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Roadtrip report: Tulsa, OK to Mena, AR (the back way)

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bugo:
I drove from Tulsa to Mena on Monday.  I had some extra time, so I took a different route than I usually take.  Route was:

I-44 E - OK 51 E - Muskogee Turnpike E - OK 165 S/W - US 64 E - OK 2 S - OK 31 E - OK 82 S - OK 63 E - AR 8 E

Notes:

As has been the case recently, I saw lots of state troopers.  I usually don't see a lot of them, but it seems like there are more cops out this month.  I even saw a state trooper on OK 2 near Porum.

I opted for the Muskogee Turnpike between Tulsa and Muskogee.  I've taken US 64 before, and Bixby is a pain to drive through, so I decided to take the turnpike.

OK 165 changes direction at the junction with the Muskogee Turnpike on the south side of Muskogee.

Several traffic lights along OK 165 between the turnpike and US 64.

US 64 is a 5 lane undivided highway from Muskogee to Warner.  It was recently completed, as the last time I was through part of the 5 lane section wasn't open yet.  Speed limit is 65, but the road is so wide and flat and traffic was so light that 70 would have been perfectly safe.

Porum is a sad looking town.  The speed limit drops to 30.

Old railroad bridge is visible from OK 2 Canadian River bridge to the east.  This is a multiple span through truss bridge.  Also saw remnants (piers) of an older crossing just west of the current OK 2 crossing.

Drove about a mile down OK 9 WB looking for a bridge (it had been replaced.)

Drove about a mile down OK 31 west of Kinta looking for a bridge.  It was still there.  Got some pics: http://www.bridgehunter.com/ok/haskell/136700000000000/

Traffic was flying on OK 31 between Kinta and Lequire.  I was doing 65-70 and got passed twice by pickup trucks going much faster than me.

There was a 1 lane construction zone controlled by a stoplight on OK 31.



There's also one controlled by a STOP sign on OK 82.  



Much to my surprise, OK 82 between OK 31 and US 270 is a modern highway.  It goes over the Sans Bois mountains, and has sweeping curves.  It's built on a lot of fill, and must have cost a fortune to build.  There's a climbing lane in each direction, and at the top of the mountain there is a short 4 lane undivided section!  





I wonder why they spent so much money on a road that gets little traffic.  Oddly enough, the speed limit is posted at 55 through this segment.

OK 82 south of US 270 is a totally different story.  Rough pavement, hilly, poor geometry, double hairpin curves, this stretch has it all.  There are few stretches where you can even reach the speed limit of 55.  This has to be one of the worst state highways in the region, if not the entire country.

There was some snow on the ground in the mountains to the north of Talihina.  It was quite lovely.

I've done the OK 63/AR 8 segment of the trip many times before, and there's nothing new to report.

More pictures can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/watuzi/

Scott5114:

--- Quote from: bugo on February 16, 2010, 02:03:13 AM ---I opted for the Muskogee Turnpike between Tulsa and Muskogee.  I've taken US 64 before, and Bixby is a pain to drive through, so I decided to take the turnpike.

--- End quote ---

Bixby is indeed a pain in the ass. Bixby is one of the few places I've had "close calls" due to way too much traffic and a badly-designed construction zone.


--- Quote from: bugo on February 16, 2010, 02:03:13 AM ---Porum is a sad looking town.
--- End quote ---

Most small OK towns are sad-looking :P


--- Quote from: bugo on February 16, 2010, 02:03:13 AM ---There was a 1 lane construction zone controlled by a stoplight on OK 31.
--- End quote ---

Neat. That's the first place I've seen one of those temporary stoplight setups in OK. (I saw two in various places around Springfield when I lived there, and one on K-99 the last time I went to KS.)


--- Quote from: bugo on February 16, 2010, 02:03:13 AM ---There's also one controlled by a STOP sign on OK 82. 
--- End quote ---

Now that just looks like a death trap.


--- Quote from: bugo on February 16, 2010, 02:03:13 AM ---Much to my surprise, OK 82 between OK 31 and US 270 is a modern highway.  It goes over the Sans Bois mountains, and has sweeping curves.  It's built on a lot of fill, and must have cost a fortune to build.  There's a climbing lane in each direction, and at the top of the mountain there is a short 4 lane undivided section! 

I wonder why they spent so much money on a road that gets little traffic.  Oddly enough, the speed limit is posted at 55 through this segment.
--- End quote ---

Wonder if perhaps they're trying to shift traffic to this road to get it away from some other road...


--- Quote from: bugo on February 16, 2010, 02:03:13 AM ---OK 82 south of US 270 is a totally different story.  Rough pavement, hilly, poor geometry, double hairpin curves, this stretch has it all.  There are few stretches where you can even reach the speed limit of 55.  This has to be one of the worst state highways in the region, if not the entire country.
--- End quote ---

Have you not heard of the horror stories surrounding the highway to Mogollon, New Mexico? :P

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