Interstate 80

Interstate 80

Interstate 80 marker

Interstate 80
Route information
Length: 2,899.54 mi[1] (4,666.36 km)
Existed: 1956 – present
Major junctions
West end: US 101 in San Francisco, California
  I-5 in Sacramento, California
I-15 in Salt Lake City, Utah
I-25 in Cheyenne, Wyoming
I-35 near Des Moines, Iowa
I-55 near Joliet, Illinois
I-65 in Gary, Indiana
I-90 near Gary, Indiana
I-75 near Toledo, Ohio
I-90 near Cleveland, Ohio
East end: I-95 / NJ Turnpike in Teaneck, New Jersey
Highway system

Main route of the Interstate Highway System
Main • Auxiliary • Business

Interstate 80 (I-80) is the second-longest Interstate Highway in the United States, following Interstate 90. It is a transcontinental artery running from downtown San Francisco, California to Teaneck, New Jersey in the New York City Metropolitan Area. I-80 is the Interstate Highway that most closely approximates the route of the historic Lincoln Highway, the first road across America. The highway roughly traces other historically significant travel routes in the Western United States: the Oregon Trail across Wyoming and Nebraska, the California Trail across most of Nevada and California, and except in the Great Salt Lake area, the entire route of the First Transcontinental Railroad.

From near Chicago, Illinois, east to near Youngstown, Ohio, Interstate 80 is a toll road, containing the majority of both the Indiana Toll Road and the Ohio Turnpike. I-80 runs concurrent with Interstate 90 from near Portage, Indiana to Elyria, Ohio. I-80 becomes the Keystone Shortway, a freeway built across rural northern Pennsylvania expressly for I-80, with its eastern origin at its junction with the New Jersey Turnpike and Interstate 95 just west of the George Washington Bridge entering New York City.


Route description

  mi km
CA 199.24[1] 320.65
NV 410.67[1] 660.91
UT 196.34[1] 315.98
WY 402.76[1] 648.18
NE 455.32[1] 732.77
IA 306.01[1] 492.48
IL 163.52[1] 263.16
IN 151.56[1] 243.91
OH 237.48[1] 382.19
PA 311.07[1] 500.62
NJ 68.54[2] 110.30
Total 2902.51 4671.13
Interstate 80 is a major urban freeway in the San Francisco Bay Area (seen here in Berkeley, California as the Eastshore Freeway). This section of freeway is among the busiest in the region, carrying a peak average of roughly 300,000 cars per day.
Mountains of the Great Salt Lake as seen approaching Salt Lake City from the west.
Tunnels near Green River, Wyoming, one of three sets of tunnels over the interstate's 2,900-mile (4,700 km) length.


Interstate 80 begins at an interchange with U.S. Route 101 in San Francisco and heads northeast through Oakland, Vallejo, Sacramento, and the Sierra Nevada mountains before crossing into Nevada.

A portion of the route through Pinole, California involved the experimental transplantation of the rare species Santa Cruz tarweed in the right-of-way.


In Nevada, I-80 traverses the northern portion of the state. The freeway serves the RenoSparks metropolitan area, and it also goes through the towns of Fernley, Lovelock, Winnemucca, Battle Mountain, Elko, Wells and West Wendover on its way through the state.

The Nevada portion of I-80 follows the paths of the Truckee and Humboldt Rivers, which have been used as a transportation corridor since the California Gold Rush of the 1840s. The interstate also follows the historical routes of the California Trail, First Transcontinental Railroad, and Feather River Route throughout portions of the state. I-80 in Nevada closely follows, and at many points directly overlaps, the original route of the Victory Highway, State Route 1 and U.S. Route 40.


After crossing Utah's western border, I-80 crosses the desolate Bonneville Salt Flats west of the Great Salt Lake. The longest stretch between exits on an Interstate Highway is located between Wendover and Knolls, with 37 miles (60 km) between those exits. This portion of I-80, crossing the Great Salt Lake Desert, is extremely flat and straight, dotted with large warning signs about driver fatigue and drowsiness.

East of the salt flats, I-80 passes through Salt Lake City, where it merges with I-15 for 3 miles (4.8 km) before entering the Wasatch Mountains east of the city. It ascends Parley's Canyon and passes within a few miles of Park City as it follows a route through the mountains towards Wyoming.

The route of the Utah section of I-80 is defined at Utah Code Annotated § 72-4-113(10).[3]


In Wyoming, I-80 reaches its maximum elevation of 8,640 feet (2,633 m) above sea level between Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming. Farther west in Wyoming, the interstate passes through the dry Red Desert and over the Continental Divide. In a way, the highway crosses the Divide twice, since two ridges of the Rocky Mountains split in Wyoming, forming the Great Divide Basin, from which no surface water escapes.


I-80 enters Nebraska west of Bushnell. The western portion of I-80 in Nebraska runs very close to the state of Colorado, without entering the state; the intersection of Interstate 76 and I-80 is visible from the Colorado-Nebraska state line. From its intersection with I-76 to Grand Island, I-80 lies in the valley of the South Platte and Platte Rivers. The longest straight stretch of interstate anywhere in the system is the approximately 72 miles (116 km) of I-80 occurring between Exit 318 in the Grand Island area and milemarker 390 near Lincoln. Along this length, the road does not vary from an ideally straight line by more than a few yards.[citation needed] After Lincoln, I-80 turns northeast towards Omaha. It then crosses the Missouri River in Omaha to go into Iowa. It is the only interstate highway to cross the state from one end to the other.

Part of Interstate 80 in Nebraska is marked as a Blue Star Memorial Highway.


In Iowa, Interstate 80 runs from the I-80 bridge over the Missouri River where it intersects with I-29 and runs east to the Quad Cities and the Fred Schwengel Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River. In Des Moines it merges with Interstate 35 for 15 miles (24 km). It is the main east–west arterial freeway through south-central Iowa, and the main east–west Interstate in the state.

In Iowa I-80 serves the cities of Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Iowa City, and the Iowa portion of the Quad Cities, including Davenport and Bettendorf.


In Illinois, I-80 runs from the Fred Schwengel Memorial Bridge across the Mississippi River south to an intersection with I-74. It then runs east across north-central Illinois just north of the Illinois River to Joliet. I-80 continues east and joins I-94 just before entering Indiana.


In Indiana, I-80 runs concurrent with another Interstate Highway for its entire length. It runs with I-94 on the Borman Expressway before joining I-90 to Ohio on the Indiana Toll Road.

The portion of I-80 between La Porte, Indiana and Toledo, Ohio runs (with I-90) within 10 miles (16 km) of the Michigan state line. From the State Route 9 and I-80 intersection, the sign marking the Indiana-Michigan state line is visible. It passes through the South Bend metropolitan area intersecting with the St. Joseph Valley Freeway. At another point in northern Indiana, I-80 comes within about 200 yards (180 m) from the Michigan border.[4]


In Ohio, I-80 enters with I-90 from the Indiana Toll Road and immediately becomes the "James W. Shocknessy Ohio Turnpike", more commonly referred to as simply the Ohio Turnpike. The two Interstates cross rural northwest Ohio and run just south of the metropolitan area of Toledo. In Rossford, Ohio it intersects with Interstate 75 in an area known as the Crossroads of America. This intersection is one of the largest intersections of two Interstate Highways in the United States.

In Elyria Township, just west of Cleveland, I-90 splits from I-80 and runs northeast as a freeway. I-80 runs east-southeast through the southern suburbs of Cleveland and retains the Ohio Turnpike designation. Just northwest of Youngstown, the Ohio Turnpike continues southeast onto Interstate 76, while I-80 runs east to the north of Youngstown, entering Pennsylvania south of Sharon, Pennsylvania.


In Pennsylvania, I-80 is the main east–west Interstate-standard highway through central Pennsylvania. It runs from the Ohio state line near Sharon to the Delaware Water Gap Toll Bridge over the Delaware River and is called the Confair Memorial Highway.

I-80 serves no major metropolitan areas in Pennsylvania directly. A spur from I-80 (I-180) runs to Williamsport, while another (I-380) runs to Scranton. I-80 intersects I-476 in the Pocono Mountains which connects with Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Allentown and Philadelphia. I-80 intersects I-79 in Western Pennsylvania which connects with Erie (about 75 miles (121 km) to the north) and Pittsburgh (about 55 miles (89 km) to the south). Also in Western Pennsylvania I-80 serves as the northern terminus for I-376 which connects it to the Pittsburgh International Airport and on to downtown and suburban Pittsburgh.

In Clearfield County, Interstate 80 reaches its highest elevation east of the Mississippi River, 2,250 feet (690 m), although other interstate highways east of the Mississippi, including I-26 in North Carolina and Tennessee, reach higher elevations.

In 2007, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, combined with state legislature Act No. 44, initiated plans to enact a tolling system on the entire span of I-80 throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. On October 15, 2007, PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission signed a 50-year lease agreement, which will allow the Commission to maintain and, eventually, toll I-80.[5] However, such a toll has not been accepted by the Federal Highway Administration.[6]

New Jersey

The eastern end of I-80 in New Jersey

A portion of 80 that goes through New Jersey is called the Bergen-Passaic Expressway.[7]

I-80 does not go all the way to New York City via the George Washington Bridge. Its designated end (as per signage and NJDOT documents) is 4 miles (6.4 km)[8] short of New York City in Teaneck, New Jersey. There, signs designate the end of I-80 and (erroneously) the beginning of I-95, a part of the New Jersey Turnpike.

The fact that mileage markers beyond the end of I-80 appear to follow as if they were part of I-80 is a coincidence; they match what would have been the correct mileage markers of I-95 had the Somerset Freeway been built.[citation needed]

One section of I-80 running from Netcong to Denville was constructed in 1958. It is one of the oldest sections of Interstate highway in the United States.[citation needed]

Auxiliary 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 H-1 H-2 H-3
Unsigned  A-1 A-2 A-3 A-4 PRI-1 PRI-2 PRI-3
Lists  Primary 

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