New Mexico Roads - I-40/US 84/54

, I-40/US 84, I-40/US 54

All photos are eastbound unless I say otherwise.

In Gallup, there are not 65 other numbered streets. This is numbered after what you think it is. Courtesy Adam Prince.

Also from Adam. How bad can the curve be if it's 40 MPH?

The Whiting Brothers got around New Mexico with motels and groceries, but all that's left on old US 66 are traces. The reverse-colored historic shield is better than no shield - but only provided the exit tab is on the right for a right exit, like it should be. Both EB.

Obvious errors, courtesy Adam Prince.

New Mexico just can't get the 53 right. On the first sign, the digits sit on opposite sides of a shallow peak. On the second one, they're both on the same side of the mountain, with the wrong font. Both are once more courtesy Adam Prince.

Looking south at a Western phenomenon - Interstate driveways. Out here, I-40 sits directly on top of old US 66. Rather than construct a long frontage road just to get to this ranch gate, taking up extra ranch land in the process, the FHWA allowed direct access for the rare pickup truck trying to get in or out. In all my travels in this part of the West, I did see a truck use a gate once (it was during what would be the morning rush hour, but quite far from any city), but only once.

I had no idea this bridge was here until I saw the brown-on-brown sign for it with the faux-historic shield. The frontage road now crosses a new bridge behind it (which the pickup is on), in essence a new old 66. More bridge photos at the link at bottom.

Sometimes the US 66 font gets mighty ugly. The old EB Exit 149 went straight as I-40 curved toward Albuquerque, obviously continuing the straight path of what was the upgraded, divided 66 alignment in the 1950s. (It picks up again at Atrisco Vista Blvd., the next crossroad and what is now fully involved with the Exit 149 interchange.)

Above: Rio Grande Blvd. NB at I-40 Exit 157. Left: Same place, SB. The two spires are different; click on the photo above for a closeup.

State seal detail along the WB Exit 157 offramp.

The reason Exit 157 is so new is that it was part of the "Big I" interchange project, linking I-40 to I-25 at Exit 159. New Mexico now has one signature interchange in the style of Texas.

Westbound for a change, or at least facing that way.

One more set of photos, on the WB-SB ramp. If you'd like another view, the I-25 page (linked below) has a video from NB to WB.

I used Exit 160 to turn around from east to west, and this was just to the south on Carlisle Blvd.

One more WB sign. Nice shield, but I-40 doesn't exit itself. The other signs get this correct as Business 40.

There's so little out here, the exits have nothing to list, not even a road name. Your address is basically "take Exit 239, make a left, and look for me." Near Exit 243, a lonely stretch of US 66 arises out of a frontage road for a brief excursion.

Is US 84 really north-south? Well, maybe, but as an even number with a shred of doubt, this should still be West. And the exit tab should be right-justified. Also, this is Las Vegas, NM. I didn't check if the WB direction specifies for long-distance gamblers, but I bet it doesn't. The correct road for Nevada is US 93, 565 miles west.

I-40/US 84 from Exit 267 to Exit 273, which for some reason chose facsimiles of old shield styles. I promise not to complain as long as they get the numeral font right, which is consistently a problem in this state. I believe the exit overhead sign is a direct copy of an older sign that had I-40 split with US 66. So many things are wrong here, I'll just ask for all new signs, just one exit arrow, and show US 84 EAST.

US 54 North (I wish it were East) joins I-40 on the far side of Santa Rosa. This is at the end of the Exit 291 ramp. Really, how hard is it to find a font that's at least legible? Doesn't everyone have Arial or Helvetica?

Don't quote me on it, but I believe that the blue sign was around when I-40 was US 66. It originally just said "Next Exit," which hints that the freeway ended instead of bypassing Tucumcari, forcing everyone back onto the old road. Of course, the numbers of each type of facility have been patched over, and the sign has been extended both to cover the addition of "5" exits and the service symbols. That likely happened when I-40 was completed. By the way, the sign is a lie. There's nothing in Tucumcari. You're better off holding it in until San Jon.

Just like before, there's nothing doing here. Old US 66 is the frontage road for I-40 EB here, so I actually photographed these signs from the parallel road.

Exit 256 or 273 to US 84 alone
Exit 273 or 329 to US 54 alone
Many exits to old US 66 (I-40's predecessor)

Business I-40, Moriarty
Business I-40, Santa Rosa (on US 84)

Into Arizona on I-40
Into Texas on I-40
See the Rio Puerco Bridge
Exit 159 to I-25
I-40 scenery photos
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