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Author Topic: OKC meet wrapup  (Read 5187 times)


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OKC meet wrapup
« on: June 29, 2009, 04:12:01 AM »

This past Friday and Saturday we had the Oklahoma City meet. I enjoyed getting to hang out with everyone and show off OKC's roads, and I hope everyone else enjoyed being there.

In attendance were: David Backlin (AR), H.B. Elkins (KY), Jeremy Lance (OK), Steve Riner (CO), and Gene Van (MO). Eric Stuve (OK) had to work during both days of the main portion of the meet but joined us for some extra fun in the evenings.

Thursday night, Eric hosted a meet and greet at the Cracker Barrel at I-40 and Meridian. Unfortunately only Steve was able to meet Eric; David showed up and tried to find the others but was unable to due to some kind of miscommunication.

At 11AM on Friday morning everyone met in the parking lot of Motel 6 at I-40 and Meridian. H.B. distributed "Kentucky care packages" which included the latest KTC map and an assortment of other road-related goods such as keychains shaped like a seat belt, emblazoned with the slogan "DRIVE SMART KENTUCKY!". Gene handed out a few copies of a vintage Missouri map to the attendees who weren't at the Kansas City meet. After visiting a bit, we piled into Steve's car (H.B. had his camera set up to attach to his windshield, and thus opted to follow along solo).

Our first order of business was to check out the I-40 Crosstown, the elevated section of I-40 between Western Avenue and I-35. This bridge was built in the 1960s and is seriously overloaded and obsolete. We exited at Harvey Avenue and went to a park accessible through the Bass Pro Shops parking lot. A new section of I-40 is being built to bypass the Crosstown, and the new freeway was right across the railroad tracks from the park. We managed to find a small break in the Jersey barrier along the under-construction freeway and walked around the unfinished freeway a bit, speculating about the purpose of a small yet heavily decorated bridge.

From there, we toured the OKC freeway system a bit. We clinched I-235, then turned onto eastbound I-44 and met up with I-35 to see the section of 1960s depressed freeway between I-44 and I-40. At I-40, we headed east to check out the section of Interstate in Del City and Midwest City, which skirts the north edge of Tinker Air Force Base. We made a brief stop at a gas station on Choctaw Road before turning around and clinching I-240. From there, we went up to the Lake Hefner Parkway (SH-74). Unfortunately, H.B. was forced to exit onto the SH-152 freeway and had to turn around, so we waited for him at a Shell station beyond the end of the parkway.

At this point, we decided to take a closer look at something Jeremy had encountered on his way in, and take in some of historic U.S. 66 in the process. From SH-74, we met up with the old U.S. highway by taking N.W. 178th Street east to downtown Edmond. We continued east on what is now SH-66, spotting old alignments and curiosities as we passed by. At one point we spotted a particularly impressive-looking old alignment, and upon rounding the bend, noticed it led up to a set of large bridge abutments. Finally, we reached the town of Wellston, where we got onto the Turner Turnpike. This interchange was quite interesting–the tollbooth to the westbound Turnpike actually opens up into a McDonald's parking lot–which is a service area accessible from the Turnpike–from which you must use another onramp to enter the Turnpike proper! We had a bit of fun walking around the toll plaza and inspecting various signage close up.

From there, we headed back to Bricktown for dinner at Crabtown. H.B. got separated from us and took a direct route; the rest of us ended up exploring Lincoln Blvd., (unsigned "SH-0" if you believe the old control section maps) the street that the Oklahoma State Capitol is on.

We then returned to Motel 6, and the official portion of Day 1 was over. H.B. returned to his hotel, but the rest of us met with Eric Stuve for a bridge hunt. We first went to the old US-62 bridge over the Canadian River, the first F.A.P. project in Oklahoma. We attempted to access it from the Cleveland County side, but were unable to get much onto it because of the heavy tree growth. On the McClain County side, there were some bikers hanging out on the bridge, so we didn't feel it too prudent to attempt to continue. From there, we went to the town of Washington to take a look at a much smaller thru truss bridge with a sufficiency rating of 2.6%, clinching SH-74B in the process. By the time we got to Washington it was getting dark so we returned to OKC and called it a night at about 10 PM. We then said farewell to Jeremy, who returned to Tulsa.

Saturday morning we regrouped at Motel 6. We headed down to Norman via I-240 and I-35, taking a look at the I-35 widening works. We stopped and had lunch at Coach's, a restaurant/brewery/pool hall in downtown Norman. From there, we headed south into McClain County and took SH-9 west to the H.E. Bailey Turnpike Spur. We paid the grand sum of 50¢ to take the road into Grady County. From its terminus, we went north on SH-4 into Canadian County and the town of Mustang, where we turned back east on SH-152. We examined the freeway section of 152, including the recent extension to the freeway. Then, we decided to take one last freeway tour of the Broadway Extension (US-77). Upon reaching the Kilpatrick Turnpike, H.B. peeled off, bound for Springfield, Missouri. The remainder of the group returned to Motel 6.

At this point, Gene went home, and Steve decided to explore some non-road stuff downtown. Eric Stuve arrived, so David and I joined him on some more exploration, clinching the Kilpatrick Turnpike and scrutinizing a bridge near Lake Overholser that once carried US-66. The old road leading up to the bridge still has a yellow yield sign posted. We also decided to check out Route 66 State Park, a small city park near the lake, in hopes of finding something road related. Unfortunately, there was nothing of that nature there, but there were some interesting footbridges and a lot of geese. Eric then showed us the pre-freeway alignment of SH-152. From there, we stopped off at Panera Bread to use the wifi to view a few of our favorite viatologist's videos, which David and Eric had never had the chance to behold before then.

I had a lot of fun catching up with the other guys and seeing parts of the city I don't get the opportunity to visit as often as I'd like. Perhaps in a few years, when the new I-40 is open, the widening in Norman is done, and the city is no doubt decked out in Clearview, we will have another meet. Until then, I hope to catch up with you all again at some other meet!


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Re: OKC meet wrapup
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2009, 12:01:27 PM »

Nice to read how American roadmeets are  :clap:


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Re: OKC meet wrapup
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2009, 02:45:05 PM »

I'm disappointed I didn't get to go, but I had to work.


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Re: OKC meet wrapup
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2009, 08:38:33 PM »

Was this the small truss bridge?  Was this the impressive-looking old alignment?


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Re: OKC meet wrapup
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2009, 06:47:16 PM »

Was this the small truss bridge?  Was this the impressive-looking old alignment?

Yes and yes.


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