Interstate 240 Oklahoma

Routing

Interstate 240 forms a southerly bypass of central Oklahoma City for I-40 west to El Reno and east to Shawnee. The freeway also provides connectivity with Interstate 44 leading southwest to Lawton and I-35 south to Dallas. I-240 also serves commuters to Tinker Air Force Base, Will Rogers World Airport (OKC) and the south suburbs including Moore.

History

A section of Northeast Expressway, between Eastern and Lincoln Boulevards, was the first four-lane roadway to open in Oklahoma. That roadway, opened in October 1950, was later designated as part of Interstate 440.2 I-440 formed the northern third of the Oklahoma City belt line through to Interstate 35 near Lake Aluma. I-240 was designated along the southern loop, from I-40 west of Downtown Oklahoma City south and east back to I-40 beyond Tinker Air Force Base.

Approved by AASHTO on June 17, 1975, I-440 was renumbered as Interstate 240, giving the entire loop a single designation. Exit numbers assigned to the freeway initially used the mileage for I-40.

I-40 east approaching the exchange with then-Interstate 240 in 1978. Photo taken by Bill Manning.

Further changes for Interstate 240 were made, with Interstate 44 overtaking both the original I-440 section, and the north-south leg of I-240 as part of its extension from the Turner Turnpike near Edmond south to Lawton and Wichita Falls, Texas. AASHTO approved the designation changes on June 28, 1982.

I-44 leading south from I-240 to the H.E. Bailey Turnpike north end at Newcastle was designated as U.S. 62 from 1965 to 1982. I-240 from U.S. 62 to U.S. 66 opened on March 23, 1976. From 1978 to 1980, U.S. 66 was detoured along Portland Avenue north to NW and NE 63rd Streets east and Kelley Avenue south while Interstate 240 was constructed.3

Western Terminus - Interstate 44 - Will Rogers Airport, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Perspective from Interstate 240-U.S. 62 & Oklahoma 3 west
Westbound Interstate 240-U.S. 62 & Oklahoma 3 meet South May Avenue (Exit 1B) at a diamond interchange, one mile ahead of Interstate 44. Photo taken 05/06/12.
Advancing west with four lanes, traffic along Interstate 240 generally defaults onto I-44 leading north to both SH 152 (Airport Road) and the west side of Oklahoma City. Back to back lane drops follow for the continuation of U.S. 62 southwest along I-44 toward Newcastle and SW 59th Street. Photo taken 05/06/12.
An end shield for Interstate 240 stands within the trumpet interchange (Exit 1A) joining the two freeways. Photo taken 05/06/12.
Interstate 240 west curves north to merge onto the left-hand side of I-44 eastbound. Oklahoma 3 overlaps with I-44 north to the Northwest Expressway. Westbound I-44 travels 77 miles southwest to Lawton, mostly along the tolled H.E. Bailey Turnpike. Photo taken 05/06/12.
Exit 116A separates from I-240 just ahead of I-44 east for SW 59th Street. SW 54th Street extends west from 59th Street as an alternate to SH 152 (Airport Road) west to Will Rogers World Airport (OKC). Photo taken 10/20/03.
Perspective from Interstate 44 & U.S. 62 east
A ground level sign posted within the folded diamond interchange (Exit 114) at SW 74th Street provides short notice for Exit 115 to Interstate 240, U.S. 62 and Oklahoma 3 east. I-240 forms a commercial corridor east to Interstate 35, and a through route for motorists headed 182 miles east to Fort Smith, Arkansas via I-40. Photo taken 05/06/12.
An auxiliary lane formed from SW 74th Street parts ways with I-44 east at Exit 115. U.S. 62 accompanies Interstate 240 east to I-35 north through Oklahoma City. Photo taken 05/06/12.
Historic Perspective from 44 east
Replaced button copy guide signs at the split of U.S. 62 and Interstate 44 east by Will Rogers World Airport (OKC). Photo taken by Eric Stuve (09/11/02).
Eastern Terminus - Interstate 40 & U.S. 270 - east of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Perspective from Interstate 240 & Oklahoma 3 east
Interstates 40 and 240 converge 13 miles east of Downtown Oklahoma City in a rural area. The final confirming marker stands east of Anderson Road. Photo taken 05/06/12.
Traffic along I-240 & SH 3 east narrows into a single lane ramp onto Interstate 40 & U.S. 270 east ahead of Shawnee. There are no signs indicating the end point. Photo taken 05/06/12.
Historic Perspective from Interstate 40-U.S. 270 & Oklahoma 3 west
One mile ahead of the split with I-240 on Interstate 40-U.S. 270 & Oklahoma 3 west at Choctaw Road. Clearview guide signs replaced thee overheads by 2011. Photo taken 10/20/03.
Interstate 240 provides part of a direct route to I-35 south to Dallas and I-44 southwest to Lawton. Omitted on 2011 sign replacements is the reference to SH 3, which overlaps with the entirety of I-240 west. Photo taken 10/20/03.
I-40 & U.S. 270 west enters the wye interchange (Exit 165) with Interstate 240 & SH 3 west to south Oklahoma City and Will Rogers World Airport (OKC). Photo taken 10/20/03.

Sources:

  1. Celebrate the Interstate: America's Interstate Highway System Turns 50! by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
  2. "Interstate Highway System Celebrates Silver Anniversary." The Daily Oklahoman, November 15, 1981.
  3. Darrell Brunson, email: "The H.E. Bailey Turnpike & I-44 at OKC," August 13, 2017.

Page Updated August 17, 2017.



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Mileage

State Oklahoma
Mileage 16.22
Cities Oklahoma City
Junctions I-44, I-35, I-40
Source: December 31, 2016 Interstate Route Log and Finders List