ChuckWagon Charlie and Highway 99

By on 05/27/2019

ChuckWagon Charlie’s

MEMO from August 15, 2010

Highway 99”

Toward the end of July I was in Bartlesville on business and happened to be eating lunch at Outlaws restaurant where I couldn’t help but overhear a couple of truck drivers cussing and discussing the roads they haul on. Then the topic turned to Highway 99 and the difference in the road maintenance between Oklahoma and Kansas.

I know that Chautauqua County’s State Highway crew does a fantastic job during the winter and with mowing during the summer. But I also do a lot of traveling on OK-99 and enjoy the scenic drive south. So, when I got home I clicked onto the internet and did some research on Highway 99.

I didn’t know that 99 was a Triple State Highway: It starts north around Burchard, Nebraska and heads south for approximately 15 miles (NE-99) to the Kansas state line where it turns into K-99 and continues south for 233 miles where it then enters Oklahoma and becomes OK-99 (SH-99) and continues south for 240 miles (the 4th longest highway in Oklahoma) to the Texas border where it turns into US-377. Making the total distance of Highway 99 – 488 miles in length.

In 1967, KSA 68-1022 designated K-99 from US-400/K-96 (the Severy area) to the Oklahoma state line as a part of the Tallgrass Prairie Parkway Trail, placing the Southern Flint Hills and Chautauqua Hills on Kansas’ historical and tourism places to visit and see.

Lately Highway 99 and it’s side roads have become an eyesore with liter (anything from broken glass, plastic bags, beer cartons and cans, to tied-up trash bags for someone else to dispose of) scattered along the right-of-ways.

People are usually judged by how well they care for their environment. With K-99 as our closest highway and major transportation artery, and with more and more traffic continuing to filter in and out of Elgin, I challenge each of us to police our own littering practices and maybe go one step further and pick up after those who just don’t seem to care.

Jim Chase

(aka ChuckWagon Charlie)

PS: A bit of trivia you may not have been aware of – during the early development of Highway 99, Elgin was offered the chance to have the Okalahoma’s Highway 99 enter Kansas at Elgin allowing the Kansas roadway to move north towards Sedan. However, the non-futuristic thinking Elginites refused the proposal – and the roadway ended up east of Elgin and passing through the city of Chautauqua. And so once again “OPPORTUNITY” knocked at Elgin’s door – only to have Elgin slam it in her face.

For more Prairie Parkway information go online to “Tallgrass Prairie Parkway Trail – Kansas”.