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Interstate 40 in Arizona: Map

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Interstate 40 (I-40) is an east-west Interstate Highway that has a section in the U.S. state of Arizonamarker connecting sections in Californiamarker to New Mexicomarker. It enters Arizona from the west at a crossing of the Colorado Rivermarker southwest of Kingmanmarker. It travels eastward across the northern portion of the state connecting the cities of Kingman, Williamsmarker, Flagstaffmarker and Holbrookmarker. I-40 continues into New Mexico, heading to Albuquerquemarker. The highway has major junctions with U.S. Route 93 (US 93) in Kingman, the main highway connecting Phoenixmarker and Las Vegas, Nevadamarker, and I-17 in Flagstaff, the Interstate linking Phoenix and Flagstaff.

For the majority of its routing through Arizona, I-40 follows the historic alignment of U.S. Route 66. The lone exception is a stretch between Kingman and Ash Forkmarker where US 66 took a more northerly, less direct route that is now State Route 66. Construction of I-40 was ongoing in the 1960s and 1970s and reached completion in 1984. With the completion of I-40 in 1984, the entire routing of US 66 had been bypassed by Interstate Highways which led to its decertification a year later in 1985.

Route description

California to Flagstaff

I-40 eastbound heading towards Flagstaff
I-40 enters Arizona from California at a crossing of the Colorado Rivermarker at Topockmarker in Mohave Countymarker. It heads east from Topock and begins to curve towards the north at Franconia and completes the curve to the north at Yuccamarker. The Interstate continues to head north until it reaches Kingmanmarker. In Kingman, I-40 has a junction with US 93 at exit 48. US 93 heads towards the northwest from this junction to Hoover Dammarker and Las Vegasmarker. US 93 south begins to run concurrently with I-40 as they both head east through Kingman. The two separate at exit 71 as US 93 heads towards the south towards Phoenixmarker while I-40 heads east towards Flagstaff. I-40 continues towards the east, passing through the towns of Seligmanmarker, Ash Forkmarker and Williamsmarker. At exit 165 in Williams, SR 64 heads north towards the Grand Canyon National Parkmarker. I-40 continues to the east to Flagstaffmarker, where it has a junction with I-17 at exit 195. I-17 heads south from the interchange with I-40 to Phoenix.

Flagstaff to New Mexico

East of Flagstaff, I-40 heads towards the east-southeast as it heads to the town of Winslowmarker. It continues towards this direction until it reaches Holbrookmarker, where it curves towards the northeast. Along this stretch it passes through the Petrified Forest National Parkmarker. It continues to the northeast, passing through Chambers and enters the Navajo Indian Reservation. The highway continues to the northeast to the New Mexicomarker border southwest of Gallup, New Mexicomarker as it continues on towards Albuquerquemarker.

History

With the exception of a stretch between Kingman and Flagstaff, I-40 directly replaced the famed US 66 across northern Arizona. Where possible, US 66 was upgraded to Interstate standards to become I-40 directly. Exceptions to this were through the central business districts of the cities and towns that US 66 passed through, and I-40 had to be built as a bypass outside the cities. On October 26, 1984, after the last section of I-40 was completed in Williams, US 66 was removed from the state highway system of Arizona. The portions through cities that did not overlap I-40 would become business loops of I-40.

Before the U.S. Highways

The routing of a road near the current corridor of I-40 in Arizona was first surveyed and built between 1857 and 1859. Lt. Edward Beale and his soldiers built the road along the 35th parallel that would come to be known as the Beale Wagon Road from Ft.marker Smith, Arkansasmarker to the Colorado Rivermarker to serve as a military wagon road. The road was a popular route for immigrants during the 1860s and 1870s until the transcontinental railroad was built across northern Arizona in the 1880s. In the early 1900s, the road became part of the National Old Trails Road, a transcontinental route from Baltimore, Marylandmarker to Californiamarker, and the National Park to Park Highway, an auto trail linking the national parks of the west.

U.S. Route 66

In the 1920s, as a nationwide system of highways called the United States Numbered Highways was being developed, the route through was given the designation of U.S. Route 60. This designation was controversial since designations that are multiples of 10 are assigned to transcontinental east-west routes and this route was a diagonal route from Chicagomarker to Los Angelesmarker. As a compromise to states east of Chicago that felt US 60 should go through their state, a different route was given the number 60, while the route from Chicago to Los Angeles was given the number 66.
I-40 westbound heading towards Flagstaff
By 1927, the routing of US 66 through Arizona had been laid out, but none of it had been paved yet. By 1935, nearly the entire route had been paved, with the lone exceptions being a short stretch northeast of Valentine and a stretch between Peach Springsmarker and Seligmanmarker. By 1938, the entire route in Arizona had been paved. In 1953, US 66 was realigned between the California border and Kingmanmarker to an alignment to the southeast to avoid the mountain curves and grades of the original alignment. By 1961, several sections of the highway had been expanded to a four-lane divided highway in anticipation of the coming Interstate Highway. Four-lane sections included a section near Ash Fork, another section east of Winslow and a section east of Holbrook near the Petrified Forest National Monument.

Planning

In Flagstaff, several different alternatives were considered as a potential routing of the new Interstate through the area. The alternatives consisted of a routing north of downtown, south of downtown, through downtown along the Santa Fe Railroad right-of-way near the alignment of US 66, and a more elaborate alternative of a routing above downtown on a long overpass. In January 1959, the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce recommended to the Bureau of Public Roads that the route south of downtown be used which was approved by the Flagstaff City Council and the Board of Supervisors for Coconino Countymarker. This recommended was accepted and would become the planned routing of I-40 in Flagstaff. Business owners along US 66 were opposed to this routing as it would draw motorists away from main through route of the time, US 66. As a result, they created the No By-Pass Committee and sent a proposal to the Chamber of Commerce’s Roads and Highways Committee to conduct a study of the feasibility of a route for I-40 through downtown along the Santa Fe railroad right-of-way. The Committee sent an inquiry to the railroad concerning the proposal. The railroad rejected the proposed rerouting of their main rail lines citing that it would result in worse grades than what currently exists and in order to reduce those grades, considerable lengthening of the rail line would be required. With a routing through town now out of the question, the business owners along US 66 drafted a city ordinance, known as Initiative 200, that was filed with the city of Flagstaff in November 1959 to appear on the general election ballot in March 1960. The ordinance would in effect ban all new commercial businesses on I-40, all routes leading from I-40 to US 66, and the area between I-40 and US 66. In a record voter turnout, voters overwhelmingly voted against the ordinance by a vote of 2,280 to 556.

In 1965, the routing of I-40 west of Kingman was being reconsidered from the planned route through Needles, Californiamarker to a route to the north passing through Searchlightmarker in southern Nevada and connecting with I-15 further north of its present connection with I-15. The rationale for the proposal was that it would be an overall shorter route and would cost much less to construct. The proposal was met with stiff opposition including all four U.S. senators from California and Arizona sending the Secretary of Commerce letters requesting that the routing through Needles be retained. This proposal was eventually abandoned in 1966 and the routing through Needles was kept.

Construction

The construction of the route of I-40 across Arizona took nearly 25 years to complete with the last segment being completed in 1984, much longer than the ambitious goal of finishing by 1972. By the end of 1960, had been completed with an additional miles being worked on. In 1964, construction was still on schedule with complete and an additional under construction. Funding was becoming an issue at this time as the state lacked the available funds to stay on pace with a 1972 completion goal. By 1967, Arizona had completed approximately half of the highway with complete and another under construction. In 1968, the bypass around Flagstaff was complete with three interchanges, two at each end of where US 66 split off from I-40 to enter the city and one at the I-17 interchange. An additional interchange at Butler Avenue was completed a year later. One of the big improvements of I-40 over US 66 was the construction of the segment between Kingman and Ash Fork. The section is a more direct route between the two cities and travels as far as south of the US 66 alignment. Construction of the $69.1 million segment was also to be a much safer route as the US 66 alignment had one of the highest fatality rates of any section of highway in Arizona. This section of the Interstate was complete in 1975. Construction of the $7.7 million bypass around Winslow began in 1977. I-40 was completed in Arizona in 1984, with the completion of a section in Williams. This was also the last section of US 66 to be bypassed by the Interstate, which led to it being decertified by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) the following year.

Exit list

County Location Mile # Destinations Notes
Mohavemarker 0.55 1 Mohave Valley Highway, Topack Road
2.99 2 Needle Mountain Road, Bill Williams River N.W.R.
9.79 9
13.16 13 Franconia Road
20.14 20 Gem Acres Road
25.19 25 Alamo Road, Cal Ari Drive
26.18 26 Proving Ground Road
28.75 28 Old Trails Road, Apache Road
37.03 37 Griffith Road
44.32 44 Shinarump Drive
Kingmanmarker 48.86 48  – Las Vegasmarker West end of US 93 overlap
51.69 52 Stockton Hill Road
53.07 53
59.21 59 DW Ranch Road
66.02 66 Blake Ranch Road
71.52 71 East end of US 93 overlap
78.90 79 Silver Springs Road
87.01 87 Willows Ranch Road
91.12 91 Fort Rock Road
Yavapaimarker 95.45 96 Cross Mountain Road
102.99 103 Jolly Road
109.07 109 Anvil Rock Road
120.49 121
122.72 123
139.28 139 Crookton Road
144.37 145
145.69 146 West end of SR 89 overlap
Coconinomarker 147.68 148 County Line Road
148.57 149 Monte Carlo Road
151.23 151 Welch Road
157.20 157 Devil Dog Road
Williamsmarker 161.38 161
162.95 163 Grand Canyon Boulevard
165.41 165 , Grand Canyon National Parkmarker
167.09 167 Garland Prairie Boulevard
171.10 171 Pittman Valley Road, Parks Road
177.81 178 Spring Valley Road
184.68 185 Transwestern Road – Bellemont/Navajo Army Depot
190.10 190 A-1 Mountain Road
191.26 191
192.12 192 Flagstaff Ranch Road
Flagstaffmarker 194.63
195.25
195
197.86 198 Butler Avenue
200.65 201 East end of US 89 overlap
204.42 204 West end of US 180 overlap
206.79 207 Cosnino Road
210.72 211 Townsend Winona Road
219.13 219 Angel Road
224.60 225 Buffalo Range Road
230.01 230 Canyon Diabla Road – Two Gunsmarker
233.43 233 Meteor Crater Road
239.22 239 Red Gap Ranch Road
244.94 245 West end of SR 99 overlap
Navajomarker Winslowmarker 251.58 252 East end of SR 99 overlap
253.08 253 Park Drive
255.21 255 Transcon Lane
257.16 257
264.18 264 Hibbard Road
269.43 269 Jack Rabbit Road
Joseph Citymarker 274.19 274
276.55 277
280.13 280 Hunt Road
Holbrookmarker 283.13 283 Perkins Valley Road
284.67 285 East end of US 180 overlap
286.38 286 West end of SR 77 overlap
289.00 289 , Holbrook Airport
292.32 292 East end of SR 77 overlap
294.03 294 Sun Valley Road, Arntz Road
299.67 300 Goodwater Road
303.09 303 Sun Country Road
Apachemarker 311.06 311 Petrified Forest Road – Petrified Forest National Parkmarker
319.49 320 Pinta Road
325.41 325 Navajo Road
329.49 330 McCarroll Road
333.04 333  – Canyon de Chelly National Monumentmarker West end of US 191 overlap
339.00 339 East end of US 191 overlap
341.33 341 Cedar Point Road
343.32 343 Querino Road
346.05 346 Big Arrow Road
347.65 348 St Anselm Road
350.85 351 Allentown Road
354.11 354 Hawthorne Road
357.02 357 BIA Route 12 north – Window Rockmarker
358.69 359 Grants Road


References




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