the main toll plaza, the toll for the portion between the interchange and the terminus is collected at the ramp plaza; a refund receipt is still issued should the motorist exit at another interchange. Motorists entering in the direction toward the toll plaza are issued a ticket at the interchange which shows proof of entry. This ticket is then presented to the toll collector at the main toll plaza (or the desired exit, if before the main plaza), and the fare for the untraveled portion of the turnpike is deducted from their toll. This system was implemented in 1992[5].

ServicesEdit

A full service area, featuring a McDonald's restaurant and EZ-GO gas station is located in the median near Stroud. In addition, an eastbound gas station is located near Chandler. Full service areas featuring similar amenities as the Stroud Service Area were previously located eastbound at Bristow and westbound at Wellston, and a westbound gas station was located near Heyburn. The fuel stations at Bristow and Wellston closed in 2007, and the McDonald's restaurants at the same locations were closed ca. 2011. The Heyburn gas station was closed in June 2017 in anticipation of a major turnpike reconstruction project. 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. [6]

Law enforcement along the Turner Turnpike is provided by Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troop YB, a special troop assigned to the turnpike.[7]

Exit listEdit

Exit numbers follow I-44.

CountyLocationmikmExitDestinationsNotes
OklahomaOklahoma City0.000.00  Kilpatrick Turnpike westContinuation beyond I-35
   I-44 west / I-35 (SH-66) / Sooner Road – Wichita, Oklahoma City, DowntownWest end of I-44 overlap; I-35 exit 138A
11.418.3146Luther / Jones
LutherEastern Oklahoma County Turnpike southUnder construction since January 2018[8]
LincolnWellston22.335.9158  SH-66 – WellstonFormer US-66
31.851.2166  SH-18 – Chandler, Cushing
Stroud44.571.6179   US-377 south / SH-99 – Stroud, Drumright
Creek47.376.1Toll plaza
61.398.7196  SH-48 (SH-66) – Bristow, Lake KeystoneFormer US-66
75.8122.0211   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   SH-364 / Creek Turnpike – Joplin, Jenks, Broken ArrowEastbound exit and westbound entrance
86.4139.0221A57th West AvenueWestbound exit only
CreekTulsa
county line
86.5139.2  SH-66Eastern terminus of Turner Tpk.; I-44 exit 221B; no access to SH-66 from Turner Tpk. east
Tulsa   I-44 / SH-66 east – JoplinContinuation beyond eastern terminus; east end of I-44 overlap
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ PIKEPASS History Archived 2008-04-10 at the Wayback Machine, Pikepass.com (accessed June 17, 2010).
  2. ^ a b Everett, Dianna, Turnpikes and Toll Bridges Archived 2010-07-19 at the Wayback Machine," Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture (accessed June 17, 2010).
  3. ^ "5 Construction Projects Planned for Turnpike". Tulsa World. World Publishing Company. June 17, 2010. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
  4. ^ "New turnpike interchange opens in Oklahoma County". Associated Press at KOTV-DT. 2011-05-21. Retrieved 2011-05-21.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ http://newsok.com/article/2375460
  6. ^ http://newsok.com/article/2160694
  7. ^ "Oklahoma Highway Patrol". Retrieved 2008-04-05.
  8. ^ "Turnpike Construction Begins". Luther Register. January 18, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2018.

External linksEdit