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ACCESS Oklahoma

Started by rte66man, February 22, 2022, 12:13:44 PM

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Quote from: US75A on October 07, 2023, 10:55:11 PM
The only way that the I-240/SH 152 makes any sense is if the powers that be are planning for the Kilpatrick Turnpike to eventually extend south from the current end - there was talk of another extension running south (running east of Mustang) to connect with an upgraded SH 4 to complete an continuous expressway/turnpike from the Kilpatrick Tpk to the H.E. Bailey Spur near Bridge Creek.

I looked at the "Access Oklahoma" website tonight and noticed the schematic for the "South Extension" - which departs SH 152 east of Council and runs along the west side of the Will Rogers Airport and connects to I-44 south of 144th - maybe they're actually planning on designating this "I-344" when it is constructed.   It would then make sense for I-240 to end at I-344....if extending the I-240 designation over SH 152 makes any sense to begin with. 


Yeah, I mentioned the Tri-City Connector earlier. Indeed it would be more logical for an I-240 extension to end at the Tri-City Connector interchange with Airport Road. The only bad thing is such an extension of I-240 would be pretty short. It would just be two exits for Meridian Ave and MacArthur Blvd and then it ends at the next interchange. Of course, the split between Airport Road and the Kilpatrick Turnpike extension is just one exit farther.

I think if they can't sign I-240 all the way over to I-40 then why bother extending the designation at all? It's just going to confuse motorists. 

The Ghostbuster

Could it be possible that Interstate 240 was proposed for OK 152, and Interstate 344 was proposed for the John Kilpatrick Turnpike because one has to exit the present-day Airport Road Freeway to access the JKT? That may be Oklahoma's reasoning for giving the freeway and the tollway two different Interstate designations. I still think both roads should have only one designation, but I also think it is a valid hypothesis.


The more valid hypothesis is that whoever came up with that idea was smoking too much legal reef. Or, more likely, huffing too much Lysol.

Plutonic Panda

First project from the program to get underway soon. Reconstruction and widening of I-44 near Bristow.


That'll take care of about 6 miles of the work. Another 60 miles to go after that.

Plutonic Panda

The website has been updated and shows the focus of the Turner Turnpike expansion and the east to west connector from I-35 to I-44.

QuoteThe first ACCESS Oklahoma long-range plan construction project will begin in February 2024 to widen the I-44/Turner Turnpike to six lanes between Heyburn and Bristow in Creek County. Additionally, preliminary engineering activities are resuming this month for initial priority projects in the 15-year long-range plan.

ACCESS Oklahoma will update Oklahoma's turnpike system with new interchange access points to communities, widen existing turnpikes, update bridges and pavement and add three new routes in the Oklahoma City metro area to complete the Outer Loop and provide an I-35 reliever route.

This long-range plan has always been about motorist safety. OTA's mission is to help facilitate traffic throughout the state by seamlessly connecting with the state highway system, thereby providing a choice for a safe, convenient, and efficient user-funded transportation network. OTA's goal is to provide safe infrastructure while maintaining the lowest toll rate for our customers.

The Turner turnpike project will also add an interchange at Route 66 NE of Bristow. Also lays out a plan for the upcoming phases but with no timeline:

QuoteFirst priority projects resumed preconstruction design activities:
- T-26001: Widening- I-35 Extending East to Hiwassee Road Including Post Road Interchange = Benham
- T-26002: Widening- East of Hiwassee Road Extending East to Kickapoo Turnpike = Cowan
- T-26004: Widening- 5.0 Miles East of Kickapoo Turnpike Extending East to Wellston Including SH-102 Interchange = Olsson
- T-26606: Widening- West of Chandler Extending East Including Chandler Interchange = CPY
- T-26011: Widening- East of Depew Interchange Extending East Including Bristow Interchange = CPY

East to west connector

QuoteFirst priority projects resumed preconstruction design activities:
- EWC- 28001: New Alignment - I-44 / East-West Connector Interchange = MacArthur
- EWC- 28002: New Alignment - Bridge over the South Canadian River = MacArthur
- EWC- 28003: New Alignment- Western Avenue Interchange Extending East to I-35 = TEIM
- EWC- 28004: New Alignment- I-35 Interchange = TEIM
- EWC- 28005: New Alignment- I-35 Interchange Extending East 4.5 Miles = MKEC

NOTE: Remaining EWC projects east of EWC-28005 are not in first priority and remain inactive

Kilpatrick Turnpike widening:

QuoteFirst priority projects resumed preconstruction design activities.
- JKT- 30003: Widening- 1/2 section South of County Line Road NorthEast Includes County Line Road Interchange = CEC
- JKT- 30005: Widening- Eastern Avenue Extending East to I-35 Interchange = TAG


First project gets green light:


The new I-44 interchange with OK-66 Northeast of Bristow will (hopefully) remedy the weird at-grade gated access point currently there. I've seen one or both gates left open at least a couple times driving past that point. I wonder if any "civilians" driving through the open gates to get on or off the turnpike (presumably to avoid a toll) would get hit with a violation anyway.


Quote from: Bobby5280 on February 09, 2024, 04:35:37 PM
The new I-44 interchange with OK-66 Northeast of Bristow will (hopefully) remedy the weird at-grade gated access point currently there. I've seen one or both gates left open at least a couple times driving past that point. I wonder if any "civilians" driving through the open gates to get on or off the turnpike (presumably to avoid a toll) would get hit with a violation anyway.

AUG 2019 GSV:  wide open
FEB 2023 GSV:  half open (current view, link may change in the future)

FEB 2016 GSV:  wide open
SEP 2019 GSV:  wide open
AUG 2022 GSV:  half open
APR 2023 GSV:  wide open (current view, link may change in the future)
Keep right except to pass.  Yes.  You.
Visit scenic Orleans County, NY!
Male pronouns, please.

Quote from: Philip K. DickIf you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use them.


Haha! Isn't that a trip!? The idea the open gates have been caught on camera so often by Google Car passes prove the open gates must be a very common situation.

Edit: here's another view from N3770 Road. "Well come right on in! The door's open!",-96.2969367,3a,75y,300.3h,84.81t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sW5Z5BAmQAAGYH5d5uoj78g!2e0!!7i16384!8i8192!5m1!1e4?authuser=0&entry=ttu

Anyone viewing the StreetView links, be sure to click on the "+/-" controls to zoom into the Google Car-cam photos to get a better view of those open gates.

Another really funny thing: there are NO SIGNS telling anyone they can't enter or exit the highway at that point. No "Authorized Vehicles Only" signs are posted. There aren't any "Strictly Enforced" signs like those posted in the Jersey barrier gaps along the main lanes of the turnpikes. Really, if someone wanted to be a smart-ass in court, he could mount a credible defense for getting off the turnpike in that location: "Well, your Honor, the gate was wide open and there weren't any signs saying I couldn't leave the turnpike there. If anything, I need a refund for the part of the turnpike I didn't use!"

Plutonic Panda

I may or may not have used these one time. Not to bypass a toll.


Quote from: Bobby5280 on February 09, 2024, 04:35:37 PM
The new I-44 interchange with OK-66 Northeast of Bristow will (hopefully) remedy the weird at-grade gated access point currently there.
That is a standard feature on turnpike roadways with exits far distances apart. It allows emergency vehicles access to the turnpike if needed.

Although, they're usually closed...


I know those at-grade turns Northeast of Bristow are supposed to be used only by emergency service vehicles (as well as road maintenance vehicles). But those turns are not signed at all that way.

Also, those at-grade turns are pretty unique. They're paved completely from the Interstate to the connecting roads nearby. Elsewhere on I-44 there are improvised dirt and gravel roads making direct contact with the I-44 main lanes. Usually gates are closed at those points too.

As the ACCESS Oklahoma effort adds a bunch of new exits to I-44 next to none of those dirt/gravel at-grade turns will be necessary.


Check out the US-301 toll bypass (full control of access 65 mph freeway) in Delaware. Sort of same setup, has paved access points, and the gate was actually open on one of the Street Views. Still interesting nonetheless, why the gates are staying open.

Plutonic Panda

I just noticed they updated the map too, and included active projects and those in design.


A couple days ago I had noticed the Tri-City Connector was listed as being in the design phase. Hopefully this means the OTA is considering the Tri-City Connector a greater near-term priority.

I haven't seen much news lately about the Tri-City Connector. As far as I can tell the various lawsuits attempting to stop or delay the project have been dismissed. If the OTA isn't already doing so, they need to be at work acquiring ROW along Indian Hills Road. The sparsely developed areas between Norman and Moore are certain to get filled in with new housing subdivisions and businesses.

If the OTA can get the new frontage roads for Indian Hills Road established it could be a launching pad for a lot of new commercial growth. The Kilpatrick Turnpike has a lot of commercial stuff built next it between Broadway Extension and Hefner Parkway. The land near the I-44 interchange might be a good location for something big.

Great Lakes Roads

Groundbreaking on the first ACCESS Oklahoma project! Turner Turnpike (I-44) Widening east of Bristow
-Jay Seaburg

Plutonic Panda

The Ghostbuster

Maybe they can. Never underestimate the power of NIMBYS. Plowing down 600 homes seems like a hefty price for building toll roads, even if they are badly needed. I feel for the people, but it seems like the ACCESS Oklahoma project in its entirety is a done deal.

Plutonic Panda

Hopefully not. This road needs to happen. I don't care if it's 600 homes or 6000. There's plenty of land to build other homes on. And I'm sure all these people that say "well what if it was your home" Use plenty of infrastructure that was made possible from other peoples properties.


Quote from: The Ghostbuster on May 22, 2024, 07:17:45 PMMaybe they can.

The next time the current decision makers in Oklahoma care about their constituents will be the first time.
uncontrollable freak sardine salad chef


Quote from: The GhostbusterMaybe they can. Never underestimate the power of NIMBYS. Plowing down 600 homes seems like a hefty price for building toll roads, even if they are badly needed. I feel for the people, but it seems like the ACCESS Oklahoma project in its entirety is a done deal.

Where did they get this figure of "600 homes?" It's bullshit.

By far, the biggest displacement of properties to make way for the East-West Connector Turnpike is all the metal industrial buildings on the East end of the I-44/OK-37 interchange in Newcastle. No homes are there. La Luna Cantina & Grill, Riverside Boat & RV Storage and most of the other businesses in that complex will be removed by the new turnpike interchange with I-44.

From that point on I-44 over to I-35 there is hardly any existing properties along the North side of SW 179th Street/W Indian Hills Road. Hammer Construction's property could get removed unless the turnpike is curved a bit to avoid it.

East of I-35 there are a few homes and commercial businesses alongside E Indian Hills Road, but it sure as hell does not add up to 600 friggin' homes. I doubt there is anything close to 600 homes needing to be removed to make room for both the East-West Connector and Kickapoo Turnpike extension.

I could maybe believe there being 600 property owners being affected by the turnpike -with the catch being these property owners are just seeing pieces of vacant land acquired for turnpike ROW. But even that would probably be a load of crap since people who own pieces of vacant rural land tend to own a hell of a lot of it. All that vacant land along W Indian Hills Road is probably owned by just a few people.

Plutonic Panda


QuoteMore ACCESS Oklahoma design work ready to launch
More work will be re-engaged in the next three months for the ACCESS Oklahoma long-
range plan, which includes projects to widen and improve the I-44/Turner Turnpike, the I-
44/Will Rogers Turnpike, the John Kilpatrick Turnpike and further design work for the new
alignment of the East-West Connector corridor in Oklahoma City.

ACCESS Oklahoma is the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority's 15-year long-range plan that
includes new route alignments as well as several new interchanges. OTA sold the first $500
million in bonds in late October 2023 to fund engineering design work and initial
construction projects in the long-range plan. The program was validated for bond sales by
the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Aug. 1, 2023.

Engineering design work restarted in February 2024 for 56 construction projects totaling
$156 million in authorized design contracts. OTA Deputy Director and Chief Engineer T.J.
Dill updated the OTA Board this week that they will see more engineering design work
contracts come before them for consideration starting in July. Dill anticipates the new
design work contracts to add 57 more construction projects to the agency's workload.
"We are making great progress right now," Dill told the Board. "But for us to deliver this
program in the timeframe we originally said, which is the 15-year time frame, we've got to
get moving."

The East-West Connector is a 28-mile segment of the Oklahoma City Outer Loop that will
connect the I-44/Tri-city area of Newcastle, Blanchard and Tuttle at SH-37/N.W. 32nd St.
and cross the South Canadian River east to I-35 and continue east then northeast to
ultimately connect with the Kickapoo Turnpike at I-40. This new alignment will expand the
mobility of the south Oklahoma City metro population while also providing greater access
to Moore and Norman.

Dill said initial design work on the East-West Connector segment between Newcastle to
east of I-35 is nearing 60 percent plan completion and this segment remains the priority
among the new alignments to construct first. Property owners in this area can expect to hear
from OTA about parcels needed for the corridor by fall 2024. A contract for design work on
the segment between Bethel Rd. and I-40 is expected to go before the Board for its
consideration for approval later this summer.

Dill told the Board that no design work has started yet on the East-West Connector
interchange between Lake Stanley Draper and Lake Thunderbird nor has design work
started on the South Extension alignment, which is scheduled for later in the long-range

"We know we have to do some sort of realignment in that area, but we're working to get
the rest of the program off the ground first," Dill said.


Plutonic Panda

I wonder if some projects like East-West Connector and Kickapoo South Extension deserve their own threads at some point.

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