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Interstate 80 - Utah

Interstate 80 Utah

Routing

Interstate 80, a major transcontinental freeway, straddles the northern portions of the Beehive State, connecting West Wendover, Nevada, with Evanston, Wyoming. Between these two points, the busy freeway crosses the Great Salt Lake Desert, cuts through the Salt Lake City metro, and ascends the northern Wasatch Mountain range via Parleys Canyon. Among the highlights along the route are the seemingly endless expanse of the Great Salt Lake Desert at the western end. One can see the curvature of the earth due to the flat, empty, seemingly endless desert floor. Interstate 80 promptly becomes an urban freeway as it approaches the state capital of Salt Lake City, shares pavement with Interstate 15 near downtown, and then turns east again to leave the urban area. Urban development ends as Interstate 80 pierces the Wasatch Front and ascends to Park City, a well-known skiing destination. The canyons that guide the freeway northeast from Salt Lake City to Echo Junction and then northeast to Evanston, Wyoming, are quite scenic and steep.

History

Interstate 80 replaces U.S. 40 and Alternate U.S. 50 between Wendover and Salt Lake City, U.S. 40 between Salt Lake City and near Park City, U.S. 530 from near Park City to Echo Junction, and U.S. 30S from Echo Junction to the Utah-Wyoming state line. An overlap with U.S. 189 at its eastern end is poorly signed.

Interstate 80 Utah Highway Guides

Scenes Pertaining to Interstate 80
Found by AARoads contributor Garrett Smith, this old, wooden, button-copy sign is located on old U.S. 40 slightly west of the Knolls interchange (Exit 41). It is likely that the arrow that points east for Wendover used to point west, perhaps before the Interstate 80 freeway (which replaced U.S. 40 through here) was completed. Photo taken 10/28/11 by Garrett Smith.
Utah 36 eastbound comes to an end at the Exit 99 trumpet interchange of Interstate 80 at Mills Junction. The state highway travels 66 miles north from U.S. 6 at Tintic to junction Interstate 80. Pictured here is the approach to the Interstate 80 on-ramps at Exit 99. Photo taken 09/08/05.
The eastbound mainline of Utah 36 defaults onto Interstate 80 eastbound for Salt Lake City. Interstate 80 splits with Utah 201 three miles ahead at Lake Point Junction. Utah 201 and Interstate 80 venture east from there into the metropolitan area of the capital city. Photo taken 09/08/05.
Travelers bound for Interstate 80 westbound loop over the freeway and next to Great Salt Lake. The Mills Junction interchange provides some of the last services for travelers heading west to Wendover. Wendover lies at the state line (Exit 2). Photo taken 09/08/05.
An Interstate 80 westbound shield reassures drivers of the on-ramp from Utah 36 eastbound. No end shield is posted for the state highway conclusion otherwise. The next exit lies 11 miles to the west at Burmester. Photo taken 09/08/05.
Bonneville Salt Flats International Speedway
At Exit 4 from Interstate 80, visitors may access the Bonneville Salt Flats International Speedway. These pictures show the unusually flat surface of the earth at this location, which has allowed land speed records to be achieved. A paved road leads from Exit 4 to the speedway area. Photos taken 05/16/12 by Steve Hanudel and Erik Slotboom.

Page Updated July 7, 2012.