I-44/H.E. Bailey Turnpike will begin its transition to PlatePay on the mainline between Lawton and Oklahoma City on Tuesday, the first of three H.E. Bailey turnpike sections converting to cashless tolling.
The timeline for the three I-44/H.E. Bailey Turnpike sections converting to PlatePay are:
•June 21: Chickasha, Newcastle and SH-4/H.E. Bailey spur near Blanchard toll plazas will become cashless.
◦The Newcastle and SH-4/H.E. Bailey spur toll plazas will be narrowed to one lane with reduced speeds through fall 2022 as crews remove existing toll plaza and equipment from the roadway. This cashless tolling work zone is separate from the ongoing pavement rehabilitation taking place on the turnpike.
•Early July: Ramps at US-277 in Elgin, US-62 in Chickasha, SH-4/H.E. Bailey Spur near Bridge Creek, and SH-76 on the H.E. Bailey Spur near Blanchard will become cashless.
•Late July: The Walters toll plaza and its ramps at SH-5 between Lawton and the Texas state line will become cashless.
PlatePay cameras will photograph a vehicle’s license plate, enabling the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority to send the vehicle’s registered owner an invoice. Drivers without a PIKEPASS will receive a bill in the mail. PIKEPASS customers will not have changes to their transaction process. PlatePay helps create a free flow of traffic and a safer, more efficient means of travel without sudden speed changes to maneuver lanes and stop at a toll booth.
The conversion of this section of the H.E. Bailey to PlatePay was moved up more than a month after a vehicle with an inattentive driver crashed into the Newcastle toll plaza the morning of June 4. Thankfully there were no fatalities, but it highlighted the need to convert to PlatePay for the safety of the traveling public and for OTA tolling employees.
“The recent late-night crash at the Newcastle toll plaza was just another reminder of why we need to get these turnpikes converted to all electronic tolling as quickly as possible,” Oklahoma Turnpike Authority Deputy Director Joe Echelle said. “Cashless conversion was already underway, but OTA is accelerating the completion on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike for safety reasons.”
The H.E. Bailey Turnpike will be the third Oklahoma toll road to transition to all-electronic tolling after the John Kilpatrick and Kickapoo turnpikes in Oklahoma City moved to PlatePay within the past year. OTA plans to transition the state’s remaining turnpikes to cashless tolling within the next two years.
The Legislature authorized construction of the H.E. Bailey Turnpike in 1953 with the goal of connecting Oklahoma City, Lawton and Wichita Falls, Texas. The turnpike opened in two phases during 1964 and later received the I-44 designation in 1982. The H.E. Bailey Turnpike Spur, connecting I-44 with Bridge Creek, Newcastle, Blanchard and Goldsby, was completed in 2001. It received the SH-4 designation in 2021.
PIKEPASS remains the most cost-effective way to travel Oklahoma turnpikes, providing customers the lowest toll rate. To open a PIKEPASS account, visit PIKEPASS.com or call 1-800-PIKEPASS. Learn more about PlatePay at PlatePay.com.