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Oklahoma Turnpike Authority approves proposal to raise maximum speed limits in rural areas

Posted at 12:42 PM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 13:42:43-04

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority approves a proposal to raise the maximum speed limits of five turnpikes in rural areas.

Rural segments of several Oklahoma turnpikes now have the green light for a higher maximum speed limit. While this won’t impact urban areas on these routes, all drivers should still keep a close eye on their speedometers as changes are made over the next several months.
Oklahoma Turnpike Authority

The OTA and Oklahoma Department of Transportation studied certain locations to be potential candidates of increased speed limits in rural areas. They considered roadway geometry, sight distance, collision history, traffic flows, existing speed patterns to determine eligible locations and several more safety factors. OTA and ODOT discussed the potential increase with law enforcement partners as well.

The posted speeds will be changed from 75 mph to 80 mph on five turnpikes, totaling 104 miles.

SEE MORE: MAP showing turnpikes that will increase maximum speed limits in rural areas

  • 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 said the process of installing the new 80 mph signs could take several months. While the signs are being installed, officials said the Oklahoma Highway Patrol will be enforcing the current posted speed limit.

With any change, it is imperative for drivers to do their part for safety by following the posted speed limits and being alert to the surrounding traffic conditions. We will be closely monitoring these corridors and if the new speed limits are creating an unsafe situation, we will consider adjustments to ensure the safety of the traveling public.
Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation Tim Gatz

Current speed limits on rural turnpikes like the main segment of the H.E. Bailey Turnpike, Cimarron Turnpike, Chickasaw Turnpike and the Will Rogers Turnpike will not be changed at this time, officials said.

In it's Aug. 3 meeting, the Oklahoma Transportation Commission will consider recommendations for increasing the maximum speed limit on rural interstates maintained by ODOT.

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