Interstate 40 in New Mexico


Interstate 40 in New Mexico

Infobox road
state=NM
type=I
route=40



section=
length_mi=373
length_round=0
length_ref=
established=
direction_a=West
terminus_a=jct|state=AZ|I|40 at Arizona-New Mexico border
junction=
direction_b=East
terminus_b=jct|state=TX|I|40 at New Mexico-Texas border
previous_type=
previous_route=
next_type=
next_route=

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. West of Albuquerque, there are some at-grade intersections, in violation of Interstate standards.

Route description

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 a 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 That law was repealed in 1966 following a threat of loss of federal funds and most New Mexico cities along I-40, I-25 and I-10 then worked out agreements with state and federal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 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, 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).

Control cities

Westbound
*Tucumcari, New Mexico
*Santa Rosa, New Mexico
*Albuquerque, New Mexico
*Gallup, New Mexico
*Flagstaff, Arizona

Eastbound
*Gallup, New Mexico
*Albuquerque, New Mexico
*Santa Rosa, New Mexico
*Tucumcari, New Mexico
*Amarillo, Texas

Exit list

References


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