Interstate 40

Interstate 40

in Arizona.

New Mexico

I-40 used to have a conventional mileage sign in New Mexico to the east of San Jon (a village to the east of Tucumcari, New Mexico) which probably bore the longest distance on such a sign. The sign showed convert|1007|mi|km for Los Angeles, [Kirby, J.P. et al. [ misc.transport.road FAQ] . URL accessed 21:00, 18 February 2006 (UTC).] although I-40 doesn't actually go there (it is accessed via Interstates 15 and 10). I-40 covers convert|374|mi|km in New Mexico.

Numerous roads throughout the state connect directly to the interstate in violation of Interstate Highway Standards.


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 left.


Interstate 40 flows through the heart of the state, passing through many cities and towns of Oklahoma. Some of them include Erick, Sayre, Elk City, Clinton, Weatherford, El Reno, Yukon, Oklahoma City, Midwest City, Shawnee, Okemah, Henryetta, Checotah, Sallisaw, and Roland. "(NOTE: Fort Smith, AR is accessible from I-40 at Roland, OK via US Hwy 64.)" I-40 covers convert|331|mi|km in Oklahoma.In Oklahoma City there is a section called the crosstown, the east end of which is at it's intersection with Interstate 35 and the west end at about May Avenue just south of the Oklahoma City Fair Grounds. There is an on going project to relocate this section of the interstate a few blocks south because of the condition of the crosstown bridge.


I-40 passes through several notable towns and cities in Arkansas: On the western side of the state, the interstate passes through Alma, ("where the intersection with US Hwy 71 and I-540 head toward Fayetteville and the rest of Northwest Arkansas"), Clarksville, Russellville and Atkins. Fort Smith is accessible from I-40 by the southern end of I-540. The interstate also passes through Conway and North Little Rock in the center, and Brinkley and West Memphis on the eastern side. It is a major thoroughfare for commerce as it is currently the only west/east interstate in Arkansas. In addition to this traffic, I-30's eastbound termination and merger with I-40 in North Little Rock cause the east side of the state to be inundated with more commercial traffic than the west side. Sectstub|date=May 2008I-40 covers convert|284|mi|km in Arkansas.


More miles of Interstate 40 pass through Tennessee than any other state. The interstate itself goes through the three largest cities in Tennessee: Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville. Dandridge, Jackson, Lebanon, Crossville, and Cookeville are other notable cities and/or towns that I-40 travels through. I-40 goes through all of the three Grand Divisions of Tennessee, meaning one can pretty much see all of the major sights in Tennessee along Interstate 40. . Before leaving the state, I-40 emerges into the Great Smoky Mountains. I-40 in general has a lot of hills, especially in the eastern half of the state. I-40 covers convert|455|mi|km in Tennessee.

The section of interstate 40 which runs between Memphis and Nashville is often referred to as "Music Highway."

On May 1 2008, a long section of I-40 through downtown Knoxville near the central Malfunction Junction has been completely closed to all traffic, and will be so for about 14 months, due to a project for complete reconstruction. Through traffic is required to use the Interstate 640 northern bypass route. The closed section was antiquated, just two lanes wide each way, quite substandard, congested, and had many accidents. [ [ SmartFix - I-40/James White Parkway/Hall of Fame Drive - Tennessee Department of Transportation ] ] [ [ SmartFix - I-40/James White Parkway/Hall of Fame Drive - Tennessee Department of Transportation ] ]

North Carolina

In North Carolina, I-40 merges with I-85 between Greensboro and Hillsborough, just west of Durham. In Alamance County, the highway is also known as the Sam Hunt Freeway. Due to a recent rerouting of I-85 around Greensboro, I-40 departs from it eight miles (13 km) east of the original split. From February through Mid September of 2008 I-40 had moved to a new alignment south of Greensboro, which also carries the new I-85 bypass and will eventually carry Interstate 73 as well, and the old I-40 through Greensboro became a second I-40 freeway Business Loop. However, on September 12, 2008 after compliants from motorists and residents, NCDOT got permission from the FHWA to relocate I-40 back onto the old aligment through Greensboro; this resulted in the decommissioning of Interstate 40 Business through Greensboro. To make up for the removal of I-40 from the loop, US 421 was rerouted onto I-40's old alignment. I-40 covers convert|407|mi|km in North Carolina.

In violation of Interstate standards, I-40 has one marked and two unmarked at-grade crossings in western North Carolina. About eight miles (13 km) from the Tennessee border in North Carolina, when going westbound, a sign for "Hurricane Road" will appear. Hurricane Road is a local dirt road whose quality is below that of the breakdown lane, and the intersection is controlled by a stop sign. It is a right-in, right-out entrance. A couple other unmarked local roads also directly link onto I-40 in the area, including a private access road for Walters Dam between mile markers 11 and 12 on the westbound side.

The marker at mile 374 actually shows 347.


For about convert|1000|mi|km, I-40 follows the general route of the Beale Wagon Road from Arkansas to California. The Beale 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.Fact|date=July 2007 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. [ California Highways: Interstate 40] ]

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. [Waller, Jeff. [ Interstate 40 Extension and Bakersfield Freeway Network] . "California Streets". URL accessed 21:19, 18 February 2006 (UTC).] 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 especially as the unavailability of a "clean bomb." [cite news | first=Howard | last=Wilshire | title=Building a Radioactive Highway | publisher=Sierra Club | work=Desert Report | date=Spring 2001 | pages=9, 14 | format=PDF | url=]

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 Interstate 240 loop was redesignated as I-40.

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 are no even loop numbers left for I-40, however, since the NCDOT has plans to use last available one Interstate 840 for the northern loop of a beltway that is being built around nearby Greensboro.Fact|date=July 2007 Hypothetically, the two routes could be numbered Interstate-40N and Interstate-40S.

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. [ [ Excellence in Highway Design - 2002 I-25/I-40 System-to-System Interchange, Albuquerque, New Mexico ] ]

Major intersections

*Interstate 15 in Barstow, California
*Interstate 17 in Flagstaff, Arizona
*Interstate 25 in Albuquerque, New Mexico
*Interstate 27 in Amarillo, Texas
*Interstate 35 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
*Interstate 44 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
*Interstate 30 in North Little Rock, Arkansas
*Interstate 55 in West Memphis, Arkansas (the freeways are merged throughout the city)
*Proposed Interstate 69 in Memphis, Tennessee
*Interstate 24 in Nashville, Tennessee (merged for approximately 2 miles)
*Interstate 65 in Nashville, Tennessee (merged for approximately 3 miles)
*Interstate 75 near Dixie Lee Junction, Tennessee. They stay merged until Knoxville, Tennessee.
*Interstate 81 near Dandridge, Tennessee
*Interstate 26 in Asheville, North Carolina
*Interstate 77 in Statesville, North Carolina
*Future Interstate 74 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
*Future Interstate 73 in Greensboro, North Carolina
*Interstate 85 in Greensboro, North Carolina. They stay merged until Hillsborough, North Carolina.
*Interstate 95 in Benson, North Carolina ( [,+NC&ll=35.371695,-78.511391&spn=0.126062,0.180038&hl=en Map] )

Auxiliary routes

*I-140 - Alcoa - Knoxville - Oak Ridge area
*I-140 - Wilmington, North Carolina
*I-240 - Asheville, North Carolina
*I-240 - Memphis, Tennessee
*I-240 - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
*I-440 - Little Rock, Arkansas
*I-440 - Nashville, Tennessee
*I-440 - Raleigh, North Carolina
*I-540 - Spurs to Fort Smith, Arkansas and Bentonville, Arkansas; proposed to become part of an expanded Interstate 49
*I-540 - Raleigh, North Carolina (may be resigned as I-640 when the northern loop of the road is completed back around to I-40 near Garner. [cite web | url = | title = Strategic Highway Corridors Vision Plan Triangle Area (PDF) | accessmonthday = March 31 | accessyear = 2006 See Note 2 on map regarding renumbering current I-540 as I-640.] )
*I-640 - Knoxville, Tennessee
*I-840 - Greensboro, North Carolina

In Oklahoma City, the designation I-440 had been given to a stretch of Interstate highway from I-240 to US-66; a part of Grand Boulevard that had been built compliant 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 border 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 designation was dropped at the time, but may return in the future.

ee also

Business routes

*"Interstate 40 Business" in Raleigh, North Carolina, now Interstate 440
*Interstate 40 Business (North Carolina) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and formerly in Greensboro, too
*Interstate 40 Business in Oklahoma - Sallisaw; Henryetta; El Reno; Weatherford; Clinton; Elk City; Sayre; and Erick, Oklahoma
*Interstate 40 Business in Texas - Shamrock; McLean; Groom; Amarillo; Vega; Adrian, Texas; and Glenrio, New Mexico and Texas
*Interstate 40 Business in New Mexico - Tucumcari; Santa Rosa; Albuquerque; Grants, Mount Taylor, and Gallup, New Mexico
*Interstate 40 Business in Arizona - Spur to Winslow; Loops through Winslow; Flagstaff; Williams; Ash Fork; Seligman; and Kingman, Arizona
*Interstate 40 Business in California - Needles, California


External links

* [ The Beale Wagon Road]
* [ The I-40 Bridge Disaster]


* [ WestCoastRoads - Interstate 40]
* [ California Highways: I-40]
* [ Cal-NExUS: Route 40 West]
* [ Cal-NExUS: Route 40 East]

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