Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

According to Ehuacom, Oklahoma City is the capital of the state of Oklahoma in the United States. The city has 688,000 inhabitants and an urban area with a total of 1,442,000 inhabitants (2021).


According to mcat-test-centers, Oklahoma City is the largest city in Oklahoma and has a population of 688,000. The total agglomeration still includes a few suburbs and has 1.3 million inhabitants. Oklahoma City is spacious and although the city is located in the prairies, there are quite a few trees, and parts of the city also consist of low hills, which elevates it to a pleasant living environment. There are 8 true suburbs, several of which are enclaves in Oklahoma City. Because there are no natural boundaries, such as mountains, large rivers or coastlines, the city is developed in all directions, and therefore quite large in area. The population density is quite low, but certainly not different from other agglomerations in the United States. Large parts of the city of Oklahoma City are not yet developed, the area of the municipality is much larger than the actually built-up area. Oklahoma City is a fairly anonymous city in the United States, and is of no interest to tourism. In order to improve the dull image, the center has been renovated from the end of the 1990s.

Oklahoma City was established during the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889, and had more than 10,000 residents within 10 hours. The city is of little historical significance and has only been Oklahoma’s capital since 1907. The city grew into a major stop on Route 66, which ran from Chicago to Los Angeles in the early 20th century. The city’s growth accelerated from the 1940s, especially with Tinker Air Force Base, which is one of the major logistics centers of the United States Air Force. The population exceeded 100,000 for the first time between 1920 and 1930, growing to about 350,000 in the mid-1960s. Unlike the large cities of its large southern neighbor Texas Oklahoma City could not benefit from the rapid growth, in the 1970s and 1980s growth was even below the American average. Only since 2000 the city has more than half a million inhabitants. The suburban area has gradually expanded. Major suburbs are Midwest City and Moore, suburbs Edmond and especially Norman are older, and were originally fairly important centers in their own right, only later becoming attached to Oklahoma City. On the eastern side of Oklahoma is a vast exurban area with low building density.

Road network

The highway network of Cleveland, Canadian and Oklahoma County.

Oklahoma City is served by three main Interstate Highways routes, namely Interstate 35 as the north-south axis, Interstate 40 as the east-west axis, and Interstate 44 which forms a diagonal. There are also two auxiliary routes, Interstate 235 in the center and Interstate 240 along the south side of the city. Two turnpikes begin or end in Oklahoma City, the old Turner Turnpike, and the HE Bailey Turnpike, both part of I-44. The John Kilpatrick Turnpike forms the northwestern bypass of the town. In addition, there are two more highways, the Broadway Extension from Oklahoma City to Edmond, which are part of the US 77, and State Route 74, also known as the Hefner Parkway.

Most Oklahoma City freeways have 2×3 to 2×5 lanes, but there are also quieter freeways with 2×2 lanes. Most of the nodes are pretty standard, and not as impressive as the many stacks in Dallas or Houston. Oklahoma City’s highway network is considerably less massive than in those cities, although it provides a good network coverage.

List of freeways

name length first opening last opening max AADT 2016
Interstate 35 55 km 1953 1961 146,000
Tinker Diagonal 55 km 1960 1969 135,000
Will Rogers Freeway 45 km 1953 1977 165,000
Centennial Expressway 9 km 1968 1989 94,000
South Bypass 26 km 1964 1974 121,000
Broadway Extension 8 km 1962 1962 109,000
Hefner Parkway 11 km 1992 1992 121,000
John Kilpatrick Turnpike 52 km 1991 2020 71,000
Kickapoo Turnpike 34 km 2020 2021


The development of the highway network began in the early 1950s, when Oklahoma City was a city of about 250,000 inhabitants. In 1952, the Northwest Expressway opened, which was not a true highway, but was the first semi-grade urban highway. In 1953, the first freeway was opened, the Turner Turnpike and its extension to U.S. Route 66 northwest of downtown. In 1954, the first section of I-35 opened between Norman and the southern suburb of Moore. The I-35 was completed fairly quickly after that, in 1961 the I-35 was passing through the Oklahoma City region. In 1960, the first section of I-40, connecting Oklahoma City to Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City, opened. In 1966, the Crosstown Expressway (I-40) opened through downtown, and I-40 was completed through Oklahoma City in 1969.

Then, in the 1970s, attention turned to completing I-44 through Oklahoma City. This had less priority in the 1960s, because the route could already be traveled more or less via the I-35 and I-40, and there was no important missing link. I-44 primarily serves the northern and western neighborhoods of Oklahoma City, and is less important for through traffic. The section through Oklahoma City was completed between 1973 and 1977.

In the 1970s there were plans for a much larger highway network than has been built up to now. For example, a complete ring road was provided. Some of this is in the 90s as the John Kilpatrick Turnpike but a southward extension to Mustang was planned in the 1970s, and then an eastward extension through Moore, still south of I-240. A parallel highway to I-35 was planned on the east side of Oklahoma City, about five to 10 kilometers east of the existing highway. These plans ultimately fell through. Probably not because of local opposition (this area was then, and still is largely undeveloped today), but probably because Texas’s boom at the time did not extend to the state of Oklahoma. Oklahoma City grew slowly in the 1970s and 1980s, and construction of I-235 through downtown Oklahoma was slow as well. The highway was eventually built in three phases, each 10 years apart in the 60s, 70s and 80s. toll road that also opens up the city itself. After all, the older toll roads only ran from the edge of the conurbation to other cities.

In 2012, I-40 was moved south along Downtown. The old 2×3 lane viaduct has been demolished and replaced by a new 2×5 lane sunken site a few blocks south. In 2020 the southwestern portion of the John Kilpatrick Turnpike opened and in 2020-2021 the Kickapoo Turnpike opened east of the city.


Oklahoma City has few traffic problems, being one of the least congested major cities in North America. There are plans to extend the Kilpatrick Turnpike in the southwest of the conurbation to OK-152.

Traffic intensities

The traffic volumes in Oklahoma City are not very high, the busiest points usually have just over 100,000 vehicles per day, with the exception of I-44 west of Downtown Oklahoma City, which has the busiest road section in Oklahoma with 165,000 vehicles per day. On many other highways, volumes are only briefly above 100,000 vehicles per day. I-35 peaks at 146,000 vehicles per day near Downtown and I-40 peaks at 135,000 vehicles just west of downtown. I-235 processes up to 94,000 vehicles per day and I-240 processes up to 121,000 vehicles per day. There are no known traffic volumes from the toll roads around Oklahoma City.


Oklahoma City has virtually no congestion. The road network is efficient and there are hardly any delays, even during peak hours. It should take no more than 30 minutes to reach the center from the furthest neighborhoods and suburbs. The road network forms a grid, with the largest roads one mile apart. As a result, the traffic flows are handled efficiently. Public transport consists of bus lines.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma