Interstate 44

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Interstate 44
Interstate 44 map.png
Route information
Length633.79 mi [1] (1,019.99 km)
Major junctions
West endUS 82.svgUS 277.svgUS 281.svgUS 287.svg US 82 / US 277 / US 281 / US 287 in Wichita Falls, TX
 I-40.svg I-40 in Oklahoma City, OK
I-35.svg I-35 in Oklahoma City, OK
I-49.svgUS 71.svg I-49 / US 71 near Joplin, MO
I-55.svgI-64.svgUS 40.svg I-55 / I-64 / US 40 in St. Louis, MO
East endI-70.svg I-70 in St. Louis, MO
States Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri
Highway system

Interstate 44 (I-44) is a major Interstate Highway in the central United States. Although it is nominally an east-west road as it is even-numbered, it follows a more southwest-northeast alignment. Its western terminus is in Wichita Falls, Texas at a concurrency with U.S. Route 277 (US 277), US 281, and U.S. Route 287 in Texas; its eastern terminus is at I-70 in St. Louis, Missouri. I-44 is one of five interstates built to bypass U.S. Route 66; this highway covers the section between Oklahoma City and St. Louis.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Wichita Falls, Texas City in Texas, United States

Wichita Falls is a city in and the county seat of Wichita County, Texas, United States. It is the principal city of the Wichita Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Archer, Clay, and Wichita Counties. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 104,553, making it the 38th-most populous city in Texas. In addition, its central business district is 5 miles (8 km) from Sheppard Air Force Base, which is home to the Air Force's largest technical training wing and the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program, the world's only multinationally staffed and managed flying training program chartered to produce combat pilots for both USAF and NATO.

Concurrency (road) instance of one physical road bearing two or more different highways

A concurrency in a road network is an instance of one physical roadway bearing two or more different route numbers. When two roadways share the same right-of-way, it is sometimes called a common section or commons. Other terminology for a concurrency includes overlap, coincidence, duplex, triplex, multiplex, dual routing or triple routing.


Virtually the entire length of I-44 east of Springfield, Missouri was once US 66, which was upgraded from two to four lanes from 1949 to 1955. The section of I-44 west of Springfield was built farther south than US 66 in order to connect Missouri's section with the already completed Will Rogers Turnpike, which Oklahoma wished to carry their part of I-44.

Springfield, Missouri City in Missouri, United States

Springfield is the third-largest city in the state of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County. As of the 2010 census, its population was 159,498. As of 2017, the Census Bureau estimated its population at 167,376. It is the principal city of the Springfield metropolitan area, which has a population of 462,369 and includes the counties of Christian, Dallas, Greene, Polk, Webster.

Will Rogers Turnpike highway in Oklahoma

The Will Rogers Turnpike is a freeway-standard toll road in the northeast portion of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The highway begins as a continuation of the Creek Turnpike in Tulsa, continuing northward from the I-44/US-412 interchange there to the Missouri state line west of Joplin, Missouri. The turnpike carries the I-44 designation for its entire length. The turnpike is 88.5 miles (142.4 km) long and costs $4.75 to drive one way. The Will Rogers Turnpike opened to traffic on June 28, 1957. It was designated as I-44 in 1958. It is named for Will Rogers, "Oklahoma's Favorite Son".

Route description

  mi km
TX 1524
OK 329530
MO 293471


In the U.S. state of Texas, I-44 has a short, but regionally important, 14.77 miles (23.77 km) stretch, connecting Wichita Falls with Oklahoma. The route runs almost due north to the Texas–Oklahoma state line at the Red River. In Wichita Falls, I-44 runs concurrent with US 277, US 281, and US 287, and is known locally as the "Central Freeway". I-44 provides access to downtown Wichita Falls and Sheppard Air Force Base.

Red River of the South major tributary of the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers in the southern United States

The Red River, or sometimes the Red River of the South, is a major river in the southern United States of America. It was named for the red-bed country of its watershed. It is one of several rivers with that name. Although it was once a tributary of the Mississippi River, the Red River is now a tributary of the Atchafalaya River, a distributary of the Mississippi that flows separately into the Gulf of Mexico. It is connected to the Mississippi River by the Old River Control Structure.

U.S. Route 281 in Texas highway in Texas

U.S. Route 281 (US 281) is a United States Numbered Highway that runs from the Mexican border in the Rio Grande Valley to the Canadian border near Dunseith, North Dakota. In the state of Texas, the highway is a major south–north corridor, connecting Brownsville to the Oklahoma state line at the Red River in Burkburnett. Several segments of U.S. 281 are concurrent with Interstate routes, including I-69C in the Rio Grande Valley, I-37 in San Antonio, and I-44 north of Wichita Falls.

U.S. Route 287 in Texas highway in Texas

U.S. Highway 287 (US 287) in the U.S. state of Texas is a major U.S. Highway that begins on the Gulf Coast in Port Arthur and heads north through Fort Worth, northwest to Childress, Clarendon, Wichita Falls, and Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle and into Oklahoma near Kerrick.


I-44 in Oklahoma City I-44 okc.jpg
I-44 in Oklahoma City

I-44 in Oklahoma is mostly three separate toll roads; it is paralleled by former US 66 from Oklahoma City to the Missouri line. In southwestern Oklahoma, I-44 is the H. E. Bailey Turnpike and is mainly south–north. In the Oklahoma City area, I-44 is either six or eight lanes; it runs concurrent with I-35 for about 4 miles (6.4 km) in Oklahoma City. From Oklahoma City, I-44 becomes southwest–northeast as the Turner Turnpike towards Tulsa. After I-44 leaves Tulsa, it becomes the Will Rogers Turnpike to the Missouri state line.

Toll road roadway for which a fee (or toll) is assessed for passage

A toll road, also known as a turnpike or tollway, is a public or private road for which a fee is assessed for passage. It is a form of road pricing typically implemented to help recoup the cost of road construction and maintenance.

In geometry, parallel lines are lines in a plane which do not meet; that is, two lines in a plane that do not intersect or touch each other at any point are said to be parallel. By extension, a line and a plane, or two planes, in three-dimensional Euclidean space that do not share a point are said to be parallel. However, two lines in three-dimensional space which do not meet must be in a common plane to be considered parallel; otherwise they are called skew lines. Parallel planes are planes in the same three-dimensional space that never meet.

The historic U.S. Route 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway after Oklahoma native Will Rogers, ran from west to northeast across the state of Oklahoma, along the path now taken by Interstate 40 (I-40) and State Highway 66 (SH-66). It passed through Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and many smaller communities. West of the Oklahoma City area, it has been largely replaced by I-40; the few independent portions that are still state-maintained are now I-40 Business. However, from Oklahoma City northeast to Kansas, the bypassing I-44 is mostly a toll road, and SH-66 remains as a free alternate.


I-44 approached by US-71 just south of Joplin, MO. This photo was taken before US-71 was upgraded to I-49 I44InterchangeUS71.jpg
I-44 approached by US-71 just south of Joplin, MO. This photo was taken before US-71 was upgraded to I-49

I-44 enters Missouri southwest of Joplin near the tripoint of Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas. It misses the Kansas border by less than 200 yards (180 m). The first exit in Missouri is for US-166. I-44 continues through the southern part of Joplin, where it becomes concurrent with the new Missouri segment of I-49. East of Joplin, I-49 splits off on its own alignment to Kansas City.

Tripoint geographical point at which the borders of three territories meet

A tripoint, trijunction, triple point, or tri-border area is a geographical point at which the boundaries of three countries or subnational entities meet.

Interstate 49 (I-49) is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Missouri that was designated on December 12, 2012. It overlaps U.S. Route 71 (US 71) in the western part of the state, beginning at Pineville, just a few miles north of the Arkansas state line, and ending at I-435 and I-470 on the southeast side of Kansas City.

Kansas City, Missouri City in western Missouri

Kansas City is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city had an estimated population of 488,943 in 2017, making it the 37th most-populous city in the United States. It is the central city of the Kansas City metropolitan area, which straddles the Kansas–Missouri state line. Kansas City was founded in the 1830s as a Missouri River port at its confluence with the Kansas River coming in from the west. On June 1, 1850 the town of Kansas was incorporated; shortly after came the establishment of the Kansas Territory. Confusion between the two ensued and the name Kansas City was assigned to distinguish them soon after.

I-44 then continues east on the former US-166 to Mount Vernon. At the northeast part of Mount Vernon, I-44 heads northeast, while old US-166 continued east on Missouri Route 174. The section of road to Halltown is a completely new road, not bypassing any previous highways. At Halltown, the road follows the general pathway of US-66 all the way to downtown St. Louis.

Mount Vernon, Missouri City in Missouri, United States

Mount Vernon is a city in and the county seat of Lawrence County, Missouri, United States. The population was 4,575 as of the 2010 census, and was estimated to have a population of 4,553 as of 2016.

Route 174 is a short highway in southern Missouri. Its eastern terminus is at U.S. Route 60/Route 413 in Republic, its western terminus is at Route 39 in Mount Vernon. It is a two-lane highway its entire length and was originally part of U.S. Route 166 between Republic and Mount Vernon. After the construction of Interstate 44 which replaced US 166 from Mount Vernon to Joplin, the highway was redesignated as Route 174.

Halltown, Missouri Village in Missouri, United States

Halltown is a village in Lawrence County, Missouri, United States. The population was 173 at the 2010 census.

A nonstandard depiction of I-44/55/64/70 in downtown St. Louis Toisign1.png
A nonstandard depiction of I-44/55/64/70 in downtown St. Louis

I-44 passes through Springfield on the north side of the city and continues northeast. At Waynesville, I-44 enters a very hilly and curvy area until it passes Rolla. Although the road still passes through some hilly areas, none are as steep as that particular stretch.

At Pacific, I-44 widens to six lanes, later to eight lanes. The interstate passes through the suburbs of St. Louis and then into downtown St. Louis, passing the Gateway Arch before finally terminating near the Mississippi River, continuing from there as I-70 from the west end of the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge. Until a future second span of the new bridge is completed, there will be no way for I-44 traffic to utilize the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial span without first exiting to surface streets. I-44 traffic wishing to continue northeast and east must use the Poplar Street Bridge and I-55/I-64 to cross the Mississippi River.

At some places, an "Alternate I-44" is posted. One such ran between Rolla and Springfield via US-60 and US-63 and another ran via US-63 and US-50 between Rolla and Union. These were completed to provide traffic relief during road work. The latter of these alternate routes detoured traffic around three-hour delays due to road work near Cuba.


I-44 was originally signed in 1958 as an Interstate designation of the Turner Turnpike linking Oklahoma City and Tulsa and the Will Rogers Turnpike linking Tulsa and the Missouri state line southwest of Joplin, along with the US-66 bypass in Tulsa that linked that city with the two turnpikes and the continued four-lane highway from the Missouri border to an interchange with US-71 south of Joplin previously designated as US-166.

As US 66 was being bypassed by I-44, the Route 66 Association requested the designation Interstate 66 for I-44 from St. Louis to Oklahoma City. AASHTO rejected the request. [2]

At the time the I-44 designation was assigned in Oklahoma in the 1950s, Oklahoma signed the mile markers west to east starting at Turner Turnpike's Oklahoma City terminus at the I-44/I-35 interchange (near Edmond). I-44 was extended in 1982 southwest of Oklahoma City along the existing H. E. Bailey Turnpike, thus raising the mile markers by about 100. The addition of the new section was unusual in that it is a more south–north segment, and didn't directly connect to the previous western end at I-35. It now extends south of I-40, thus traveling beyond the usual Interstate numbering conventions.

What was once I-244 around St. Louis is currently part of that city's I-270/I-255 beltway.

During the historic 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak, an F5 tornado crossed I-44. This particular tornado had the fastest tornado wind speeds on record. The interstate was severely damaged where the tornado crossed it. In the end, this tornado was blamed for 36 deaths.

A section of I-44 was moved slightly north between Powellville, Missouri and Doolittle. The old road is highly visible for eastbound traffic near Powellville. As of April 2006, the rocks carved away for the new roadbed have virtually no lichen, reflecting that this construction occurred rather recently. [3]

The original eastern terminus of I-44 was at the intersection with I-55, I-64, I-70, and US-40, by the Poplar Street Bridge. However, when I-70 was rerouted to cross the Mississippi River at the newly constructed Stan Musial Veteran's Memorial Bridge, I-44 was extended about a mile and a half north to end at I-70 at the bridge.

Junction list

US 277.svgUS 281.svgUS 287.svg US 277 / US 281 / US 287 in Wichita Falls. I-44/US 287 travels concurrently through Wichita Falls. I-44/US 277/US 281 travels concurrently to west-southwest of Randlett, Oklahoma.
US 70.svgUS 277.svgUS 281.svg US 70 / US 277 / US 281 west of Randlett
US 277.svgUS 281.svg US 277 / US 281 in Walters
US 277.svgUS 281.svg US 277 / US 281 northwest of Geronimo. The highways travel concurrently to east of Medicine Park.
US 62.svg US 62 in Lawton. The highways travel concurrently to east of Medicine Park.
US 277.svg US 277 in Elgin
US 81.svgUS 277.svg US 81 / US 277 in Chickasha
US 62.svgUS 277.svg US 62 / US 277 in Chickasha
US 62.svg US 62 in Newcastle. I-44/US 62 travels concurrently to Oklahoma City.
I-240.svgUS 62.svg I240 / US 62 in Oklahoma City
I-40.svgUS 270.svg I40 / US 270 in Oklahoma City
I-235.svgUS 77.svg I235 / US 77 in Oklahoma City
I-35.svg I35 in Oklahoma City. The highways travel concurrently through northeast Oklahoma City.
US 377.svg US 377 in Stroud
I-244.svg I244 on the SapulpaOakhurst line
US 75.svg US 75 in Tulsa
US 64.svg US 64 in Tulsa
US 169.svg US 169 in Tulsa
I-244.svgUS 412.svg I244 / US 412 in Tulsa. I-44/US 412 travels concurrently to the Tulsa–Fair Oaks line
US 69.svg US 69 in Big Cabin
US 60.svgUS 69.svg US 60 / US 69 in Vinita
US 59.svgUS 60.svgUS 69.svg US 59 / US 60 / US 69 northeast of Afton
US 166.svgUS 400.svg US 166 / US 400 west-northwest of Loma Linda
I-49.svgUS 71.svg I49 / US 71 south-southwest of Duenweg. The highways travel concurrently to Fidelity.
US 160.svg US 160 in Springfield
US 65.svg US 65 in Springfield
US 63.svg US 63 in Rolla
US 50.svg US 50 south-southwest of Villa Ridge. The highways travel concurrently to the Sunset HillsKirkwood city line.
I-270.svg I270 in Sunset Hills
US 50.svgUS 61.svgUS 67.svg US 50 / US 61 / US 67 on the Sunset Hills–Kirkwood city line
I-55.svg I55 in St. Louis. The highways travel concurrently through St. Louis
I-55.svgI-64.svgUS 40.svg I55 / I64 / US 40 in St. Louis
I-70.svg I70 in St. Louis

Auxiliary routes

Business routes

All business loops of I-44 are located in Missouri. They serve Joplin, Sarcoxie, Mount Vernon, Springfield, Lebanon, WaynesvilleSt. Robert, Rolla, and Pacific. A business spur links I-44 with Fort Leonard Wood.

See also

Related Research Articles

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U.S. Route 412 highway in the United States

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U.S. Route 60 highway in the United States

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U.S. Route 160 highway in the United States

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U.S. Route 166 (US 166) is a 164-mile (264 km) west–east United States highway. This route and US-266 are the only two remaining spurs of historic U.S. Route 66, since US-666 was renumbered to US-491 in 2003.

U.S. Route 54 highway in the United States

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U.S. Route 277 highway in the United States

U.S. Route 277 is a north–south United States Highway. It is a spur of U.S. Route 77. It runs for 633 miles (1,019 km) across Oklahoma and Texas. US 277's northern terminus is in Newcastle, Oklahoma at Interstate 44, which is also the northern terminus of the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. Its southern terminus is in Carrizo Springs, Texas at U.S. Route 83. It passes through the states of Oklahoma and Texas.

Oklahoma State Highway 66 highway in Oklahoma

State Highway 66 is a 192.7-mile (310.1 km) state highway in the U.S. state of Oklahoma, beginning at U.S. Highway 81 in El Reno and ending at U.S. Highway 60 near White Oak. The highway was designated in 1985 as a replacement for the decommissioned US-66. Although most of the highway follows Historic Route 66, the highway follows US-66's final alignment, joining Interstate 44 through Tulsa and Oklahoma City, while older versions of the route follow various city streets through both cities.

Cyrus Stevens Avery (1871–1963) was known as the "Father of Route 66". He created the route while a member of the federal board appointed to create the Federal Highway System, then pushed for the establishment of the U.S. Highway 66 Association to pave and promote the highway.

H. E. Bailey Turnpike highway in Oklahoma

The H. E. Bailey Turnpike is an 86.4-mile (139.0 km) toll road in the southwestern region of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The route, opened on April 23, 1964, is a four-lane limited access highway that connects Oklahoma City to Lawton in its northern section and Lawton to Wichita Falls along its southern section, paralleling. The turnpike also includes an 8.2-mile (13.2 km) spur route that leads toward Norman, Oklahoma. The entire mainline runs roughly parallel to US Route 277. Since 1982, it has been signed as a part of Interstate 44, and as such uses its mileposts. Travel along the full length of the toll road costs $5.50 for a two-axle vehicle.

U.S. Route 66 is a former east–west United States Numbered Highway, running from Santa Monica, California to Chicago, Illinois. In Missouri, the highway ran from downtown St. Louis at the Mississippi River to the Kansas state line west of Joplin. The highway was originally Route 14 from St. Louis to Joplin and Route 1F from Joplin to Kansas. It underwent two major realignments and several lesser realignments in the cities of St. Louis, Springfield, and Joplin. Current highways covering several miles of the former highway include Route 100, Route 366, Route 266, Route 96, and Route 66. Interstate 44 (I-44) approximates much of US 66 between St. Louis and Springfield.

In the U.S. state of Texas, Interstate 44 (I-44) has a short but regionally important 14.77-mile (23.77 km) stretch, connecting Wichita Falls with Oklahoma. Its entire length is concurrent with U.S. Highway 277 and U.S. Highway 281. I-44 provides access to downtown Wichita Falls and Sheppard Air Force Base. Interstate 44 is known as Central Freeway in Wichita Falls and Red River Expressway in Burkburnett.

Nine business routes of Interstate 44 exist, all of them within the state of Missouri.

Interstate 44 runs diagonally through the U.S. state of Oklahoma, spanning from the Texas state line near Wichita Falls to the Missouri border near Joplin. It connects three of Oklahoma's largest cities, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Lawton. Most of I-44 in Oklahoma is a toll road. In southwestern Oklahoma, I-44 is the H.E. Bailey Turnpike and follows a north–south direction. From Oklahoma City to Tulsa, I-44 follows the Turner Turnpike. As I-44 leaves Tulsa it becomes the Will Rogers Turnpike to the Missouri border. In the Lawton, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa metro areas, I-44 is toll-free.

Interstate 44 (I-44) in the U.S. state of Missouri runs northeast from the Oklahoma state line near Joplin to I-70 in downtown St. Louis. It runs for about 293 miles (472 km) in the state.

There have been 22 special routes of U.S. Route 66.

Turnpikes of Oklahoma highway system

Oklahoma has an extensive turnpike system, maintained by the state government through the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. All of Oklahoma's turnpikes are controlled-access highways. The majority have at least four lanes, though the Chickasaw Turnpike is two lanes.


  1. "Route Log - Main Routes of the Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways - Table 1" . Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  2. McNichol, Dan. The Roads that Built America: The Incredible Story of the U.S. Interstate System. New York: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc, 2006.
  3. "Aerial photo" . Retrieved 4 October 2014.

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