New 80 mph speed limit on H.E. Bailey turnpike

80 mph_HE Bailey


Motorists can now legally drive 80 mph on part of the I-44/H.E. Bailey Turnpike in Oklahoma rather than hedging the 75 mph speed limit.

The limit was increased to 80 on Thursday on a 59-year mile portion of the turnpike between Chickasha and Lawton in Comanche, Caddo and Grady counties. Signs were installed with the newly posted speed limit after the Turnpike Authority approved the increase in April a year ago.

The I-44/H.E. Bailey Turnpike is 86.4 miles long extending between Oklahoma City to US-70 near Wichita Falls and sees an average daily traffic count of 23,164 vehicles per day. The section of the I-44/H.E. Bailey between Newcastle and Chickasha was signed for 80 mph in summer 2020. The section of the I-44/H.E. Bailey between Lawton and the Texas state line will remain posted at 75 mph at this time.

“We want to remind motorists to always drive for conditions as the posted, black and white speed limit signage designates the top speed safe to travel during good conditions. If inclement weather strikes, motorists are cautioned to slow down and drive at the speed safest for conditions at the time,” OTA Deputy Director T.J. Dill said.

OTA invested $34 million in H.E. Bailey Turnpike improvements in the past two years with capital improvement projects.

While motorists may drive up to 80 mph in this section now, there are two work zones with reduced speed limits expected to start this summer between Fletcher and Newcastle:

  • A nearly $9 million shoulder and guardrail reconstruction project between just northwest of SH-92 to just northwest of the H.E. Bailey Spur/SH-4 southeast of Newcastle is expected to start by late summer 2024.
  • A $9.2 million shoulder and guardrail reconstruction project between County Rd. 2700 to Pikes Peak Rd. (mm 62-78) south of Chickasha is expected to begin in mid-summer 2024.

Future projects include pavement reconstruction, shoulder and guardrail reconstruction and more totaling an estimated $81 million in 2024-2028 of OTA’s capital projects plan.