According to ablogtophone, US 40 is a US Highway in the US state of Utah. The road forms an east-west route through the northeast of the state, from its junction with Interstate 80 in Park City through Vernal to the Colorado border. The route is 281 kilometers long.
The western end of US 40 in Park City.
In Park City, US 40 begins at an interchange with Interstate 80, the highway from Salt Lake City toward Evanston and Chicago. The US 40 is then double numbered with the US 189which comes on I-80 from Evanston, and is a freeway. Just before Heber City, the highway section ends after about 25 kilometers, after which the US 189 exits towards Provo. US 40 slowly turns east here and continues through the Uinta Mountains via the 2,432-foot Daniels Pass. US 40 is a spectacular route, passing Strawberry Reservoir, a reservoir on the Strawberry River. US 40 then runs for more than 100 kilometers to the east through a desolate and remote area, and US 191 from Price joins at the village of Duchesne. Both roads then start with a double numberingof almost 100 kilometers. You then pass through an area with a number of tributaries to the Green, and this area is irrigated with agriculture, so there are a few more towns nearby. At Vernal, US 191 exits to Rock Springs in Wyoming in the north, and US 40 continues alone for about 30 miles to the Colorado border. This area is dry and desolate, and the road crosses the Yampa Plateau. US 40 in Colorado then continues toward Denver.
According to beautyphoon, US 40 has its origins in the historic Victory Highway, an auto trail that was established in 1921 and connected Kansas City to San Francisco. US 40 was introduced in 1926 as a transcontinental route from San Francisco to Atlantic City, New Jersey.
In 1917, the first road through the Great Salt Lake Desert was completed, which became a state highway in 1919. Between 1923 and 1925, the Wendover Cut-off, a road through the Bonneville Salt Flats, was constructed. US 40 was routed over this from 1926, at that time still a dirt road.
Asphalting the US 40
In 1927, only a small portion of US 40 was paved, a stretch of approximately 20 miles between Lake Point and Salt Lake City. This was the first road along the Great Salt Lake. Elsewhere the road was a dirt road or at most a gravel road. As a transcontinental route, however, the asphalting of US 40 had a high priority. In the late 1920s, US 40 was asphalted through Parleys Canyon east of Salt Lake City. By 1930, the section between Park City and Heber City was also paved. In the period 1930-1935, large parts of US 40 were asphalted, both west and east of Salt Lake City. In 1937 there were two more gravel stretches in eastern Utah, between Heber and Fruitland and between Vernal and the Colorado border. The asphalting of these parts was completed in 1940.
US 40 was double numbered with US 50 in western Utah from 1926, from the Nevada border to Magna, just outside Salt Lake City. However, US 50 was moved in 1954 to the newly paved road from Delta to the Nevada border, much further south. US 40 was terminated in 1975 west of its junction with I-80 at Park City, as most of I-80 was open to traffic into California at that time. However, this was not the case for some time in western Salt Lake City, where old US 40 was renumbered as State Highway 186, a temporary number until the old US 40 was converted to I-80 in 1986..
Replacement with I-80
West of Park City, US 40 has been replaced by Interstate 80. The first part of this was a simple doubling of US 40 in the desert that opened about 1960. The route of US 40 through Parleys Canyon east of Salt Lake City has completely merged with I-80, this section was widened to 4 lanes in the 1950s and was part of I-80 from about 1975. Earlier, in 1970, the stretch opened from I-80 through the Bonneville Salt Flats between Wendover and Knolls. However, this part of I-80 was not a doubling of US 40, but an entirely new route. The historic part is the Wendover Cut-Off and still exists as a motorable road parallel to I-80.
Upgrades to the US 40
US 40 is of little significance today as a through route to Colorado, but the westernmost section passes through a more densely populated ski area, creating a lot of recreational traffic between I-80 at Park City and Heber City. This section was upgraded to 2×2 lanes in the 1980s, with most of I-80 to Heber City being a quasi-motorway. The split-level connection to Silver Summit Parkway was constructed around 1993. In about 2002, the connection to I-80 was reconstructed with a flyover built for traffic from Heber City to Salt Lake City.
There is still a fair amount of traffic with 27,000 vehicles between I-80 and Heber City, but the volumes drop to only about 3,000 vehicles east of US 189. The double numbering with US 191 has slightly more traffic, with 5,000 to 12,000 vehicles per day. Only 1,800 vehicles cross the Colorado border every day.