Interstate 40 in California
I-40 highlighted in red
|Defined by Streets and Highways Code § 340|
|Maintained by Caltrans|
|Length||154.640 mi (248.869 km)|
|West end||I-15 in Barstow|
|US 95 in Needles|
|East end||I-40 at the Arizona state line near Topock, AZ|
Interstate 40 (I-40) is a major east–west Interstate Highway in the United States, stretching from Barstow, California, to Wilmington, North Carolina. The segment of I-40 in California is sometimes called the Needles Freeway. It goes east from its western terminus at Interstate 15 in Barstow across the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County past the Clipper Mountains to Needles, before it crosses over the Colorado River into Arizona east of Needles. All 155 miles (249 km) of I-40 in California are in San Bernardino County.
Interstate 40 goes through the Mojave Desert on its entire journey through California. I-40 starts out at a junction with Interstate 15 in Barstow. The freeway passes through Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow before leaving the city limits. I-40 provides access to the town of Daggett but passes south of the town. After passing south of the Barstow-Daggett Airport, I-40 goes through Newberry Springs and Ludlow before traveling along the south end of Mojave National Preserve. Several miles east of the preserve, I-40 intersects US 95 and the two highways run concurrently into the city of Needles. In Needles, US 95 continues south while I-40 continues east through Mojave National Preserve and across the Colorado River into Arizona. The maximum speed limit for the entire California segment of Interstate 40 is 70 mph (110 km/h).
I-40 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System, and is part of the National Highway System, a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy, defense, and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration. I-40 is eligible for the State Scenic Highway System, but it is not officially designated as a scenic highway by the California Department of Transportation. Interstate 40 from Interstate 15 to the Arizona State Line is known as the Needles Freeway, as named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 1 in 1968.
In 1957, the California Department of Highways proposed that the route be numbered as I-30 because of the already existing U.S. Route 40 in the state. However, this was rejected, and eventually US 40 was decommissioned in favor of I-80.
In the early 1960s, a proposal as part of Project Plowshare would have detonated 22 nuclear explosions to excavate a massive roadcut through the Bristol Mountains to accommodate a better alignment of Interstate 40 and a new rail line. This proposal was definitively abandoned in 1968.
The State of California submitted the segment of what is now State Route 58 between Barstow and Bakersfield for chargeable Interstate approval twice, in 1956 and 1968, presumably as an extension of I-40, but it was rejected both times. As a result of these rejections, this segment of SR 58 is being upgraded to freeway standards piece-by-piece as Caltrans has funds available. Between Bakersfield and Barstow, SR 58 exists mostly as a four- to six-lane freeway with a few exceptions: a 12-mile (19 km) section from Mojave to California City is four lanes with at-grade intersections, and a 27-mile (43 km) four-lane section with at-grade crossings between the Kramer Junction and Hinkley bypasses. Caltrans completed an Interstate-grade bypass around Hinkley and a similar bypass around Kramer Junction (to bypass the two-lane bottleneck at an intersection with US 395). The bypass was opened to traffic on October 24, 2019.
An extension of I-40 in California from its present western terminus in Barstow to Bakersfield, and possibly as far west as Paso Robles, has been proposed. The proposed I-40 extension would generally follow SR 58 to Bakersfield and then follow SR 46 to Paso Robles, although there is no current push to apply for Interstate designation. However, SR 46 is slowly being upgraded to Interstate standards, minus overpasses, from US 101 in Paso Robles to I-5 in Lost Hills. This would lead I-40 across two major mountain ranges, the Tehachapi Mountains and Sierra Nevada, and possibly the Diablo Range as well.
The entire route is in San Bernardino County.
|Barstow||0.00||0.00||I-15 south to SR 58 west – San Bernardino||No direct access to I-15 north; exit 184A on I-15|
|0.79||1.27||1||Montara Road to CR 66 west||Eastbound signage|
|East Main Street (I-15 Bus. / CR 66 west) to I-15 north – Las Vegas||Westbound signage; west end of CR 66 overlap; former US 66|
|2.35||3.78||2||Marine Corps Logistics Base|
|4.71||7.58||5||Nebo Street (CR 66)||East end of CR 66 overlap; eastbound exit and westbound entrance|
|Daggett||7.18||11.56||7||A Street – Daggett|
|||12.19||19.62||12||Airport Road – Barstow-Daggett Airport|
|Newberry Springs||18.45||29.69||18||National Trails Highway (CR 66) - Newberry Springs||Former US 66|
|||23.33||37.55||23||Fort Cady Road – Newberry Springs|
|||28.50||45.87||Desert Oasis Rest Area|
|Ludlow||49.98||80.44||50||Ludlow (CR 66)|
|||99.73||160.50||100||Essex Road – Essex|
|||106.94||172.10||John Wilkie Rest Area - Fenner|
|Fenner||107.17||172.47||107||Goffs Road (CR 66) - Essex||Former US 66|
|||115.19||185.38||115||Mountain Springs Road||former US 66 west|
|||132.73||213.61||133||US 95 north (CR 66 west) – Searchlight, Las Vegas||West end of US 95 / CR 66 overlap|
|Needles||139.11||223.88||139||River Road Cutoff (CR 66 east)||Eastbound exit and westbound entrance; east end of CR 66 overlap|
|141.01||226.93||141||West Broadway (I-40 Bus. east / CR 66) / River Road||former US 66|
|142.37||229.12||142||J Street – Downtown|
|143.76||231.36||144||US 95 south (East Broadway / I-40 Bus. west / CR 66) – Blythe||East end of US 95 overlap; former US 66|
|||148.19||238.49||148||Five Mile Road (CR 66 west) to US 95 south – Blythe||Former US 66|
|||149.10||239.95||Agricultural Inspection Station (westbound)|
|||153.31||246.73||153||Park Moabi Road|
|Colorado River||154.64||248.87||California–Arizona line|
|I-40 east – Kingman||Continuation into Arizona|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
Needles business loop
- Warring, KS (January 8, 2008). "Interstate 40 Freeway Interchanges" (PDF). California Numbered Exit Uniform System. California Department of Transportation. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
- San Bernardino County Street Atlas (Map). Thomas Brothers. 2008.
- "Article 2 of Chapter 2 of Division 1". California Streets and Highways Code. Sacramento: California Office of Legislative Counsel. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- Federal Highway Administration (March 25, 2015). National Highway System: California (South) (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
- Natzke, Stefan; Neathery, Mike & Adderly, Kevin (June 20, 2012). "What is the National Highway System?". National Highway System. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
- "Article 2.5 of Chapter 2 of Division 1". California Streets & Highways Code. Sacramento: California Office of Legislative Counsel. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- California Department of Transportation (August 2019). "Officially Designated State Scenic Highways and Historic Parkways" (XLSX). Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
- California Department of Transportation; California State Transportation Agency (January 2015). 2014 Named Freeways, Highways, Structures and Other Appurtenances in California. Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. p. 40. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 30, 2015. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
- Anton, Mike (January 17, 2007). "Destiny in the desert". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 29, 2011.
- "Project Carryall Marker". Hmdb.org. January 9, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
- "Preliminary Design Studies In A Nuclear Excavation: Project Carryall". Trb Publications Index. July 26, 1994. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
- "I-40 Barstow, Calif., sign gone for good". Star-News. November 13, 2009. Retrieved November 13, 2009.
- Burger, James (January 27, 2008). "Highway 58's dead-end issue may come alive". The Bakersfield Californian. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
- "New segment of State Route 58 opens near Kramer Junction". Mojave Desert News. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
- Subcommittee on Roads of the Committee on Public Works (April 15, 1970). "Report on the Status of the Federal-Aid Highway Program" (Hearing). United States Senate. p. 89. Retrieved June 10, 2016 – via HathiTrust.
Buttonwillow via Bakersfield to Barstow
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Interstate 40 in California.|
- Interstate 40 @ Interstate-Guide.com
- Interstate 40 Business @ Interstate-Guide.com
- Interstate 40 at California @ AARoads.com
- Interstate 40 highway conditions from Caltrans
- Interstate 40 at California Highways