Interstate 44 or I -44 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The highway runs diagonally across the state, from Randlett on the Texas border in the southwest, through the major cities of Oklahoma City and Tulsa, to Quapaw on the Missouri border in the northeast. It is one of the three major roads of the state. I-44 consists of several toll roads, only the urban stretches are toll-free. I-44 is 529 kilometers long.
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Interstate 44 in Texas crosses the Red River at the hamlet of Randlett, and the highway becomes the HE Bailey Turnpike, a toll road. At Randlett, one also crosses US 70, which runs from Vernon to Ardmore. The toll plaza is at Walters, and it also crosses US 277, which runs from Wichita Falls to Lawton. After this one arrives in Lawton, a regional city that is one of the larger cities in the state of Oklahoma. It also crosses the US 62, which runs from Lawton to Anadarko. In Lawton, the toll portion is interrupted, but between Lawton and Oklahoma City, the road is a toll road, with two toll plazas on the route. The landscape is slightly sloping, and the road network has a grid pattern. Just before the regional town of Chikasha is the first toll plaza, which has only 3 toll gates, because the highway is quiet. A striking item is that a little further on is a gas station in the central reservation, which is accessible from both lanes. The second toll plaza is at Blanchard. It crosses the Canadian River and enters the Oklahoma City metropolitan area.
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I-44 in Oklahoma City.
One enters the southwest side of town and I-44 leads through the southwest suburbs. It crosses Interstate 240, which runs east, forming a bypass south of town toward Little Rock, Arkansas via Interstate 40. I-44 passes here past the Will Rogers World Airport, the airport of Oklahoma City. After the airport, I-44 has 2×3 lanes. On the west side of downtown, one intersects with Interstate 40, which runs from Amarillo, Texas, toward Little Rock, Arkansas. After this, the busiest portion of I-44 begins with 2×4 lanes. This is also the busiest road in the entire state of Oklahoma.
One passes through the sprawling residential areas of Oklahoma City. On the north side of downtown, I-44 turns east. Straight ahead is OK-74, the Lake Hefner Parkway, which leads to the northern suburbs. After this the road narrows to 2×3 lanes. A little further on, you’ll come to another major interchange, with Interstate 235 passing through downtown, and US 77 heading north as a freeway. On the east side of town, Interstate 35 meets I-44. This lasts about 7 kilometers, after which I-44 turns east, and I-35 continues straight towards Wichita and Kansas City, far to the north. To the west goes the John Kilpatrick Turnpike.
The Turner Turnpike between Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
This is where the Turner Turnpike begins, a toll road that continues to Tulsa. The highway crosses the countryside here again, intersecting at Warwick with US 177, which runs from Shawnee to Stillwater. I-44 has quite long straight lines here and driving can be quite boring. In Stroud, US 377 ends on the highway. There is also a gas station in the central reservation here. Continue in a northwesterly direction, encountering Tulsa’s first suburb at Sapulpa.
At Sapulpa the Creek Turnpike turns off. This forms a bypass of Tulsa, so that through travelers can continue the route undisturbed without having to drive straight through Tulsa. In the south of Tulsa, one crosses Interstate 244, which leads to downtown. I-44 passes through the southern and eastern suburbs. Tulsa is Oklahoma’s second-largest city with nearly a million residents in the metropolitan region. Shortly thereafter, you cross US 75, which runs from Tulsa toward Henryetta, and is part freeway. You then cross the Arkansas River and you have a view of the Tulsa skyline. I-44 continuously has 2×3 lanes through Tulsa. In the east of Tulsa you cross the US 64, a highway from Tulsa to the larger suburb of Broken Arrow. A few miles further on, one intersects US 169, a north-south highway in the city, which runs from Coffeyville to Tulsa. This is the Pearl Harbor Memorial Expressway. On the northeast side of the city, Interstate 244 rejoins, leaving more or less the Tulsa metropolitan area.
De Will Rogers Turnpike.
At Catoosa, the Creek Turnpike rejoins, forming a wide bypass of the city of Tulsa. After this, I-44 becomes a toll road again and is called the Will Rogers Turnpike. One passes just south of the large Oologah Lake, a large reservoir. Oklahoma has many of these reservoirs, which were built in the period after the so-called Dust Bowl, when much agricultural land became unusable. At Vinita one crosses the US 69, which runs from Muskogee to Miami. Crossing the road is the skybridge of the world’s largest McDonalds. To the east is the large Lake ‘O the Cherokee, also a reservoir. The last major city before the border is Miami. Near the Oklahoma Tristate Point, Missouri andKansas crosses I-44 into the state of Missouri, continuing on Interstate 44 in Missouri toward St. Louis.