Interstate 44 is a major Interstate Highway in the central United States. Although it is nominally an east–west road as it is even-numbered, it follows a more southwest–northeast alignment. Its western terminus is in Wichita Falls, Texas, at a concurrency with U.S. Route 277, US 281, and US 287; its eastern terminus is at I-70 in St. Louis, Missouri.
I-44 is one of five Interstates built to bypass US 66; this highway covers the section between Oklahoma City and St. Louis. Virtually the entire length of I-44 east of Springfield, Missouri, was once US 66, which was upgraded from two to four lanes from 1949 to 1955. The section of I-44 west of Springfield was built farther south than US 66 in order to connect Missouri’s section with the already completed Will Rogers Turnpike, which Oklahoma wished to carry their part of I-44.