Interstate 240 Oklahoma

Interstate 240 Oklahoma
History
East End
West End

Overview

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.

The agenda for the August 2, 2021 Oklahoma Transportation Commission Meeting included a spate of state highway system numbering revisions. Among these, Interstate 240 will be designated in place of SH 152 for 4.8 miles between I-44 and the John Kilpatrick Turnpike in Oklahoma City. I-240 will also be added along 30.97 miles of the John Kilpatrick Turnpike to Northwest Oklahoma City and I-35/44 near Arcadia Lake, and along the Kickapoo Turnpike for 18.71 miles between I-40 near Newalla in eastern Oklahoma City and I-44 (Turner Turnpike) at Luther.

A 1.4 mile long overlap with I-44 will link the SH 152 segment and the current west end of I-240. Overlaps will also include 13.7 miles along the I-44 (Turner Turnpike) and 5.81 miles along I-40 to link the various segments, forming a 93 mile long loop.

This item is necessitated to give the traveling public a more definitive loop to follow around the Greater Oklahoma City Area and to better identify the un-numbered Turnpikes.

If approved by the State Transportation Commission, the changes will then require approval from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).

Crossroads Renewal 240

Started in June 2016, the Crossroads Renewal 240 interchange project upgrades the cloverleaf joining I-240 and I-35 into a multi-level exchange. The four phase project runs through 2023 2026 2028. Completed in May 2017, Phase 1 work reconstructed the Southwest Expressway east from Santa Fe Avenue (Exit 3B) to past Shields Boulevard. The $12 million phase included interim ramp changes at Shields Boulevard.

I-35/240 Crossroads Renewal OKC

Phase 1A rebuilt the frontage road along the southwest quadrant of the exchange joining I-35 and I-240. It also permanently closed the entrance ramp to I-240 east from Shields Boulevard and the southbound off-ramp from I-35 to SE 82nd Street. Started in June 2017, the $10.6 million project was completed in Summer 2018. Phase 1B, planned for fiscal year 2021, will redesign the remaining frontage roads.

Phase 2 will construct the flyovers from I-35 north to I-240 west and from I-35 south to I-240 east. It will also replace the eastbound span for Interstate 240 over I-35. Phase 3 will complete work along Interstate 240 east between Shields Boulevard and Eastern Avenue, while Phase 4 upgrades the westbound direction along the same stretch. Phase 4 also includes work on a new bridge for I-240 over I-35. Phases 2, 3 and 4 are scheduled for fiscal year 2023, 2025 and 2027 respectively.

Route Information

  • East End – Oklahoma City, OK

  • West End – Oklahoma City, OK

  • Mileage – 16.22

  • Cities – Oklahoma City

  • JunctionsI-44 I-35 I-40

Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List

Oklahoma City, OK - 1965
Oklahoma City – 1965 Official Oklahoma Highway Map

The initial section of the Interstate 240 completed was the Southwest Expressway extending west from I-35 to the freeway along U.S. 62 south to Newcastle. This segment was posted as U.S. 62.

Oklahoma City, OK - 1976
Oklahoma City – 1976 Official Oklahoma Highway Map

Interstate 240 extended north over former I-440 along both the West Bypass and east along side U.S. 66 (Northeast Expressway) to form a three-quarter beltway around Oklahoma City.

History

A section of Northeast Expressway, between Eastern and Lincoln Boulevards, was the first four-lane highway to open in Oklahoma. Opened in October 1950, that roadway was later designated as part of Interstate 440.2 I-440 formed the northern third of the Oklahoma City belt line 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.

Oklahoma City, OK - 1971

I-240 and I-440 encircling Oklahoma City – 1971 Official Oklahoma Highway Map. I-240 west from I-35 is the Southwest Expressway, while the freeway east to I-40 is the Southeast Expressway

Approved by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (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 at I-240 in Oklahoma City - 1978

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

Further changes for I-240 were made, with Interstate 44 overtaking both the original I-440 section, and the western leg of I-240 as part of its extension from the Turner Turnpike near Edmond south to Lawton and Wichita Falls, Texas. The elimination of I-240 over the newly designated I-44 was approved by FHWA and by AASHTO on June 28, 1982.

AASHTO and FHWA has approved the extension of Interstate Route 44 from its old terminus at I-35 in N.E. Oklahoma City southwesterly to Wichita Falls, Texas. Within the Oklahoma City area, the extension of I-44 over I-240 creates a myriad of problems related to the signing of duplicate Interstate Routes within an urbanized area.

The problem of duplicate signing and its related confusion to the motoring public warrants the elimination of overlapping routes. Therefore, it is recommended that the designation of I-240 be removed from that portion of I-44 beginning at the US 62 – I-240 interchange and extending north and east to its junction with I-35.

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

East End I-40 US 270 Oklahoma 3 – east of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

I-240 SH 3 East at I-40 US 270

I-240/SH 3 east at I-40/US 270 - Oklahoma City, OK

I-40 and I-240 converge 13 miles east of Downtown Oklahoma City in a rural area. The final confirming marker stands east of Anderson Road. 05/06/12

I-240/SH 3 east at I-40/US 270 - Oklahoma City, OK

Traffic along I-240/SH 3 east narrows into a single lane ramp onto I-40/U.S. 270 east ahead of Shawnee. There are no signs indicating the end point. 05/06/12

I-40 US 270 SH 3 West at I-240

I-40/US 270/SH 3 west at I-240 - Oklahoma City, OK

A $75 million widening project underway from January 2018 to Summer 2020 expanded I-40/U.S. 270-SH 3 to six overall lanes west from Peebly Road to the split with I-240. Additionally the parclo B2 (Exit 166) with Choctaw Road was reconstructed into a diamond interchange.4 Photo by Eric Stuve (03/23/14).

I-40/US 270/SH 3 west at I-240 - Oklahoma City, OK

Interstate 240 provides part of a direct route to I-35 south to Dallas and I-44 southwest to Lawton. Photo by Eric Stuve (03/23/14).

I-40/US 270/SH 3 west at I-240 - Oklahoma City, OK

I-40/U.S. 270 west enter the wye interchange (Exit 165) with I-240/SH 3 west to south Oklahoma City and Will Rogers World Airport (OKC). Photo by Eric Stuve (03/23/14).

I-240 East End Throwback

I-40/US 270/SH 3 west at I-240 - 2003

Button copy signs formerly posted on I-40 west at Choctaw Road (Exit 166). Clearview font based signs were installed along this stretch of Interstate 40 by 2011. 10/20/03

I-40/US 270/SH 3 west at I-240 - 2003

2011 sign replacements moved the reference to SH 3, which overlaps with the entirety of I-240 west, to a point east of Choctaw Road. This sign was also replaced. 10/20/03

I-40/US 270/SH 3 west at I-240 - 2003

Interstate 240 is the last branch route of I-40 for the remaining 1,227 miles west to Barstow, California. 10/20/03

West End I-44 US 62 Oklahoma 3 – Will Rogers Airport, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

I-240 US 62 SH 3 West at I-44

I-240/US 62/SH 3 west at I-44 - Oklahoma City, OK

Westbound I-240/U.S. 62-SH 3 meet S May Avenue (Exit 1B) at a diamond interchange, one mile ahead of Interstate 44. 05/06/12

I-240/US 62/SH 3 west at I-44 - Oklahoma City, OK

Advancing west with four lanes, traffic along I-240 generally defaults onto I-44 leading north to both SH 152 (Airport Road) and the west side of Oklahoma City. Succeeding lane drops follow for the continuation of U.S. 62 southwest along I-44 toward Newcastle and SW 59th Street. 05/06/12

I-240/US 62/SH 3 west at I-44 - Oklahoma City, OK

An end shield for Interstate 240 stands within the trumpet interchange (Exit 1A) joining the two freeways. 05/06/12

I-240/US 62/SH 3 west at I-44 - Oklahoma City, OK

Interstate 240 west curves north to merge onto the inside lanes of I-44 eastbound. SH 3 overlaps with I-44 to the Northwest Expressway. Westbound I-44 travels 77 miles southwest to Lawton, mostly along the tolled H.E. Bailey Turnpike. 05/06/12

I-240/US 62/SH 3 west at I-44 - Oklahoma City, OK

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) to Will Rogers World Airport (OKC). Photo by Eric Stuve (07/25/16).

I-44 US 62 East at I-240 SH 3

I-44/US 62 east at I-240/SH 3 - Oklahoma City, OK

A ground level sign posted within the folded diamond interchange (Exit 114) at SW 74th Street provides short notice for Exit 115 to I-240, U.S. 62 and SH 3 east. I-240 forms a commercial corridor east to I-35, and a through route for Fort Smith, Arkansas via I-40, located 182 miles to the east. 05/06/12

I-44/US 62 east at I-240/SH 3 - Oklahoma City, OK

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. 05/06/12

I-44/US 62 east at I-240/SH 3 - 2002

Replaced button copy guide signs at the split of U.S. 62 and Interstate 44 east by Will Rogers World Airport (OKC). Photo by Eric Stuve (09/11/02).

I-44 West SH 3 East at I-240 US 62

I-44/US 62/SH 3 west at I-240 - Oklahoma City, OK

I-44 and SH 3 split just south of SH 152 and SW 59th Street at the unnumbered trumpet interchange with I-240/U.S. 62 east. Photo by Eric Stuve (07/22/16).

I-44/US 62/SH 3 west at I-240 - Oklahoma City, OK

I-44 combines with U.S. 62 along the east side of Will Rogers World Airport southward toward Newcastle. I-240 and SH 3 run east across the south side of OKC between Valley Brook and Moore. Photo by Eric Stuve (07/22/16).

Sources:

  1. Celebrate the Interstate: America’s Interstate Highway System Turns 50! http://www.okladot.state.ok.us/okinterstate50/ Oklahoma Department of Transportation, web site.
  2. “Interstate Highway System Celebrates Silver Anniversary.” The Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), November 15, 1981.
  3. Darrell Brunson, email: “The H.E. Bailey Turnpike & I-44 at OKC,” August 13, 2017.

Page updated August 1, 2021.