Interstate 40 in Texas
In the U.S. state of Texas, Interstate 40 (I-40) runs west–east through the panhandle in the northwest part of the state. The only large city it passes through is Amarillo, where it meets the north end of Interstate 27.
I-40 highlighted in red
|Maintained by TxDOT|
|Length||177.139 mi (285.078 km)|
|Counties||Deaf Smith, Oldham, Potter, Carson, Gray, Donley, Wheeler|
Before the U.S. Route system, this system of interconnected highway from New Mexico to Oklahoma was part of the Texas highway system and a portion of the Ozark Trails which closely paralleled the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway. When the United States Numbered Highway system was introduced in 1926, Route 66 across the Texas Panhandle was designated along existing roads in the Texas highway network. The entire route was paved by 1938. There have been various realignments, including one in 1959 to allow expansion of the Amarillo Air Force Base.
In 1956, the Interstate Highway Act designated US 66 through Texas as a section of highway eligible for limited access upgrades.
During the next 20 years, most of the highway was upgraded in place, to keep construction costs low. With the limited access of the Interstates, towns on the highway had to be bypassed. Most towns requested to remain as close to the new highway as possible to minimize tourism losses. Bypassed towns included Glenrio, Adrian, Vega, Conway, Groom, Jericho, Alanreed, McLean, and Shamrock. A new routing along the south end of downtown Amarillo was also built, connecting with the already-built expressway leading south from downtown toward Canyon. In 1985, the entire designation of U.S. Route 66 was removed as the entire route had been displaced by Interstate 40.
I-40 in Texas is one of a few Interstate Highways with at-grade intersections. The westernmost part of I-40 in Texas, near the New Mexico border, lacks the frontage roads typical to Texas freeways, and several driveways for ranches directly intersect the main lanes of I-40, in violation of Interstate standards. The entirety of Interstate 40 in Texas is located in the panhandle.
Interstate 40 enters Texas from New Mexico just north of Glenrio. The highway's first exit, exit 0, is for BL I-40-A, which serves the town of Glenrio. I-40 briefly runs through Deaf Smith County before entering Oldham County. The interstate gains frontage roads between exits 15 and 18 and turns from a northeast direction into a straight east direction. I-40 bypasses the town of Adrian before turning southeast. I-40 next bypasses the town of Vega, where it meets with US 385 at exit 36. The interstate briefly runs in an east direction through the town of Wildorado before turning back to the southeast. I-40 has a mostly rural route before becoming more suburban in Bushland, with housing developments becoming visible from the highway. The interstate passes by Cadillac Ranch before the Hope Road interchange and enters the city limits of Amarillo just west of Loop 335. I-40 expands from four lanes to six at Loop 335 and runs through a heavily developed area of the city. Near downtown, the highway serves as the northern terminus for Interstate 27 at a turbine interchange and begins an overlap with US 287.
I-40 runs through eastern Amarillo, passing by the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and The Big Texan Steak Ranch. Development along the route begins to lessen after S. Eastern Street as the highway passes near Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport. US 287 leaves I-40 at exit 78 as the interstate leaves the city limits of Amarillo. The highway runs primarily through rural farm land after leaving the city and enters the town of Groom, passing near a 19–story cross and a leaning water tower. East of Groom, I-40 has an overlap with SH 70 between exits 121 and 124. After the overlap with SH 70 ends, the terrain along the interstate begins to change from flat plains to a rolling canyon ridge with an observation point near Alanreed. I-40 returns to flatland again after the town of McLean and bypasses the town of Shamrock before entering Oklahoma near Texola.
|Deaf Smith||Glenrio||0.00||0.00||New Mexico state line|
|23.04||37.08||23||No westbound entrance; eastern terminus of BL-40|
|||62.42||100.46||62A||Hope Road, Helium Road||Access to Cadillac Ranch|
|Amarillo||62B||Eastbound exit and westbound entrance|
|65.46||105.35||65||Access to Northwest Texas Hospital and Baptist Saint Anthony's|
|66.52||107.05||66||Bell Street, Avondale Street / Olsen Boulevard|
|67.56||108.73||67||Western Street, Avondale Street / Olsen Boulevard|
|68.19||109.74||68A||Julian Boulevard / Paramount Boulevard|
|68.64||110.47||68B||Georgia Street, Crockett Street|
|69.11||111.22||69A||Crockett Street||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance|
|69.64||112.07||69B||Washington Street – Amarillo College|
|70.30||113.14||70||West end of US 287 overlap; I-27 exit 123B; northern terminus of I-27|
|71||Ross-Osage Street, Arthur Street|
|72.07||115.99||72A||Nelson Street, Quarter Horse Drive||Access to the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame|
|72.66||116.93||72B||Grand Street, Bolton Street|
|73.60||118.45||73||Eastern Street, Bolton Street|
|78.49||126.32||78||East end of US 287 overlap; eastbound exit and westbound entrance|
|Carson||||85.20||137.12||85||Durrett Road||Eastbound exit only|
|||85.39||137.42||No eastbound exit|
|||97.80||157.39||98||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance|
|Donley||||120.62||194.12||121||West end of SH 70 overlap|
|||124.21||199.90||124||East end of SH 70 overlap|
|Gray||||131.60||211.79||132||Johnson Ranch Road|
|McLean||141.01||226.93||141||Eastbound exit and westbound entrance|
|143.50||230.94||143||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance|
|||146.26||235.38||146||County Line Road|
|161||Eastbound exit and westbound entrance|
|Benonine||175.42||282.31||176||Eastbound exit only|
|176.04||283.31||Frontage Road||Westbound entrance only|
|||176.74||284.44||Oklahoma state line|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
Business routes and old alignments
I-40 has seven business routes in Texas, all of which are old alignments of US 66. A number of other old alignments of US 66 are also present; most are marked on guide signs on I-40.
Business Interstate Highway 40-A (formerly Spur 504) is a Business Spur that runs from I-40 at Glenrio, just east of the New Mexico state line, southwest to the border. In New Mexico, the road forks - the later paved alignment (c. 1952) has been cut by Interstate 40, and the earlier alignment west to San Jon is now a dirt road that had been paved when it was US 66 prior to 1952 but the paving was later removed by Quay County, NM commissioners due to high maintenance costs and low traffic volumes. The old US 66/I-40 Business Loop through Glenrio was bypassed in 1973 by I-40.
Business Interstate Highway 40-D (formerly Loop 552) is a long Business Loop through Amarillo. An older alignment - Loop 279 - carried Business U.S. Highway 66. East of Amarillo, Farm to Market Road 2575 is old US 66, rerouted to today's Business I-40 in 1958 by the construction of Amarillo International Airport. Present Business I-40 was bypassed in 1968 by I-40, and carried US 66 until its 1985 decommissioning.
The short Loop 271, in addition to providing access to Farm to Market Road 291, is old US 66 through Alanreed. The road was bypassed in 1953 by US 66, but the bypass was not upgraded to a freeway until c. 1982.
Spur 30 is a short route from I-40 just west of the Oklahoma state line southeast to the border. In Oklahoma, the road is unnumbered though Texola, though it picks up Interstate 40 Business at exit 5 to run through Erick. The road was bypassed c. 1972 by I-40, and carried US 66 until 1976, when it was moved onto I-40 in the area.
In 2015, TxDot published the plans for the all new SL 335 Freeway Loop that encircles the city of Amarillo. TxDot has planned multiple multi-level interchanges that intersect with Interstate 40. The first, on the East side of Amarillo, is a multi-level interchange that provided access to both directions of the IH-40 Expressway and SL 335. The second interchange with IH-40, however, is a full stack interchange. A new mainlane bridge that accommodates up to 6 lanes is also in the works for IH-40 near Helium Rd. providing easier access to the new freeway. Although construction started in 2016, the project is not expected to be complete until 2022.
U.S. Roads portal Texas portal
- Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Designation File - Interstate Highway 40
- Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Designation File - State Highway Spur 504
- National Bridge Inventory
- Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Designation File - State Highway Loop 550
- Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Designation File - State Highway Loop 551
- Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Designation File - Farm to Market Road 2575
- Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Designation File - State Highway Loop 552
- Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Designation File - Farm to Market Road 2161
- Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Designation File - State Highway Loop 554
- Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Designation File - State Highway Loop 271
- Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Designation File - State Highway Loop 555
- Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Designation File - State Highway Loop 556
- Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Designation File - State Highway Spur 30
Media related to Interstate 40 in Texas at Wikimedia Commons Geographic data related to Interstate 40 in Texas at OpenStreetMap