Mexican Federal Highway 40

Federal Highway 40, (Carretera Federal, Fed. 40) also called the Carretera Interoceánica (Interoceanic Highway), is a road beginning at Reynosa, Tamaulipas, just west of the Port of Brownsville, Texas, and ending at Fed. 15 in Villa Unión, Sinaloa, near Mazatlán and the Pacific coast. It is called Interoceanic as, once finished, the cities of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, on the Gulf of Mexico and Mazatlán on the Pacific Ocean will be linked.

Federal Highway 40
Carretera Federal 40
Route information
Length1,145.4 km[1][2][3] (711.7 mi)
Major junctions
East end Fed. 2 in Reynosa
  Fed. 35 in General Bravo

Fed. 54 in Monterrey
Fed. 85 in Monterrey
Fed. 54 northeast of Ramos Arizpe[4]
Fed. 54 northeast of Ramos Arizpe
Fed. 54 / Fed. 57 in Saltillo
Fed. 40D in Puebla, Coahuila
Fed. 40D in La Paila, Coahuila
Fed. 40D in La Cuchilla, Coahuila
Fed. 30 in La Cuchilla
Fed. 40D in Matamoros, Coahuila
Fed. 30 in Torreón
Fed. 34 near Pedriceña, Durango
Fed. 49 in Cuencamé
Fed. 40D in Yerbanis
Fed. 40D in Cinco de Mayo, Durango
Fed. 45 in Cinco de Mayo
Fed. 23 / Fed. 45 in Durango
Fed. 40D in El Salto
Fed. 40D in Concordia, Sinaloa

Fed. 15D in Villa Unión[4]
West end Fed. 15 near Mazatlán
Highway system
Mexican Federal Highways
List  Autopistas
Fed. 39Fed. 41

It passes through Monterrey, Nuevo León; Saltillo, Coahuila; Torreón; Gómez Palacio and Durango City. The Monterrey to Durango City section is a four-lane divided highway. The rest of the road is a two-lane undivided road. Parallel to this highway, in some sections, runs Fed. 40D, a four-lane restricted-access toll road.

The Cadereyta Jiménez massacre occurred on 13 May 2012 along the road outside the city of Monterrey.[6]


Reynosa to Monterrey

From Reynosa, Tamaulipas, to La Junta, Nuevo León, the roadway is a 4-lane divided unrestricted access road. At La Junta the highway is separated into Fed. 40 and Fed. 40D. Fed. 40 continues as a 2-lane undivided road, passing through several small towns including:

Monterrey to Saltillo

From Monterrey, Nuevo León, to Saltillo, Coahuila, Fed. 40 is a 4-lane divided unrestricted access road. The highway crosses the northern end of the Sierra Madre Oriental that divides Coahuila and Nuevo León.

Saltillo to Torreón

From Saltillo the road continues west as a 4-lane unrestricted access road. After the town of El Mesón, the road splits into the 4-lane toll Road Fed. 40D and a 2-lane undivided unrestricted Fed. 40. Both roads merge again in the town of 28 de Agosto and begin another section of 4-lane divided unrestricted highway. A few kilometers ahead is the road junction south to Parras de la Fuente. At La Cuchilla the road splits again into Fed. 40 and Fed. 40D. From there, one may take Fed. 30 to San Pedro, which eventually becomes a 4-lane divided unrestricted road and leads directly to northern Torreón. At the city of Matamoros, Fed. 40 and Fed. 40D merge again into a 4-lane divided unrestricted highway until one reaches Torreón.

This section is the east-west section across the central Mexican Plateau.

Torreon to Gómez Palacio

Torreon, Coahuila, and Gómez Palacio, Durango, form a metro area. At Gómez Palacio, Fed. 40 merges with Fed. 49 that comes from the north. At Gómez Palacio one can choose between Fed's 40 or 49 and Feds 40D or 49D; both roads are 4-lane divided until the first toll plaza.

Gómez Palacio to Durango

At Gómez Palacio one can choose between the toll road and the unrestricted road. At Cuencamé, Durango, the roads splits: Fed. 49 continues south to Zacatecas and Mexico City, and Fed. 40 continues west to Durango.

Durango to Mazatlán

This section of the highway is narrow with many curves and has recently been replaced with the new Fed. 40D. The old Fed. 40 can take up to 8 hours to travel, while Fed. 40D should only take 3 hours. During the winter months there is the added danger of ice. When going eastbound, Mazatlán to Durango, after reaching the top of the Sierra Madre Occidental, Fed. 40 becomes more linear, and it goes through the towns of La Ciudad, El Salto, and El Soldado. It continues linear up to a point around 30 kilometers from Durango, and it again goes downhill with many curves. In all the downhill sections, the use of engine brake is advised.

Current developments

New highway

The improvement of the corridor between Durango and Mazatlán will shorten travel time between them by as much as 6 hours.[7] The highway will pass through and over the Sierra Madre Occidental through 63 new tunnels and 115 new bridges.[8] The most important is the Baluarte Bridge (finished in 2012), which is now the highest bridge in North America at 390 meters. The bridge is located at the border between Sinaloa and Durango states formed by the Baluarte River. The clearance from the river bottom is over 400 m (1,300 ft), and at over 1,100 m (3,600 ft) long it is the highest suspension bridge in the world. The route from Mazatlan to Durango has 115 bridges, eight over 270 m (890 ft) high, and 63 tunnels nearly 18 km (11 mi) long in total.

Security is expected to be greatly enhanced in this region, due to quicker access and mobility of the military. It was inaugurated by President Enrique Peña Nieto on October 17, 2013, and has been fully operational since then. The time to travel from Durango City to Mazatlan takes slightly under two and one-half hours.


  1. "Datos Viales de Durango" (PDF) (in Spanish). Dirección General de Servicios Técnicos, Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes. 2011. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-05-14. Retrieved 2012-01-31.
  2. "Datos Viales de Coahuila" (PDF) (in Spanish). Dirección General de Servicios Técnicos, Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes. 2011. pp. 5, 12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-16. Retrieved 2012-01-31.
  3. "Datos Viales de Nuevo León" (PDF) (in Spanish). Dirección General de Servicios Técnicos, Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes. 2011. pp. 8–9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-16. Retrieved 2012-01-31.
  4. "Google Maps". Retrieved Feb 12, 2012.
  5. "Datos Viales de Sinaloa" (PDF) (in Spanish). Dirección General de Servicios Técnicos, Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes. 2011. pp. 2–3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-05-14. Retrieved 2012-02-12.
  6. "Official: 49 bodies left on Reynosa-Monterrey highway". The Monitor. 13 May 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  7. "Inauguration of Durango-Mazatlán Highway". Presidencia de la República. 17 October 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  8. "Mexico Highway Leapfrogs Drug Lands to Link 2 Seas". The Associated Press. 30 June 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
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