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McDonald's (Will Rogers Turnpike)

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Title: McDonald's (Will Rogers Turnpike)  
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Subject: Vinita, Oklahoma, Will Rogers, The Glass House, List of countries with McDonald's restaurants, List of structures built on top of freeways
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

McDonald's (Will Rogers Turnpike)

Will Rogers Turnpike
;">Route information
Existed: June 28, 1957 – present
Template:Jct/extra I-44 entire length
;">Major junctions
West end: Template:Jct/extra US-412 in Tulsa
  Template:Jct/extra US-69 in Big Cabin
Template:Jct/extra US-59 / US-60 east of Afton
East end: Template:Jct/extra I-44 Missouri-Oklahoma State Line
;">Highway system
Oklahoma State Highways
Oklahoma Turnpike System

The Will Rogers Turnpike is a toll road in northeast Oklahoma that runs from Tulsa, Oklahoma to the Missouri state line. It is 88 miles (142 km) long and costs $4 to drive one way.[1] The Will Rogers Turnpike opened to traffic on June 28, 1957 and was designated as I-44 in 1958 along with the Turner Turnpike connecting Tulsa and Oklahoma City.[2][3]


Because the Will Rogers Turnpike was built prior to authorization of the Interstate Highway System (in 1956), it uses a different set of design standards than are now current. As the road has been rebuilt, this is being brought in line with current design practice.

The original route of the Turnpike continued straight into and through Tulsa, becoming Skelly Drive in town (where tolls are not charged). The westernmost portion of the Will Rogers Turnpike was modified so that the Creek and Will Rogers Turnpikes form one road, with motorists required to exit at an interchange to stay on I-44. The original interchange was changed due to numerous difficulties for semis trying to merge into the single lane going to I-44 and Route 66. The new interchange was incorporated into an upgrade of US 412, with provisions for future expansion of the turnpike over a decade later, creating the Creek Turnpike bypass around the Metropolitan area, connecting back to the Turner Turnpike. The remaining pavement of the old alignment is now used as a training ground for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, among others.


Law enforcement along the Will Rogers Turnpike is provided by Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troop XA, a special troop assigned to the turnpike.[4]

Vinita service plaza

The Will Rogers Turnpike's most prominent service plaza lies between the toll plaza and the Vinita exit. The main feature of this toll plaza is a 29,135-square-foot (2,706.7 m2) McDonald's restaurant spanning the turnpike. Customers can view the traffic passing beneath the restaurant from the dining area through windows overlooking the highway. At the front of the west anchor stands a statue of Will Rogers. A separate Phillips 66 gas station is also available for both directions of travel at the plaza.

The architecture of the McDonald's building is dominated by golden arches on both sides of the building that appear from a distance to be not only the corporate symbol of the chain, but the primary supports for a steel arch bridge structure over the turnpike. Visitors to the eatery exit from either side of the interstate, and then enter through one of the sides and then proceed to the restaurant level via stairs or an elevator.

The building hosting the McDonald's restaurant was originally built when the turnpike opened in 1957 as one of the Glass House restaurants, owned by the now-defunct Interstate Hosts company. Because of this heritage, it is also known as the "Glass House McDonald's" and the "McDonald's Glass House Restaurant". Later, the building also operated as a Howard Johnson's restaurant.[5]

The McDonalds is purported to be the "world's largest." However, the biggest temporary McDonald's in the world was opened during 2012 Summer Olympics in London, which had 3,000 square metres (32,000 sq ft).[6][7][8][9][10][11]

The building and service plaza closed on June 4, 2013, for a complete renovation. The project is expected to take a year, but will reopen with a McDonald's, Subway, and a rebuilt gas station.[12][13]

Exit list

Template:Jcttop/core Template:Jctint/core Template:OKint Template:OKint Template:OKint Template:OKint Template:OKint Template:OKint Template:OKint Template:Jctint/core Template:Jctint/core Template:OKint Template:OKint Template:OKint Template:Jctint/core

See also


External links


  • Oklahoma Turnpike Authority
  • Brief information page about the service plaza
  • History from Oklahoma Modern
  • Postcards from the original "Glass House"
  • Another postcard of the original "Glass House"
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