Turner Turnpike

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Turner Turnpike marker

Turner Turnpike
Route information
Length: 88.0 mi[2] (141.6 km)
Existed: May 16, 1953[1] – present
Component
highways:
I-44 entire length
Major junctions
West end: I-35 in Oklahoma City
  SH-18 in Chandler
SH-99 in Stroud
East end: SH-66 in Sapulpa
Location
Counties: Oklahoma, Lincoln, Creek
Highway system

The Governor Roy J. Turner Turnpike[citation needed] is a toll road in central Oklahoma, connecting its two largest cities, Oklahoma City and Tulsa. It was 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 the interstate. 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[edit]

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, making it possible to legally drive 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]

Tolls[edit]

A two-axle vehicle currently pays $4 ($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, 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 northwest of Stroud. If one exits before reaching this plaza, the toll is collected at the exit. If one's desired exit is located after the plaza, one pays the full toll at the barrier plaza and receives a refund for the untraveled portion of the turnpike upon exit. Travelers exiting westbound at Wellston as well as at the two termini do not receive any refund.

Services[edit]

One of the Turnpike's features is a full-service McDonald's restaurant and EZ-GO gas station in the center of the roadway near Stroud. This and other concession areas along the Turner Turnpike 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.

Law enforcement along the Turner Turnpike is provided by Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troop YB, a special troop assigned to the turnpike.[5]

Exit list[edit]

County Location Mile km Exit Destinations Notes
Oklahoma Oklahoma City 0.0 0.0 West end of the Turner Turnpike
11.4 18.3 146 Luther, Jones Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
Lincoln Wellston 22.3 35.9 158 SH-66 – Wellston
  31.8 51.2 166 SH-18 – Chandler, Cushing
Stroud 44.5 71.6 179 SH-99 – Stroud, Drumright
Creek   47.3 76.1 Toll plaza
  61.3 98.7 196 SH-48 (SH-66) – Bristow, Lake Keystone
  75.8 122.0 211 SH-33 / SH-66 – Drumright, Kellyville
Sapulpa 80.7 129.9 215 SH-97 – Sapulpa, Sand Springs
82.2 132.3 218A SH-66 – Sapulpa
East end of the Turner Turnpike
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ PIKEPASS History, Pikepass.com (accessed June 17, 2010).
  2. ^ a b Everett, Dianna, Turnpikes and Toll Bridges," 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. 
  5. ^ "Oklahoma Highway Patrol". Retrieved 2008-04-05. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing