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Author Topic: I-44 Notes  (Read 1316 times)

ethanhopkin14

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I-44 Notes
« on: January 18, 2022, 04:19:52 PM »

I drove I-44 this past weekend going the "skip Dallas-Ft Worth" route from west of Austin to Tulsa.  This trip allowed me to complete I-44.  A few things:

1.) I am pretty sure the Oklahoma I-44 mile zero is actually in Texas because it is located on the south approach of the bridge over the Red River (giving I-44 two zero mileposts in Texas!)

2.) I know some people have mentioned Oklahoma and Kansas toll roads taking TxTAG before.  I wasn't sure this was a done deal until I reached the Kansas Turnpike on a trip before New Years.  Still wasn't sure about Oklahoma, then I reached the first toll plaza on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike.  I got twisted up when I saw the sign saying they excepted TxTAG, telling me to then go to the PikePass lane.  I thought there was only two lanes.  Turns out there are three, the middle of which is the exact coins lane.  Now, I was traveling in my motorhome so I very lately found out it was too narrow for me.  Ughh.  So this is a PSA to anyone in a wide vehicle to not get into the center, coins only, lane at the southernmost toll plaza on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike.  That whole plaza is about 350 years old, and horrible placement of the sign depicting which toll tag system they take.   It's a faux-canvas sign placed almost right up at the toll plaza.  There is no other mention of the tags excepted. 

Other than that, it was a pleasure to finally after 15 years complete I-44. 
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Road Hog

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Re: I-44 Notes
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2022, 04:34:31 PM »

The entire Red River by law belongs to Oklahoma. The state line is actually the vegetation line on the south bank. That's likely why the zero mile marker is on the south approach.
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SkyPesos

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I-44 Notes
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2022, 05:01:38 PM »

On the other side of I-44, it seems like construction along it in a few spots in St Louis have finished from a look on GSV (C/D lanes on the WB side west of the I-270 interchange, and the few bridge replacements through the city limits). Also, some nice December 2021 GSV imagery there!

A bit unrelated, but is this thread supposed to be about all of I-44, or just Texas's portion of I-44. If it's the former, just kind of wondering why it's in Mid-south instead of Central States board when 97.6% of the route is in the Central States portion.
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abqtraveler

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Re: I-44 Notes
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2022, 09:15:16 PM »

The entire Red River by law belongs to Oklahoma. The state line is actually the vegetation line on the south bank. That's likely why the zero mile marker is on the south approach.
There was a Supreme Court ruling in 1923 that clarified the border between Oklahoma and Texas being the south cut bank of the Red River. But...the State of Oklahoma only "owns" the land up to the river's main channel, and the land between the main river channel and the south cut bank (IOW...state line) was ruled to be Indian country. Today, that strip of land is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
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bwana39

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Re: I-44 Notes
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2022, 09:54:09 PM »

The entire Red River by law belongs to Oklahoma. The state line is actually the vegetation line on the south bank. That's likely why the zero mile marker is on the south approach.
There was a Supreme Court ruling in 1923 that clarified the border between Oklahoma and Texas being the south cut bank of the Red River. But...the State of Oklahoma only "owns" the land up to the river's main channel, and the land between the main river channel and the south cut bank (IOW...state line) was ruled to be Indian country. Today, that strip of land is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

Yes BUT.... You cannot fish in the Red with a Texas license (east of the 100th meridian). You cannot hunt along the southern bank with a Texas hunting license even if you own the land on top of the bank / hill.  In the Arkansas portion, you cannot ride ATV's without an Arkansas Hunting or Fishing License EVEN if you have neither a weapon nor tackle with you.  BLM may manage it and own it, but Arkansas Game and Fish Commission officers patrol it with an iron thumb. I assume the same is true for Oklahoma.
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-44 Notes
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2022, 10:03:21 PM »

I'm not sure it makes much of any difference where the OK/TX border runs along the Red River. A lot of the fringe area along the Red River is flood prone. Most of the time the river is pretty dry looking. That really goes for the portion West of Lake Texoma. It can sure fill up in a hurry and even overflow banks with some good severe storms up river. Most business or residential developments have to be built on higher ground well back from the river bank. Then there is all the unstable red clay soil and sand down there.

Quote from: ethanhopkin14
I know some people have mentioned Oklahoma and Kansas toll roads taking TxTAG before.  I wasn't sure this was a done deal until I reached the Kansas Turnpike on a trip before New Years.  Still wasn't sure about Oklahoma, then I reached the first toll plaza on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike.  I got twisted up when I saw the sign saying they excepted TxTAG, telling me to then go to the PikePass lane.  I thought there was only two lanes.  Turns out there are three, the middle of which is the exact coins lane.  Now, I was traveling in my motorhome so I very lately found out it was too narrow for me.  Ughh.  So this is a PSA to anyone in a wide vehicle to not get into the center, coins only, lane at the southernmost toll plaza on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike.  That whole plaza is about 350 years old, and horrible placement of the sign depicting which toll tag system they take.   It's a faux-canvas sign placed almost right up at the toll plaza.  There is no other mention of the tags excepted.

The Walters toll plaza on I-44 sucks so bad. It's practically a criminal offense that dilapidated plaza and crumbling bridge spanning over the top of it weren't replaced more than a decade ago.

In all likelihood, when that portion of the H.E. Bailey Turnpike goes cash-less the OTA will just shutter the toll booths and leave them there. They'll stick PikePass readers over the 3 lanes each way, leave the speed limit stupid-slow and just never ever do anything else to improve that piece of shit plaza. If it was located up near Tulsa they would modernize it. But since it's South of Lawton the OTA is just going to offer a big middle finger.

The OTA has had plans on the books to replace the Walters toll plaza only to take it off the books and kick the can farther down the road. They've done this at least two or three different times. Last time I looked the Walters toll plaza was not in any long term plans.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2022, 10:07:09 PM by Bobby5280 »
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Scott5114

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Re: I-44 Notes
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2022, 02:02:51 AM »

I thought there was only two lanes.  Turns out there are three, the middle of which is the exact coins lane.  Now, I was traveling in my motorhome so I very lately found out it was too narrow for me.  Ughh.  So this is a PSA to anyone in a wide vehicle to not get into the center, coins only, lane at the southernmost toll plaza on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. 

How did you resolve that situation? Did you have to back out of the lane, or were you able to change lanes in time?
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bwana39

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Re: I-44 Notes
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2022, 08:42:33 AM »

I thought there was only two lanes.  Turns out there are three, the middle of which is the exact coins lane.  Now, I was traveling in my motorhome so I very lately found out it was too narrow for me.  Ughh.  So this is a PSA to anyone in a wide vehicle to not get into the center, coins only, lane at the southernmost toll plaza on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. 

How did you resolve that situation? Did you have to back out of the lane, or were you able to change lanes in time?


I had a coworker who had to back out of the Lincoln Tunnel entry in an 18-wheeler.  He said it was harrowing.
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msunat97

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Re: I-44 Notes
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2022, 09:38:42 AM »

On the other side of I-44, it seems like construction along it in a few spots in St Louis have finished from a look on GSV (C/D lanes on the WB side west of the I-270 interchange, and the few bridge replacements through the city limits). Also, some nice December 2021 GSV imagery there!

A bit unrelated, but is this thread supposed to be about all of I-44, or just Texas's portion of I-44. If it's the former, just kind of wondering why it's in Mid-south instead of Central States board when 97.6% of the route is in the Central States portion.

Yes...the interchange with I-270 is finished and it's much better.  I was in that area in December for Christmas travel.  It was much better than previous trips to exit off 270 NB onto 44 WB.
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: I-44 Notes
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2022, 10:26:43 AM »

I thought there was only two lanes.  Turns out there are three, the middle of which is the exact coins lane.  Now, I was traveling in my motorhome so I very lately found out it was too narrow for me.  Ughh.  So this is a PSA to anyone in a wide vehicle to not get into the center, coins only, lane at the southernmost toll plaza on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. 

How did you resolve that situation? Did you have to back out of the lane, or were you able to change lanes in time?
I had to back up.  There was no way my mirrors would make it through the toll booth on the right side and the coin dispensary on the left.  It was nerve wracking to say the least, but luckily no one had exact change so no one was behind me. 

I should have been clearer, I didn't switch lanes in time.  I saw the sign, moved over a lane and bang.  I was stuck in the coin lane only realizing at the absolute last second I was not going to fit.  The black barrels on the passenger's side of my rig kissed the sides of my rig.  No damage thank goodness.
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Scott5114

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Re: I-44 Notes
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2022, 02:38:42 PM »

Geez, that's horrible. I'm a little surprised OTA is allowed to operate a toll plaza that doesn't meet Interstate standard lane width. That could have ended badly if another driver wasn't paying attention.
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hbelkins

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Re: I-44 Notes
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2022, 04:48:48 PM »

Geez, that's horrible. I'm a little surprised OTA is allowed to operate a toll plaza that doesn't meet Interstate standard lane width. That could have ended badly if another driver wasn't paying attention.

It's Oklahoma. Are you surprised about anything road-wise that happens there?  :-D
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Scott5114

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Re: I-44 Notes
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2022, 03:18:32 PM »

Geez, that's horrible. I'm a little surprised OTA is allowed to operate a toll plaza that doesn't meet Interstate standard lane width. That could have ended badly if another driver wasn't paying attention.

It's Oklahoma. Are you surprised about anything road-wise that happens there?  :-D

Not really, but "toll plaza that people can get physically stuck in" wasn't exactly on my bingo card.
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