Interstate 40: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Interstate 40 shield
Interstate 40
Main route of the Interstate Highway System
Length: 2559.25 mi[1] (4,118.71 km)
West end: I-15 (CA).svg I-15 in Barstow, California
I-25 in Albuquerque, New Mexico

I-44 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
I-35 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
I-30 in Little Rock, Arkansas
I-55 in Memphis, Tennessee
I-65 in Nashville, Tennessee
I-75 in Knoxville, Tennessee
I-85 in Greensboro, North Carolina
I-95 in Benson, North Carolina

East end: US 117 / NC 132 in Wilmington, North Carolina

Interstate 40 (I-40) is a major west–east Interstate Highway in the United States. Its western terminus is at Interstate 15 in Barstow, California; its eastern terminus is at a concurrency of U.S. Route 117 and North Carolina Highway 132 in Wilmington, North Carolina. Much of the western portion of I-40, from Oklahoma City to Barstow, parallels or overlays the historic U.S. Route 66. I-40 intersects with eight of the 10 primary north–south interstates (all except I-5 and I-45) and also with the major[citation needed] Interstate routes I-24, I-30, I-44, I-77, and I-81.


Route description

  mi[1] 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


Interstate 40, a major east–west route of the Interstate Highway System, has its western terminus in Barstow, California, United States. 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 west 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.[citation needed]


Interstate 40 is a principal 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.

New Mexico

I-40 covers 374 miles (602 km) in New Mexico. Notable cities along I-40 include Albuquerque, Santa Rosa, Tucumcari, Grants and Gallup. I-40 also travels through several different Indian Reservations in the Western half of the State.

An at-grade intersection on I-40 in Texas, as of 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 left. The only major city in Texas that is directly served by I-40 is Amarillo which connects with Interstate 27 that runs south towards Lubbock.


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 331 miles (533 km) in Oklahoma. In Oklahoma City there is a section called the crosstown, the east end of which is at its intersection with Interstate 35 and the west end at about May Avenue just south of the Oklahoma State Fair. 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.


In West Memphis, Arkansas, Interstate 40 is credited as a Blue Star Memorial Highway.

I-40 passes through several notable towns and cities in Arkansas. On the western side of the state, the interstate passes through Van Buren, Alma, Ozark, Clarksville, Russellville, Atkins, Morrilton and Conway. Fort Smith and Fayetteville are accessible via I-540, which intersects I-40 at Van Buren and overlaps it through Alma. The interstate also passes through Conway and North Little Rock in central Arkansas, and Brinkley and West Memphis on the eastern side. It is a major thoroughfare for commerce; I-30's eastbound terminus at I-40 in North Little Rock causes I-40 in the east side of the state to carry more commercial traffic than it does in the west side.

I-40 covers 284 miles (457 km) in Arkansas.


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

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 was completely closed to traffic, and reopened on June 12, 2009, due to a project for complete reconstruction. Through traffic was required to use the Interstate 640 northern bypass route. The closed section was two lanes in each direction, congested, and had many accidents.[2][3]

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 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 complaints from motorists and residents, NCDOT got permission from the FHWA to relocate I-40 back onto the old alignment through Greensboro; this resulted in the decommissioning of Interstate 40 Business through Greensboro. This was also done to maintain federal funding on the old I-40 route. 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 407 miles (655 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 Creek Road" will appear. Hurricane Creek Road is a local dirt road whose quality is below that of the shoulder, 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.[4]

A standard distance sign once existed near the start of the westbound section of I-40 in Wilmington indicates the distance to Barstow, California as 2,554 miles (4,110 km). However, NCDOT has stated that it will not be replaced after frequent thefts.[5]

On October 25, 2009, Interstate 40 was closed between Asheville and Knoxville, Tennessee due to a landslide at Mile Marker 3 just east of the Tennessee state line. Traffic between the two cities is being detoured via Interstates 26 and 81, and non-heavy load traffic via US 25/70,[6] for several months while the slide is being cleared. For I-40 thru traffic to/from points along and east of I-77 it is a shorter detour to use I-77 and I-81 in Virginia instead of I-26.


For about 1,000 miles (1,600 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.[citation needed] 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.[7]

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.[8] 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".[9]

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.[citation needed]

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.[10]

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

Thanks to the interstate highway system, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything.[11]

Major intersections

Exit list


County Location # Destinations Notes
Crawford 1 SH-64D south - Fort Smith, Dora Eastbound exit is in Oklahoma and is signed as exit 330
Van Buren 3 Lee Creek Road
5 Hwy. 59Van Buren, Siloam Springs
7 I-540 south / U.S. 71 south – Van Buren, Fort Smith West end of I-540/U.S. 71 overlap
Alma 12 I-540 north – Fayetteville East end of I-540 overlap
13 U.S. 71 north – Alma East end of U.S. 71 overlap
Mulberry 20 Dyer, Mulberry
24 Hwy. 215Mulberry
Franklin Ozark 35 Hwy. 23Ozark, Huntsville
37 Hwy. 219Ozark
Wiederkehr Village 41 Hwy. 186Altus
Johnson 47 Hwy. 164Hartman, Coal Hill
Clarksville 55 U.S. 64 to Hwy. 109Hartman, Scranton, Clarksville
57 Clarksville
58 Hwy. 103 to Hwy. 21Clarksville
Lamar 64 U.S. 64Lamar
Knoxville 67 Hwy. 315Knoxville
Pope London 74 Hwy. 333London
78 U.S. 64Russellville
Russellville 81 Hwy. 7Russellville

Arkansas Ave.

83 Hwy. 326Russellville

Weir Road

84 Hwy. 331 to U.S. 64Russellville
Pottsville 88 Pottsville (Hwy. 363)
Atkins 94 Hwy. 105Atkins
Conway 101 Blackwell
Morrilton 107 Hwy. 95Morrilton
108 Hwy. 9Morrilton
Plumerville 112 Hwy. 92 north – Plumerville
Menifee 117 Menifee
Faulkner Conway 124 Hwy. 25 north – Conway As of May 1, 2008 this exit now includes on-ramps and off-ramps in both directions.
125 U.S. 65 north / U.S. 65B south – Greenbrier, Harrison, Conway West end of U.S. 65 overlap
127 U.S. 64Vilonia, Conway, Beebe
129 U.S. 65B north / Hwy. 286 (Dave Ward Drive) to Hwy. 60 Signed as exits 129A (east) and 129B (north/west) westbound
Mayflower 135 Hwy. 89 to Hwy. 365Mayflower
Pulaski 142 Hwy. 365 – Morgan, Maumelle
North Little Rock 147 I-430 south – Texarkana
148 Hwy. 100 (Crystal Hill Road)
150 Burns Park
152 Hwy. 365 – Levy Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
152 Hwy. 176 – Levy Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
153A Hwy. 107 north
153B I-30 west / U.S. 65 south / U.S. 67 south / U.S. 167 south – Little Rock East end of U.S. 65 overlap; west end of U.S. 67/U.S. 167 overlap
154 Lakewood Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
155 U.S. 67 north / U.S. 167 north – Little Rock AFB, Jacksonville East end of U.S. 67/U.S. 167 overlap
156 Springhill Drive — Baptist Health Medical Center-NLR
157 Hwy. 161 – Prothro Junction
159 I-440 west / Hwy. 440 east – Jacksonville, Texarkana
161 Hwy. 391 – Galloway
Lonoke 165 Kerr Road
169 Hwy. 15 (Remington Road)
Lonoke 175 Hwy. 31Lonoke, Beebe
Carlisle 183 Hwy. 13Carlisle
Prairie Hazen 193 U.S. 63 south / Hwy. 11Hazen, Des Arc West end of U.S. 63 overlap
202 Hwy. 33Biscoe, De Valls Bluff
Monroe Brinkley 216 U.S. 49 to Hwy. 17Brinkley, Cotton Plant
St. Francis Wheatley 221 Hwy. 78Wheatley, Marianna
Palestine 233 Hwy. 261Palestine
239 Hwy. 1Wynne, Marianna
Forrest City 241 Hwy. 1BForrest City, Wynne Signed as exits 241A (south) and 241B (north)
242 Hwy. 284 (Crowley's Ridge Road)
247 Hwy. 38 east – Hughes, Widener
256 Hwy. 75Parkin
260 Hwy. 149Earle
Crittenden Jennette 265 Hwy. 218 to U.S. 79Hughes
West Memphis 271 Hwy. 147
275 Hwy. 118 (North Airport Road)
276 To Hwy. 77 (Missouri Street) / Rich Road Eastbound exit only
277 I-55 north (U.S. 61 north/U.S. 63 north/U.S. 64 west) – Blytheville, Jonesboro, St. Louis East end of U.S. 63 overlap; west end of I-55/U.S. 61/U.S. 64 overlap
278 Hwy. 77 (Missouri Street) / Hwy. 191 (7th Street)
279A Ingram Boulevard
279B I-55 south (U.S. 61 south/U.S. 64 east) - Memphis, Jackson East end of I-55/U.S. 61/U.S. 64 overlap; eastbound exit and westbound entrance
280 Club Road
281 Hwy. 131 (Mound City Road) Westbound exit and eastbound entrance

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 compliace 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 number was dropped at the time, but it might return again sometime in the future.

See also

Business routes


External links


Main Interstate Highways (major interstates highlighted)
4 5 8 10 12 15 16 17 19 20 22 24 25 26 27 29 30
35 37 39 40 43 44 45 49 55 57 59 64 65 66 68 69
70 71 72 73 74 75 76 (W) 76 (E) 77 78 79 80 81 82
83 84 (W) 84 (E) 85 86 (W) 86 (E) 87 88 (W) 88 (E) 89 90
91 93 94 95 96 97 99 (238) H-1 H-2 H-3
Unsigned  A-1 A-2 A-3 A-4 PRI-1 PRI-2 PRI-3
Lists  Primary  Main - Intrastate - Suffixed - Future - Gaps
Auxiliary  Main - Future - Unsigned
Other  Standards - Business - Bypassed


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address