Interstate 40
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Interstate 40

Interstate 40 marker

Interstate 40
Route information
Length: 2,555.10 mi[2] (4,112.03 km)
Existed: 1957[1] - present
Major junctions
West end: in Barstow, CA
 
East end: in Wilmington, NC
Location
States: California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina
Highway system

Interstate 40 (I-40) is a major east-west Interstate Highway running through the south-central portion of the United States generally north of Interstate 10 and Interstate 20 but south of Interstate 70. The western end is at Interstate 15 in Barstow, California; its eastern end is at a concurrency of U.S. Route 117 and North Carolina Highway 132 in Wilmington, North Carolina. It is the third longest interstate in the United States, behind Interstate 80 and Interstate 90. Much of the western part of I-40, from Oklahoma City to Barstow, parallels or overlays the historic U.S. Route 66, east of Oklahoma City the route generally parallels U.S. Route 64 and U.S. Route 70. I-40 runs through many major cities including Albuquerque, New Mexico; Amarillo, Texas; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Little Rock, Arkansas; Memphis, Tennessee; Nashville, Tennessee; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Raleigh, North Carolina.

Route description

California

A sign showing the distance to Wilmington, North Carolina at the start of Interstate 40 in Barstow. This sign has been stolen several times.

Interstate 40 is a major east-west route of the Interstate Highway System. Its western end is in Barstow, California. Known as the Needles Freeway, it heads east from Barstow across the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County to Needles, before it crosses into Arizona southwest of Kingman. I-40 covers 155 miles (249 km) in California.

A sign in California showing the distance to Wilmington, North Carolina has been stolen several times.[3]

Arizona

I-40 eastbound heading towards Flagstaff

Interstate 40 is a main route to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, with the exits leading into Grand Canyon National Park in Williams and Flagstaff. I-40 covers 359 miles (578 km) in Arizona. Just west of exit 190, west of Flagstaff, is its highest elevation along I-40 in the US, as the road crosses just over 7,320 feet. I-40 also passes through the Navajo Nation, the largest Indian reservation in the US.

New Mexico

Interstate 40 in eastern New Mexico

I-40 covers 374 miles (602 km) in New Mexico. Notable cities along I-40 include Gallup, Grants, Albuquerque, Santa Rosa, and Tucumcari. I-40 also travels through several different Indian reservations in the western half of the state. It reaches its highest point of 7,275 feet at the Continental Divide in western New Mexico between Gallup and Grants. Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas are the only three states where I-40 has a speed limit of 75 mph (120 km/h) instead of 70 mph (112 km/h) which happens in California, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

Texas

An at-grade intersection on I-40 in Texas. Photo taken in 2003.

In the west Texas panhandle area, there are several ranch roads connected directly to the interstate. One of the marked at-grade crossings is shown to the right. The only major city in Texas that is directly served by I-40 is Amarillo, which connects with Interstate 27 that runs south toward Lubbock. I-40 has only one welcome center in the state that Is located in Amarillo at the exit for Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport, serving both sides of the interstate.

Oklahoma

I-40 Exit 240A in Oklahoma

Interstate 40 goes through the heart of the state, passing through many Oklahoma cities and towns, including Erick, Sayre, Elk City, Clinton, Weatherford, El Reno, Yukon, Oklahoma City, Del City, Midwest City, Shawnee, Okemah, Henryetta, Checotah, Sallisaw, and Roland. I-40 covers 331 miles (533 km) in Oklahoma.

In Downtown Oklahoma City, Interstate 40 was rerouted a mile south of its former alignment and a 10 lane (5 in each direction) facility replaced the former I-40 Crosstown Bridge; itself will be replaced with an urban boulevard currently designated as Oklahoma City Boulevard.

Arkansas

I-30/US 65/US 67/US 167 branch south from I-40/US 65/AR 107 in North Little Rock. This is also the eastern terminus of I-30.

Interstate 40 enters the west-central part of the state and runs for 284 miles (457 km) in Arkansas. The route passes through Van Buren, where it intersects the southbound Interstate 540/US 71 to Fort Smith.[4] The route continues east to Alma to intersect Interstate 49 north to Fayetteville, Arkansas. Running through the Ozark Mountains, I-40 serves Ozark, Clarksville, Russellville, Morrilton and Conway. The route turns south after Conway and enters North Little Rock, which brings high volume interchanges with Interstate 430, I-30/US 65/US 67/US 167, and I-440/AR 440.[5] The interstate continues east through Lonoke, Brinkley, and West Memphis on the eastern side. Interstate 40 briefly overlaps Interstate 55 in West Memphis before it crosses the Mississippi River on the Hernando de Soto Bridge and enters Memphis, Tennessee.[6]

Tennessee

The Hernando de Soto Bridge, where I-40 crosses the Mississippi River into Memphis

More of Interstate 40 passes through Tennessee, 455 miles (732 km), than any other state. The interstate goes through all of the three Grand Divisions of Tennessee and its three largest cities, Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville. Jackson, Lebanon, Cookeville, Crossville, and Newport are other notable cities and/or towns through which I-40 passes. Before leaving the state, I-40 enters the Great Smoky Mountains towards North Carolina.

The section of Interstate 40 which runs between Memphis and Nashville is often referred to as the Music Highway.[7] During reconstruction, a long section of I-40 through downtown Knoxville near the central Malfunction Junction was completely closed to traffic from May 1, 2008 and not reopened until June 12, 2009 with all traffic redirected via Interstate 640, the northern bypass route. The redesigned section now has additional lanes in each direction, is less congested, and has fewer accidents.[8][9]

North Carolina

I-40 east approaching the Raleigh, NC Beltline

In North Carolina, I-40 travels 421 miles (678 km). It enters the state as a winding mountain freeway through the Great Smoky Mountains which frequently closes due to landslides and weather conditions. It enters the state on a mostly north-south alignment, turning to a more east-west alignment upon merging with U.S. Route 74 at the eastern terminus of the Great Smoky Mountains Expressway. From there the highway passes through Asheville, Hickory, and Statesville before reaching the Piedmont Triad. Just east of the Triad city of Greensboro, North Carolina it merges with I-85 and the two roads split again just west of the Research Triangle area, passing along the southern parts of Durham and Raleigh. From the Triangle to its eastern terminus in Wilmington, it once again takes a more north-south alignment.

Sign displaying distance to Barstow in Wilmington

A standard distance sign exists near the start of the westbound section of I-40 in Wilmington that indicates the distance to Barstow, California as 2,554 miles (4,110 km). Although NCDOT has stated it would not be replaced after frequent thefts, as of August 15, 2013, the sign is present.

Lengths
  mi[2] km
CA 154.61 248.82
AZ 359.48 578.53
NM 373.51 601.11
TX 177.10 285.11
OK 331.03 532.74
AR 284.69 458.16
TN 455.28 732.70
NC 423.55 681.64
Total 2,559.25 4,118.71

History

For about 1,000 miles (1,600 km), I-40 follows the general route of Beale's Wagon Road from Arkansas to California. Beale's Wagon Road was built in 1857-59 by a team led by Lt. Edward Fitzgerald Beale using a team of camels as pack animals.

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, I-40 was originally meant to replace Central Avenue through the center of the city. However, due to development and public opposition, a route running to the north of that one was chosen.[] The freeway intersects Central Ave. at both ends of the city.

In 1957, the California Department of Highways proposed that the route be renumbered to Interstate 30 instead, because of the already existing U.S. Route 40 in the state. Then, U.S. Rte-40 was decommissioned in California in 1964, as a part of a major revamping of California's overall highway numbering system, so the problem disappeared.[10]

The California State government submitted State Route 58 between Barstow and Bakersfield for I-40 extension potential in 1956 and 1968, though those requests were rejected.[11] This portion of SR 58 was once signed as the U.S. Route 466.

From 1963 to 1966, the US government considered a plan, part of Operation Plowshare, to use atomic bombs to excavate a path for I-40 through California. The project was scuttled largely due to the cost of developing the explosives and due to the unavailability of a "clean bomb".[12]

In Memphis, I-40 was originally intended to go through the city's Overton Park toward downtown. Several miles of interstate were actually built within the I-240 loop. That portion of highway still exists, and it is in regular use as the non-Interstate Sam Cooper Boulevard, reaching the eastern end of the Chickasaw Country Club. Environmentalist opposition, combined with a victory in the United States Supreme Court by opponents of the Overton Park route (see Citizens to Preserve Overton Park v. Volpe) forced abandonment of the original plans, and the road never reached the park. For over 20 years, I-40 signs existed on the dead-end route toward Overton Park. Eventually, the northern span of the I-240 loop was redesignated as I-40.[]

In 1971, the North Carolina State Highway Commission approved a plan to extend I-40 from Research Triangle Park to Interstate 95, a distance of 41 miles, at a cost of $75 million. Most of the highway would be four lanes, though six lanes were likely near Raleigh, where I-40 would extend the Beltline. Several routes were being considered, but at the time, the most likely route would have ended north of Smithfield.[13]

When the last portion of I-40, connecting Wilmington to Raleigh, was completed in the late 1980s, Charles Kuralt stated:

Originally, I-40 was constructed through downtown Winston-Salem, and it continued to follow that route until a new urban bypass route was built. After the bypass was completed around 1992, I-40 was relocated to the new freeway. The old highway was then redesignated as Interstate 40 Business, creating a business route that is actually an expressway for its entire length, a rarity among business routes. There are arguments that the former I-40 expressway in Winston-Salem should become an interstate again, especially since the road is currently undergoing an upgrade. There is one even loop numbers left for I-40, Interstate 640. Interstate 840 was recently available, however, since the NCDOT has had plans to use it for the northern loop of a beltway that is being built around nearby Greensboro.[]

The collapsed section of the Interstate 40 bridge, May 31, 2002

The I-40 bridge disaster occurred on May 26, 2002 when a barge collided with a bridge foundation member near Webbers Falls, Oklahoma, causing a 580-foot (177 m) section of the I-40 bridge to plunge into the Arkansas River. Automobiles and semi-trailers fell into the water, killing fourteen people.

The "Big I" I-25 and I-40 interchange in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was given an honorable mention by the United States Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration for excellence in urban highway design in 2002.[15]

Landslides are common in the Pigeon River Gorge section along the Tennessee and North Carolina border. Here the roadway was cut into the slopes of several steep mountains. Accidents on the winding road are also common especially during bad weather. On October 25, 2009, Interstate 40 was closed at the North Carolina and Tennessee border due to a landslide at Mile Marker 2.6 just east of the Tennessee state line. All Traffic was detoured via Interstates 26 and 81, and non-heavy load traffic via US 25/70.[16] The roadway was reopened on April 25, 2010, with some remaining limitations on westbound traffic.[17]

Major Junctions

California
in Barstow
west-northwest of Needles. The highways travel concurrently to Needles.
Arizona
Future plate blue.svgNo image wide.svg
/ in Kingman. The highways travel concurrently to east-northeast of Kingman.
in Flagstaff
/ in Flagstaff. I-40/US 180 travels concurrently to Holbrook.
in Chambers. The highways travel concurrently to Sanders.
New Mexico
in Gallup
/ in Albuquerque
in Clines Corners
west-northwest of Santa Rosa. The highways travel concurrently to Santa Rosa.
in Santa Rosa. The highways travel concurrently to Tucumcari.
Texas
in Vega
/ / / in Amarillo. I-40/US 287 travels concurrently through Amarillo.
in Shamrock
Oklahoma
in Sayre
in Clinton
in Hinton
west of El Reno. The highways travel concurrently to northwest of Shawnee.
in El Reno
in Oklahoma City
/ / / in Oklahoma City. I-35/I-40/US 62 travels concurrently through Oklahoma City.
in Oklahoma City
/ northwest of Shawnee
south-southeast of Prague
in Okemah. The highways travel concurrently to Henryetta.
northeast of Clearview. The highways travel concurrently to Henryetta.
southwest of Checotah
in Warner
in Sallisaw
in Sallisaw
in Roland
Arkansas
/ in Van Buren. I-40/US 71 travels concurrently to Alma.
in Alma
in Clarksville
in Lamar
in London
in Conway. The highways travel concurrently to North Little Rock.
in Conway
in North Little Rock
/ / / in North Little Rock. I-40/US 67/US 167 travels concurrently through North Little Rock.
in North Little Rock
in Hazen. The highways travel concurrently to West Memphis.
in Brinkley
south of Jennette. The highways travel concurrently to West Memphis.
/ / / in West Memphis. I-40/I-55/US 61/US 64 travels concurrently through West Memphis.
Tennessee
in Memphis
/ in Memphis. I-40/I-69 travels concurrently through Memphis.
/ / in Memphis
in Memphis
on the Memphis-Bartlett city line
east of Brownsville
in Jackson. The highways travel concurrently to northeast of Jackson.
in Jackson
/ northeast of Jackson
southeast of Holladay
in Nashville
in Nashville
in Nashville
in Nashville. The highways travel concurrently through Nashville.
in Nashville
/ / in Nashville
in Nashville. The highways travel concurrently through Nashville.
in Lebanon
in Lebanon
in Cookeville
in Monterey
in Crossville
in Harriman
in Lenoir City
west of Farragut. The highways travel concurrently to Knoxville.
in Knoxville
/ in Knoxville
/ in Knoxville
in Knoxville
in Knoxville
in Knoxville
in Knoxville
/ in Knoxville. I-40/US 25W travels concurrently through Knoxville.
/ / in Knoxville
/ west of Dandridge
north-northeast of Dandridge
/ / in Newport
in Newport
North Carolina
in Cove Creek
north-northwest of Clyde. The highways travel concurrently to Asheville.
/ in Asheville
/ / in Asheville
in Asheville
in Asheville
in Black Mountain. The highways travel concurrently to southwest of Old Fort.
southeast of West Marion
in Morganton
in Hickory
in Statesville
in Statesville
in Statesville
in Statesville
east-northeast of Statesville
west-northwest of Mocksville
in Mocksville
in Winston-Salem
in Winston-Salem
/ in Winston-Salem. I-40/US 311 travels concurrently through Winston-Salem.
/ in Winston-Salem
west of Greensboro. The highways travel concurrently to Greensboro.
/ in Greensboro
in Greensboro. The highways travel concurrently through Greensboro.
/ in Greensboro. The highways travel concurrently through Greensboro.
in Greensboro. The highways travel concurrently to southwest of Hillsborough.
/ in Durham
in Durham
/ / in Raleigh. I-40/US 64 travels concurrently through Raleigh.
/ in Raleigh
/ in Raleigh
in Garner. The highways travel concurrently to west-southwest of Clayton.
in Benson
south-southeast of Newton Grove
south-southeast of Warsaw
east-southeast of Willard
/ in Murraysville
on the Kings Grant-Murraysville CDP line

Auxiliary routes

In Oklahoma City, the designation I-440 had been given to a stretch of Interstate Highway from I-240 to US-66. It was a part of Grand Boulevard that had been built in compliance with Interstate standards. In 1982, as part of Oklahoma's "Diamond Jubilee", I-44's western terminus was moved from the I-35/I-44 junction to the Texas/Oklahoma state-line via the Belle Isle Freeway (connecting I-440 with I-35); I-440, the H. E. Bailey Turnpike; and the turnpike connector road on the eastern edge of Lawton, Oklahoma. The I-440 number was dropped at the time, but it might return again sometime in the future.

See also

Business routes

References

  1. ^ Official Route Numbering for the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways (Map). American Association of State Highway Officials. August 14, 1957. Retrieved 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Adderly, Kevin (January 27, 2016). "Table 1: Main Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways as of December 31, 2015". Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved 2017. 
  3. ^ "I-40 Barstow, Calif., sign gone for good". StarNewsOnline.com. November 12, 2009. Retrieved 2011. 
  4. ^ Planning and Research Division (2011). General Highway Map, Crawford County, Arkansas (PDF) (Map). 1:62,500. Little Rock: Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department. Retrieved 2011. 
  5. ^ Planning and Research Division (2009). General Highway Map, Pulaski County, Arkansas (PDF) (Map). 1:62,500. Little Rock: Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department. Retrieved 2011. 
  6. ^ Planning and Research Division (2009). General Highway Map, Crittenden County, Arkansas (PDF) (Map). 1:62,500. Little Rock: Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department. Retrieved 2011. 
  7. ^ Tennessee public acts 2001 Chapter 100, Senate Bill 916 House Bill 616 Signed into law April 18, 2001 http://www.tennessee.gov/sos/acts/102/pub/pc0100.pdf
  8. ^ Tennessee Department of Transportation. "SmartFix: I-40/James White Parkway/Hall of Fame Drive". Tennessee Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on December 31, 2010. 
  9. ^ Tennessee Department of Transportation. "SmartFix: I-40/James White Parkway/Hall of Fame Drive". Tennessee Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on April 29, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Interstate 40". California Highways. Retrieved 2011. [self-published source]
  11. ^ Waller, Jeff. "Interstate 40 Extension and Bakersfield Freeway Network". California Streets. Retrieved 2006. [self-published source]
  12. ^ Wilshire, Howard (Spring 2001). "Building a Radioactive Highway" (PDF). Desert Report. Sierra Club. pp. 9, 14. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 26, 2009. 
  13. ^ "SHC Approves I-40 Link in Wake County". Concord Tribune. Associated Press. July 20, 1971. 
  14. ^ Wilson, Amy (January 18, 2002). "U.S. Route 66: Historic Road Is Time Line of America". National Geographic News. Retrieved 2006. 
  15. ^ "Excellence in Highway Design - 2002 I-25/I-40 System-to-System Interchange, Albuquerque, New Mexico". Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved 2011. 
  16. ^ "HWY 25-70 a scenic, tough rock slide detour". Volunteertv.com. Retrieved 2011. 
  17. ^ Hickman, Hayes (April 26, 2010). "Section of I-40 closed since Oct. rockslide reopens". Knoxville News Sentinel. Retrieved 2010. 

External links

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata
California

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


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