Traffic Talk: Student seeks data on Oklahoma's roads for project

Don Gammill: We all should make an investment in educating future drivers. The way I see it, you just might meet them out there on the roadway some day.
by Don Gammill Modified: January 13, 2014 at 11:00 am •  Published: January 13, 2014
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When a student writes for information such as the following, I'm always happy to respond. We all should make an investment in educating future drivers. The way I see it, you just might meet them out there on the roadway some day.

I'm doing a project on Oklahoma and was wondering if you can help me with some information on Oklahoma highways, like the biggest, most used, how many turnpikes ... I want to draw a map with these on it.

Jim

Sure thing, Jim.

There are many highway routes through Oklahoma, but three main interstates cross the state. You have Interstate 35 north to south, Interstate 40 west to east and Interstate 44 from the south-southwest to the northeast.

These get the biggest share of traffic on free roadways.

There are many U.S. and state highways in our state. U.S. highway numbers include 54, 56, 59, 60, 62, 64, 69, 70, 75, 77, 81, 83, 169, 177, 183, 259, 270, 271, 277, 281, 283, 287, 377, 385 and 412.

I-44 and U.S. 412 run along turnpikes, making them a bit different.

You've heard of U.S. 66? Better known as Route 66? The Mother Road? It was one of the most famous, most traveled routes in the nation for about 50 to 60 years beginning in 1926. Route 66 stretched from Chicago to Los Angeles and crossed through Oklahoma.

In 1985, the Oklahoma stretch was replaced by I-40 and State Highway 66.

Now, as for state highways, it can be a bit more confusing. There are many of them because there are alternate routes which carry a letter designation, such as SH 3A, SH 3B, SH 3W or SH 3E. Often these merge with another route.

And we have “unsigned state highways.” Some of them are just very short (a half-mile or less) and others, well, they just haven't been given a number name. Examples are: the Coyle loop route, the Poteau Bypass, the Duncan Bypass and the Langston loop route.

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by Don Gammill
General Assignment Editor and Columnist
Don Gammill is general assignment editor and columnist. A native of Ponca City, he graduated from Central State University (now the University of Central Oklahoma). While in college, he was a sports stringer for The Oklahoma City Times....
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