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I-40 (NM).svg
Interstate 40
Main route of the Interstate Highway System
Length: 373 mi (600 km)
West end: I-40 at Arizona-New Mexico border
East end: I-40 at New Mexico-Texas border
State Roads in New Mexico

Interstate 40, a major east–west route of the Interstate Highway System, runs east–west through Albuquerque in the U.S. state of New Mexico. It is the direct replacement for the historic U.S. Route 66 in New Mexico.

Contents

Route description

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Arizona to Albuquerque

As I-40 enters New Mexico in a northeasterly direction it begins following the basin of the intermittent Puerco River, roughly tracing the southern edge of the contiguous part of the Navajo Reservation in the state. The freeway enters Gallup twenty miles (32 km) later paralleling the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway's southern transcontinental mainline. Leaving Gallup the now more easterly I-40 passes to the north of Fort Wingate and part of the fragmented Cibola National Forest before crossing the North American continental divide at an elevation of 7,275 ft (2,217 m), with 11,305 ft (3,446 m) stratavolcano Mt. Taylor towering to the east.

The highway traverses more of the Navajo Reservation and the Cibola Forest before turning southeast and crossing a malpaís. After serving interchanges near Grants, the freeway, coinciding with the northern boundary of El Malpais National Monument, crosses another malpaís, turns east and enters the Acoma Indian Reservation, home of the Acoma Pueblo. The route leaves the Acoma Indian Reservation with Mt. Taylor to the north and enters the Laguna Pueblo. Near the interchange with NM-6 the railway line that accompanies much of the route from the Arizona border diverts to the south while the freeway turns east by northeast towards Albuquerque. The route departs the Laguna Pueblo, briefly transits the Tohajiilee Indian Reservation (a chapter of the Navajo Nation), crosses the Rio Puerco and begins a steep climb to the top of a mesa marked by several small cinder cones overlooking the Rio Grande rift and Albuquerque.

History

Planning and construction of Interstate 40 through New Mexico began shortly after the Federal Highway Act of 1956 created the Interstate Highway System. First sections of I-40 through the state were completed by 1960 including a short section west of Tucumcari in Quay County, from a point just west of Santa Rosa west past Clines Corners to just east of Moriarity, along with a section on the east side of Albuquerque and another section from near Cubero to Grants, which included a new spur route connecting the Interstate Highway with U.S. 66 on that city's east side. Construction of I-40, generally paralleling the existing U.S. 66 in some sections and replacing the older route in others, was hobbled for a few years during this decade by the New Mexico Legislature's passage of an Anti-Bypassing Law that prohibited the construction of an interstate bypass around a city or town opposed to it. That law was repealed in 1966 following a threat of loss of federal funds and most New Mexico cities along I-40, I-25 and I-10 then worked out agreements with state and federal highway officials in determining where the bypass routes around their municipalities should be located.

By the end of the 1960s, most rural sections of I-40 were completed across the state with the largest exception being a 40-mile (64 km) stretch east of Tucumcari to the Texas border at Glenrio, where traffic was diverted to the old U.S. 66. That section of highway by this time became locally and nationally known as "Slaughter Lane" due to tremendous amounts of traffic for a two-lane highway along with rough and narrow paving which led to numerous injury and fatal traffic accidents that reached epidemic numbers in 1968 and 1969. Construction on this section of I-40 was held up by a dispute at San Jon concerning a proposed routing of I-40 bypassing that city to the north by some five miles (8 km), which was resolved in November, 1969 when federal and state officials agreed to bring the bypass closer to the city along its northern limits. However, aside from a few small villages such as Montoya, Newkirk and Cuervo in the eastern portion of the state and Laguna, Budville and Cubero to the west, no major bypasses had been entirely completed in New Mexico so traffic was still diverted over the U.S. 66 routes through each of those cities.

In 1970, I-40 was entirely completed through the city of Albuquerque. Other bypasses were completed around various cities through the state including San Jon and Tucumcari (1981), Santa Rosa (1972), Moriarty (1973), Grants (1974) and Gallup (1980).

Exit list

County Location Mile # Destinations Notes
McKinley 8 US 66 (historic).svgNew Mexico 118.svg Defiance, Manuelito (NM 118/US 66)
Gallup 16 US 66 (historic).svgNew Mexico 118.svgBusiness Loop 40.svg I-40 Bus. east; NM 118 - West Gallup (US 66)
20 US 491.svg US 491 north - Shiprock; New Mexico 602.svg NM 602 south — Munoz Boulevard, Zuni
22 Miyamura Drive; Montoya Boulevard
26 Business Loop 40.svgNew Mexico 118.svgUS 66 (historic).svg I-40 Bus. west — East Gallup (NM 118/US 66)
33 US 66 (historic).svgNew Mexico 118.svg New Mexico 400.svg NM 400 south - McGaffey (NM 118/US 66)
36 US 66 (historic).svgNew Mexico 118.svg Iyanbito (NM 118/US 66 west) West end of US 66 overlap
39 Refinery
44 Coolidge
47 US 66 (historic).svgNew Mexico 122.svg Continental Divide (NM 122/US 66 east) East end of US 66 overlap
53 US 66 (historic).svgNew Mexico 122.svg New Mexico 371.svg New Mexico 612.svg NM 371; NM 612 - Thoreau (NM 122/US 66)
63 US 66 (historic).svgNew Mexico 122.svg New Mexico 412.svg NM 412 - Prewitt (to NM 122/US 66)
Cibola 72 US 66 (historic).svgNew Mexico 122.svg New Mexico 606.svg Bluewater Village (NM 606 to NM 122/US 66)
Milan 79 Business Loop 40.svgNew Mexico 122.svgUS 66 (historic).svg I-40 Bus. east to New Mexico 605.svg NM 605; to New Mexico 509.svg NM 509 - Milan, San Mateo, Chaco Culture National Historical Park (New Mexico 615.svgNM 615 to NM 122/US 66)
Grants 81 New Mexico 53.svg NM 53 to Business Loop 40.svg I-40 Bus.; to New Mexico 122.svg NM 122 - San Rafael, Grants (to US 66 (historic).svg US 66) Signed as exits 81A (NM 53 south) and 81B (NM 53 north to I-40 Bus.) on I-40 east
85 Business Loop 40.svgUS 66 (historic).svgNew Mexico 122.svg I-40 Bus. west to New Mexico 547.svg NM 547 - Grants, Mt. Taylor (NM 122 west to US 66)
89 US 66 (historic).svgNew Mexico 124.svg New Mexico 117.svg Quemado (NM 117; NM 124 east; US 66)
96 US 66 (historic).svgNew Mexico 124.svg McCartys, Acoma, Sky City (NM 124/US 66)
100 San Fidel
102 Acomita, Acoma, Sky City
104 US 66 (historic).svgNew Mexico 124.svg Cubero, Budville (NM 124/US 66)
108 New Mexico 23.svg Casa Blanca, Paraje (NM 23)
114 US 66 (historic).svgNew Mexico 124.svg NM 124 west - Laguna (US 66 west) West end of US 66 overlap
117 Mesita
126 US 66 (historic).svgNew Mexico 6.svg NM 6 east - Los Lunas (pre-1937 US 66 east) East end of pre-1937 US 66 overlap
131 To'hajiilee
Bernalillo 140 Rio Puerco
Albuquerque 149 US 66 (historic).svg Paseo del Volcan; Central Avenue (US 66 east); NM 423 (Paseo del Norte) East end of US 66 overlap
153 98th Street
154 Unser Boulevard (NM 345)
155 Coors Boulevard
157A Rio Grande Boulevard
157B 12th Street Westbound exit is via exit 158
158 8th Street; 6th Street
159A US 66 (historic).svgNew Mexico 47.svg 4th Street; 2nd Street; University Boulevard - Downtown (pre-1937 US 66; NM 47) Signed as exit 159D westbound, since it is east of exit 159BC
159BC I-25.svg I-25 - Santa Fe, Las Cruces
160 Carlisle Boulevard
161 San Mateo Boulevard Signed as exits 161A (south) and 161B (north) on I-40 east
162 Louisiana Boulevard
164 Wyoming Boulevard
165 Eubank Boulevard
166 Juan Tabo Boulevard
167 US 66 (historic).svgNew Mexico 333.svg Central Avenue (NM 333/US 66); New Mexico 556.svg Tramway Boulevard (NM 556)
170 US 66 (historic).svgNew Mexico 333.svg Carnuel (NM 333/US 66)
175 US 66 (historic).svgNew Mexico 333.svg New Mexico 14.svg NM 14; New Mexico 337.svg NM 337 - Tijeras, Cedar Crest (NM 333/US 66)
178 US 66 (historic).svgNew Mexico 333.svg Zuzax (NM 333/US 66)
181 US 66 (historic).svgNew Mexico 333.svg To New Mexico 217.svg NM 217 - Sedillo (NM 333/US 66)
Santa Fe Edgewood 187 New Mexico 344.svg NM 344 - Edgewood (to US 66 (historic).svgNew Mexico 333.svgNM 333/US 66)
Torrance Moriarty 194 Business Loop 40.svgNew Mexico 333.svgUS 66 (historic).svg I-40 Bus. east to US 66 - Moriarty West (to NM 333 west)
196 New Mexico 41.svg NM 41 - Howard Cavasos Boulevard
197 Business Loop 40.svgUS 66 (historic).svg I-40 Bus. west; US 66 west - Moriarty East West end of US 66 overlap; no westbound entrance
203 (no name)
208 Wagon Wheel
218B US 285.svg US 285 - Vaughn, Santa Fe Signed as exit 218B on I-40 west, with exit 218A (Clines Corners) to the west
226 (no name)
230 New Mexico 3.svg NM 3 - Encino, Villanueva
234 Flying C
239 (no name)
Guadalupe 243 Milagro Signed as exit 243B on I-40 west, with an unnamed exit 243A to the east
252 (no name)
256 US 66 (historic).svgUS 84.svg US 84 north - Las Vegas (pre-1937 US 66 west;New Mexico 219.svg NM 219 south) West end of pre-1937 US 66/US 84 overlap
263 San Ignacio
267 Colonias
Santa Rosa 273 Business Loop 40.svgUS 66 (historic).svgUS 84.svg I-40 Bus. east - Santa Rosa (US 66 east; US 84 south) East end of US 66/US 84 overlap
275 Business Loop 40.svgUS 54.svgUS 66 (historic).svgUS 84.svg Santa Rosa (I-40 Bus.; US 54; US 66; US 84)
277 Business Loop 40.svgUS 54.svgUS 66 (historic).svgUS 84.svg I-40 Bus. west, US 54 west - Santa Rosa; US 84 - Fort Sumner (US 66 west; to New Mexico 156.svg NM 156 east) West end of US 54/US 66 overlap
284 Frontage Road — Frontier Museum
291 US 66 (historic).svg Cuervo (US 66 east) East end of US 66 overlap
300 New Mexico 129.svg NM 129 - Newkirk (to US 66 (historic).svg US 66)
Quay 311 US 66 (historic).svg Montoya (US 66 west) West end of US 66 overlap
321 Palomas
Tucumcari 329 Business Loop 40.svgUS 66 (historic).svg I-40 Bus. east; US 66 east - West Route 66 Boulevard East end of US 66 overlap
331 Camino del Coronado
332 New Mexico 209.svg NM 209 to New Mexico 104.svg NM 104 west - 1st Street
333 US 54.svg US 54 east — Mountain Road East end of US 54 overlap
335 Business Loop 40.svg US 66 (historic).svg I-40 Bus. west; US 66
339 US 66 (historic).svg New Mexico 278.svg NM 278 south (US 66; New Mexico 286.svg NM 286 north)
343 US 66 (historic).svg (no name; US 66)
San Jon 356 New Mexico 469.svg NM 469 to US 66 (historic).svg US 66 - San Jon
361 US 66 (historic).svg Bard (to US 66)
369 New Mexico 93.svg New Mexico 392.svg NM 93 south - Endee; NM 392 north

References

Interstate 40
Previous state:
Arizona
New Mexico Next state:
Texas

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