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Route 40

Alignments Since 1925

Here is a year-by-year listing of all of the major Route 40 alignments. If you spot an error or omission, please contact me.


U. S. Route 40 established as a transcontinental highway between State Road, Delaware, and San Francisco, California. The State Road terminus was at the junction of U.S. Route 13; the San Francisco terminus was at the Palace of the Legion of Honor.

A "Split Route" existed in Kansas and Colorado. U.S. Route 40N ran from Manhattan, Kansas and Limon, Colorado, by way of Clay Center, Beloit, Osborne, Stockton, Hill City, Hoxie, Colby, Goodland and Burlington. U.S. Route 40N was eventually decommissioned and made U.S. Route 24.

The second part of the "Split Route" was U.S. Route 40S which ran from Manhattan, Kansas to Grand Junction, Colorado, by way of Junction City, Abilene, Salina, Ellsworth, Russell, Hays, WaKeeney, Oakley, Sharon Springs, Cheyenne Wells, Hugo, Colorado Springs, Hartsel, Buena Vista, Leadville, Eagle and Glenwood Springs.

This is speculation, but there was probably some intent for U.S. Route 40S to rejoin U.S. Route 40 at Soldier Summit, Utah (see below). When Route 40 was realigned west of Duchesne, those plans probably abandoned.

Between Duchesne and Salt Lake City, the original alignment of U.S. Route 40 bears no resemblance to what followed a year later. The 1925/26 plan called for the Route to proceed southwest on Strawberry River Road and Timber Canyon Road to Soldier Summit, thence to Thistle, Springville, Provo, Orem and finally Salt Lake City.

U.S. Route 40 follows the Goodyear Road southwest of Fairfield, California, crossing the Sacramento River at Benicia.


The eastern terminus changed to Atlantic City (the intersection of Albany, Atlantic and Pacific Avenues). In the process, the Route through Delaware shifted slightly as the highway was extended into Wilmington for ferry service across the Delaware River. The western terminus also changed to Oakland (Jack London Square).

Between Duchesne and Salt Lake City, Utah, the 1925/26 alignment is decommissioned; the present day alignment through Heber City and Park City is commissioned.

Carquinez Bridge spanning the Sacramento River opens; Route 40 realigned through Vallejo.


Wilmington, Delaware bypassed by the new ferry service between New Castle, Delaware, and Pennsville, New Jersey.


The San Francisco Bay Bridge opens and the western terminus returns to San Francisco (Harrison & 10th). The unofficial western terminus continues to be the Palace of the Legion of Honor.


New alignment opens between Frederick and Hagerstown, Maryland; old alignment is designated Alternate Route 40.


Alignment through Park City decommissioned and becomes Alternate Route 40 and eventually SR 224. The new alignment parallels Silver Creek to the east of Park City.


The Delaware Memorial Bridge opens replacing the ferry service across the Delaware River. The alignments on both side of the bridge shift slightly.

Alignment between Topeka and Junction City, Kansas shifts south of the Kansas River.


Alternate Route 40 built as a bypass around the often snow-clogged Donner Pass. The route starts at Reno and goes through Chilcoot, Beckwourth, Blairsden, Sloat, Quincy, Keddie, Storrie, Oroville, Yuba City, Knights Landing and reunites with Route 40 at Davis.


Decommissioned in California on July 1. Alternate Route 40 between Reno and Davis also decommissioned.


Western terminus moved to Reno, Nevada.


Decommissioned in Nevada and west of Silver Creek Junction, Utah.

Route 40 realigned around newly constructed Starvation Reservoir west of Duchesne, Utah.


The last bypass around Lovelock, Nevada completed. The last of the through sections of former Route 40 in Nevada disappears. In fact, the Lovelock section is the last section of I-80 to be completed, making it the first completed transcontinental Interstate Highway.

Circa 1985

The last official U.S. Route 40 sign (in Reno) comes down. Apparently a highway crew had overlooked the sign for many years.


Alignment rerouted around newly constructed Jordanelle Reservoir, north of Heber City, Utah.


California Assembly Concurrent Resolution 180 designates the portions of US 40 that are still publicly maintained and not already designated as part of Historic US 40 as "Historic US 40."


Approximately two miles west of Kansas City are destroyed when the Kansas Speedway is built on top of Route 40. In 2001, the alignment is rerouted around the racetrack.


Approximately two miles west of the historic National Road and Route 40 are destroyed when the Dayton (Ohio) International Airport expands it runways in the vain attempt to lure jumbo jets and international air traffic. The highway is rerouted on a roundabout new alignment.

It's not too late to stop the airport proponents from digging up Route 40. Learn more.


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