OK Turnpike Authority shutting down McDonald's over I-44 for remodel, likely open in 2013

VINITA, Okla. - Oklahoma's biggest McDonald's--and at one time the largest in the world--will be shutting its doors, but just temporarily.

The Vinita Service Plaza over Interstate-44 is now 56 years old. Officials with the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority say it's time for a makeover.

OTA spokesperson Jack Damrill said the building is in "disrepair."

Driving under the elevated fast food chain, it's easy to see the tattered sign, rusting metal and peeling paint.

Tuesday morning, Gail Faires and her husband Dallas were snapping pictures for their scrapbook. The building is listed as a historic Oklahoma structure.

The Faires' are on their way to Arizona and stopping at historical sites on their way. Their first stop is here, a place they came 24 years ago.

"I was a lot younger when I was last here," Dallas Faires said.

Gail agreed, but did notice its age."It still looks the same. It's getting a little, little dilapidated," she said.

OTA officials tell us they're ripping out everything here except the familiar bridge and arch. The agency is spending $14.6 million of toll money to tear down the gas stations on both sides and replace those with Kum & Go pumps.

OTA will also add more lighting and spaces in the parking lots and move the Will Rogers statue inside.

Officials plan to shut down everything in mid-June and expect it will take about a year for the remodel.

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