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Author Topic: Interstate 40  (Read 1841 times)

Max Rockatansky

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Interstate 40
« on: March 29, 2021, 06:37:25 PM »

Interstate 40 within California is carried from Barstow east through the Mojave Desert and Bristol Mountains to the Arizona State Line.  While Interstate 40 doesn't really carry the roadside nostalgia of US Route 66 and the National Old Trails Road it does have one of the strangest chapters in American Highway History in the form of Operation Carryall.  Operation Carryall was a project floated to the Atomic Energy Commission by the ATSF and California Division of Highways which would have utilized 22 nuclear blasts to excavate a dual purpose pass in the Bristol Mountains.  Ultimately Operation Carryall never was implemented but Interstate 40 was largely constructed as planned.  Interstate 40 offers one of the remote freeway driving experiences in the United States as it skirts numerous former rail sidings/ghost towns on the outskirts of the Mojave National Preserve through much of it's alignment. 

https://www.gribblenation.org/2021/03/interstate-40-and-h-bomb.html
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RZF

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Re: Interstate 40
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2021, 07:45:44 PM »

I-40 and I-15 differ in the fact that I-40 has maybe 3-4 rest/gas stops in between Barstow and Needles, while I-15 offers way more services in between Barstow and the NV state border. It really makes I-40 seem like a more desolate, looooong drive.
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 40
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2021, 08:42:54 PM »

I-40 and I-15 differ in the fact that I-40 has maybe 3-4 rest/gas stops in between Barstow and Needles, while I-15 offers way more services in between Barstow and the NV state border. It really makes I-40 seem like a more desolate, looooong drive.

Which is understandable, considering the fact that I-15, underpowered as it currently is, hosts a considerably higher overall volume of traffic than does I-40 simply due to the weekend jaunts by metro L.A. folks to Las Vegas, at least pre-COVID (and it'll eventually return to a relatively high level at some point).  More traffic = more opportunities for on-road businesses like those in Baker and up on Halloran Summit.  NV has taken that to another level, actually making roadside stopovers destinations in themselves (i.e. Primm, Jean).  I-40?...not so much.  The only major recreational area within a days' drive of L.A. is the Colorado River/Lake Havasu outdoor "fun site" to the south of I-40 as well as Laughlin to the north -- but both pale in comparison with Vegas when it comes to traffic in & out.  Also, I-15 more or less hews to the old US 91 alignment; some of the roadside businesses were there before the Interstate was completed in the '60's.  I-40 more or less "straightlined" the former/historic US 66 through Amboy, so there are few "hangover" businesses outside of just east of Barstow as well as those in and around Needles.  I-40 seems desolate because it is desolate!  Saving grace -- it's a pretty fast trip!
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Interstate 40
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2021, 10:12:07 PM »

Does anyone think Interstate 40 will ever be extended westward to Bakersfield or further? It's been talked about for decades, and rejected both in 1956 and 1968. Or is it as likely as CA 99 south of Sacramento joining the Interstate System?
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Interstate 40
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2021, 10:16:19 PM »

Does anyone think Interstate 40 will ever be extended westward to Bakersfield or further? It's been talked about for decades, and rejected both in 1956 and 1968. Or is it as likely as CA 99 south of Sacramento joining the Interstate System?

Probably less likely than CA 99.  At minimum CA 99 has been somewhat recently explored as a viable Interstate corridor.  CA 99 is far more likely to get upgrades that will bring it closer to Interstate standards given the traffic volume is massive through much of the Central Valley. 

Regarding CA 58, there isn't much justification outside of the Centennial Corridor for much of an expansion.  I can see CA 223 getting a full interchange someday but the rest of the highway east of Bakersfield is functionally adequate (maybe throw in an eastbound climbing lane to Tehachapi Summit) at this point.
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Roadgeekteen

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Re: Interstate 40
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2021, 10:40:32 PM »

I-40 in California has always been interesting as it goes through absolutely no population centers and doesn't have many uses for car traffic, although trucks heavily depend on it.
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 40
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2021, 10:46:09 PM »

Does anyone think Interstate 40 will ever be extended westward to Bakersfield or further? It's been talked about for decades, and rejected both in 1956 and 1968. Or is it as likely as CA 99 south of Sacramento joining the Interstate System?

Probably less likely than CA 99.  At minimum CA 99 has been somewhat recently explored as a viable Interstate corridor.  CA 99 is far more likely to get upgrades that will bring it closer to Interstate standards given the traffic volume is massive through much of the Central Valley. 

Regarding CA 58, there isn't much justification outside of the Centennial Corridor for much of an expansion.  I can see CA 223 getting a full interchange someday but the rest of the highway east of Bakersfield is functionally adequate (maybe throw in an eastbound climbing lane to Tehachapi Summit) at this point.

What's interesting is back around 1987, when doing a study regarding the prospects of CA 99 for some Fresno-area activists looking to funnel $$ toward 99 upgrades (and potential I-status), I posed the question to engineers at Caltrans HQ about the relative efficacy of CA 99 as an Interstate versus an interregional connector like CA 58 -- and the answer was surprising, given the fact that 99 traffic was at a very high level even back 34 years ago -- the concurrence was that the agency would favor elevating CA 58 to Interstate status before considering CA 99!  Of course, this was prior to (a) the CA 99 "master plan" being formulated, and (b) that route's inclusion as a "future Interstate" corridor (HPC #54) in the 2005 SAFETEA-LU act.  But then again, it was Caltrans that put up CA 58 as an Interstate addition back in the initial round of consideration for the 1968 batch of chargeable additions; subsequently discarded when those additions were cut back by two-thirds.  And since the '68 additions haven't been repeated, particularly in regard to chargeability/90% federal share, CA 58's progress continues piecemeal -- never even singled out for high-priority corridor inclusion.  Maybe someday -- just not in the immediate forecast.
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kkt

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Re: Interstate 40
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2021, 09:19:58 PM »

I-40 taking over CA 58 to Bakersfield has a lot less to do in order to get it up to interstate standards.  But CA 99 has some boosters actively campaigning for it.  So it could go either way.  Caltrans and most of the legislature doesn't really care about interstate status that doesn't have any money attached to it.  I wouldn't look for either of them to happen this decade.

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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Interstate 40
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2021, 09:22:41 PM »

I-40 taking over CA 58 to Bakersfield has a lot less to do in order to get it up to interstate standards.  But CA 99 has some boosters actively campaigning for it.  So it could go either way.  Caltrans and most of the legislature doesn't really care about interstate status that doesn't have any money attached to it.  I wouldn't look for either of them to happen this decade.

More so, aside from putting a real junction at CA 223 I donít see what added benefit Interstate standards nets CA 58.  99 (and really US 101) are where widenings and reconfigured interchanges are going to make an impact.  The Merced County segment of 99 is being worked on which really leaves the only big subpar gap as southern Tulare County. 
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Henry

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Re: Interstate 40
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2021, 10:39:37 AM »

Does anyone think Interstate 40 will ever be extended westward to Bakersfield or further? It's been talked about for decades, and rejected both in 1956 and 1968. Or is it as likely as CA 99 south of Sacramento joining the Interstate System?

Probably less likely than CA 99.  At minimum CA 99 has been somewhat recently explored as a viable Interstate corridor.  CA 99 is far more likely to get upgrades that will bring it closer to Interstate standards given the traffic volume is massive through much of the Central Valley. 

Regarding CA 58, there isn't much justification outside of the Centennial Corridor for much of an expansion.  I can see CA 223 getting a full interchange someday but the rest of the highway east of Bakersfield is functionally adequate (maybe throw in an eastbound climbing lane to Tehachapi Summit) at this point.

What's interesting is back around 1987, when doing a study regarding the prospects of CA 99 for some Fresno-area activists looking to funnel $$ toward 99 upgrades (and potential I-status), I posed the question to engineers at Caltrans HQ about the relative efficacy of CA 99 as an Interstate versus an interregional connector like CA 58 -- and the answer was surprising, given the fact that 99 traffic was at a very high level even back 34 years ago -- the concurrence was that the agency would favor elevating CA 58 to Interstate status before considering CA 99!  Of course, this was prior to (a) the CA 99 "master plan" being formulated, and (b) that route's inclusion as a "future Interstate" corridor (HPC #54) in the 2005 SAFETEA-LU act.  But then again, it was Caltrans that put up CA 58 as an Interstate addition back in the initial round of consideration for the 1968 batch of chargeable additions; subsequently discarded when those additions were cut back by two-thirds.  And since the '68 additions haven't been repeated, particularly in regard to chargeability/90% federal share, CA 58's progress continues piecemeal -- never even singled out for high-priority corridor inclusion.  Maybe someday -- just not in the immediate forecast.
I-40 taking over CA 58 to Bakersfield has a lot less to do in order to get it up to interstate standards.  But CA 99 has some boosters actively campaigning for it.  So it could go either way.  Caltrans and most of the legislature doesn't really care about interstate status that doesn't have any money attached to it.  I wouldn't look for either of them to happen this decade.

More so, aside from putting a real junction at CA 223 I donít see what added benefit Interstate standards nets CA 58.  99 (and really US 101) are where widenings and reconfigured interchanges are going to make an impact.  The Merced County segment of 99 is being worked on which really leaves the only big subpar gap as southern Tulare County. 

I am surprised that CA 58 between Bakersfield and Barstow has never even gotten an HPC designation, because that would easily jumpstart any I-40 extension plans. Maybe not in the same way as I-7 for CA 99, but I would've loved to see it gain traction. As it is, I-40 functions pretty well for Los Angeles-bound traffic coming from places like Flagstaff, Albuquerque, Amarillo and OKC (all cities that were once served by Route 66), so an extension would be viewed as nothing more than an added bonus.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Interstate 40
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2021, 11:33:34 AM »

Interstate 40 in California's Wikipedia page says that Interstate 40 has been proposed to be extended to Bakersfield, and even as far as Paso Robles: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_40_in_California. While an extension to Bakersfield (or even Interstate 5) may or may not happen, an extension all the way to Paso Robles seems like pie-in-the-sky on Wikipedia's part; even though SR 46 is being expanded to four-lanes from Paso Robles to Interstate 5, it is doubtful that the corridor will ever be an Interstate, let alone be part of a future segment of Interstate 40.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Interstate 40
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2021, 12:07:37 PM »

Interstate 40 in California's Wikipedia page says that Interstate 40 has been proposed to be extended to Bakersfield, and even as far as Paso Robles: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_40_in_California. While an extension to Bakersfield (or even Interstate 5) may or may not happen, an extension all the way to Paso Robles seems like pie-in-the-sky on Wikipedia's part; even though SR 46 is being expanded to four-lanes from Paso Robles to Interstate 5, it is doubtful that the corridor will ever be an Interstate, let alone be part of a future segment of Interstate 40.

Thing is the last official proposal was in 1968.  Whoever wrote that Wikipedia page wrote it like it was something that was active which seems to be driving a lot of confusion in the road community.
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sparker

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Re: Interstate 40
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2021, 04:35:10 PM »

Interstate 40 in California's Wikipedia page says that Interstate 40 has been proposed to be extended to Bakersfield, and even as far as Paso Robles: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_40_in_California. While an extension to Bakersfield (or even Interstate 5) may or may not happen, an extension all the way to Paso Robles seems like pie-in-the-sky on Wikipedia's part; even though SR 46 is being expanded to four-lanes from Paso Robles to Interstate 5, it is doubtful that the corridor will ever be an Interstate, let alone be part of a future segment of Interstate 40.

Thing is the last official proposal was in 1968.  Whoever wrote that Wikipedia page wrote it like it was something that was active which seems to be driving a lot of confusion in the road community.

I've found that most Wiki pages dealing with the subject of future highways (mostly Interstates) to be best taken with a full shaker -- not just a grain -- of salt!   Most entries seem to be a mixture of bits & pieces of plans gleaned from documents that are likely well past their expiration date and a substantial measure of wishful thinking.  But then, the looseness of the standards for inclusion there allow for that sort of (mis)information to be disseminated. 
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Interstate 40
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2021, 06:46:00 PM »

Tell mine about it. Just look at the post on the Interstate 17 page where it stated (without a citation) that Interstate 17's exit numbers were going to be renumbered to be based on Interstate 17's mileage. And soon after, POOF! It was gone, and Interstate 17's exits on the webpage were renumbered back to their existing numbers.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Interstate 40
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2021, 09:18:46 PM »

Tell mine about it. Just look at the post on the Interstate 17 page where it stated (without a citation) that Interstate 17's exit numbers were going to be renumbered to be based on Interstate 17's mileage. And soon after, POOF! It was gone, and Interstate 17's exits on the webpage were renumbered back to their existing numbers.

What I've noticed with Wikipedia is that some states have really unreliable writing when it comes to their State Highway pages.   California and Arizona have very little consistency which makes me think that those articles were written piecemeal by various editors.  Some states like Utah and Washington have excellent pages which were mostly written by someone who was serious with their research. 
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