Route Description from 1925 State Highway Map:
Beginning at a point west of Burbank on State Highway No. 11 in Osage County, via Pawnee, Cushing, Agra, Chandler, Meeker, Shawnee, Tecumseh, Asher, Stratford, to Sulphur.
The original Oklahoma Route 18 was one of the longer third level highways, traversing most of the state. It is also one of the rare routes where a large portion of its original service path has retained the original highway designation to this day. The following is an approximation of original Route 18 using modern highways.
The northern terminus for a modern version of original Route 18 would be east of Burbank at a junction with US 60, which took over the path of Route 11 in this area. From this point, a modern Route 18 would follow exactly where one would expect, south along State Highway 18. Route 18, as it has along various alignments for over 80 years, travels south through Fairfax, Ralston, and on toward Pawnee. After a brief concurrence with US 64, Route 18 splits off alone again bound for original Route 1 and points further south.
Traveling west from Cushing, Route 18 (SH 18) briefly shares the road with modern SH 33, then heads south on its own once again toward Chandler. A short concurrence with US 66 (SH 66) ensues before Route 18 breaks south alone again.
After junctioning US 62 in Meeker, Route 18 continues toward Shawnee, where modern SH 18 ends. From this point on, a modern version of original Route 18 would join and run concurrent with US 177, passing through Tecumseh and Asher before crossing the Canadian River and continuing south. For information on the historic route in this area, please see the SH 18 Shawnee to Asher page.
A modern version of original Route 18 would remain concurrent with US 177 going south, passing through Stratford before reaching its southern terminus in Sulphur.
Within 10 years of its inception, Route 18 was extended on both ends, north to the Kansas state line and south to Dickson near Ardmore. It remained at this impressive length until 1965, when US 177 usurped the roadway south of Shawnee, truncating SH 18 back to its current length. Even in its diminished state, this highway is notable for being one of the few original routes that has managed to persist in its designation for a large portion of its path through the entire life of the highway system. While it is no longer exactly on the original alignment, SH 18 is a worthy example of what the tertiary state highways were meant to do, tying communities together while linking more major routes. Thanks for reading.
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Base Map Data Copyright DeLorme USA, http://www.delorme.com
State Highway Shields created by Ken Parker of Oklahoma Bridge & Highways Group.