Eastern Oklahoma County corridor to have 80 mph speed limit
By Ryan Horton
Eastern Oklahoma County’s new turnpike is expected to begin opening in coming months, and officials say that roadway will open with a speed limit of 80 miles per hour.
The northern half of the new Kickapoo Turnpike, connecting I-40 and I-44 in eastern Oklahoma County, is expected to open in September, while the southern half is expected to open by March of 2021.
The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority announced July 28 that rural segments of several Oklahoma turnpikes now have the green light for a higher maximum speed limit, and that includes the entire eastern Oklahoma County corridor, once open.
In total, OTA approved the proposal to raise posted speeds from 75 mph to 80 mph on rural segments of five turnpikes.
These locations total 104 miles and include:
- Turner Turnpike from mile marker (MM) 203 to MM 216, between Bristow and Sapulpa, 13 miles
- Muskogee Turnpike from MM 2 to MM 33, between Muskogee and Tulsa, 31 miles
- Cherokee Turnpike from MM 3 to MM 28, 25 miles
- Indian Nation Turnpike from MM 93 to MM 104, between SH-9 and I-40, 11 miles
- H.E. Bailey Turnpike (Norman Spur) from MM 102 to MM 107, 5 miles
- Kickapoo Turnpike (scheduled to open later this year) from MM 130 to MM 149, between I-40 and the Turner Turnpike, 19 miles
Officials say the change won’t impact urban areas, and all drivers should keep a close eye on their speedometers as changes are made over the next several months.
“With today’s approval, work can begin to manufacture and install the new 80 mph signs for each of these corridors. This process could take several months to complete. Until the new signs are in place, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol says it will be enforcing the current posted speed limit. Drivers will need to pay attention in the corridors before revving up or else they’ll risk a ticket,” noted the OTA.
The Kickapoo Turnpike project was announced in October of 2015, and should meet the initial goal of being complete in 2021.
The 21-mile stretch of toll road has been making rapid construction progress in the Harrah area since work first began in 2018.
Historically known as the Eastern Oklahoma County corridor project, the Kickapoo Turnpike joins other Oklahoma toll roads named in honor the Native American tribes: the Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek and Muskogee turnpikes.
The Kickapoo Turnpike is one of four large-scale turnpike corridors under construction as part of the Driving Forward initiative, according to the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.
The OTA reports the project will allow for a high-speed connection from eastern Oklahoma County to two major intersections for travel.
Once open, the new toll road will produce a drive-time reduction to access Tulsa from the Oklahoma City metro area, and alleviate current congested traffic inside Oklahoma City.
The toll road was designed to feature four interchanges including SE 29th Street, Reno Avenue, NE 23rd Street and Britton Road. Those east and south running roads that do not have an interchange with the toll road will run either over or under the new turnpike.
For more information about the Kickapoo Turnpike and other OTA projects visit DrivingForwardOK.com.