Posted by: redforkhippie | March 27, 2008

Route 66 in Oklahoma: Mile 30


The west end of Claremore has gotten a bit overrun with strip malls in recent years. Traffic was heavy as we headed into Claremore, as many residents were heading home from their jobs in Tulsa. Both 66 and I-44 connect Claremore to Tulsa, but 44 is a toll road, making 66 an attractive (and less expensive) option for commuters.

I-44 shadows 66 from Quapaw to Oklahoma City. It’s a turnpike for most of that distance. At OKC, I-44 splits off to the southwest, and interstate travelers have to pick up I-40 to continue west toward Amarillo. I-40 — a freeway — parallels 66 across the western part of Oklahoma.

When the interstates opened, drawing travelers away from Route 66, a lot of small towns and mom-and-pop businesses along the road suffered greatly as tourism revenues dwindled. Interestingly, the towns in the eastern part of the state seem to have fared better than those farther west. I suspect that’s not a coincidence.



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