U.S. Route 40 in Utah

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U.S. Route 40

US 40 highlighted in red
Route information
Defined by Utah Code §72-4-107
Maintained by UDOT
Length174.624 mi[1] (281.030 km)
Major junctions
West end I-80 in Silver Summit
Major intersections US 189 in Heber City
US 191 in Duchesne
US 191 in Vernal
East end US 40 at the Colorado state line (west of Dinosaur, CO)
CountryUnited States
CountiesSummit, Wasatch, Duchesne, Uintah
Highway system
  • Utah State Highway System
SR-39 SR-42

The west end of U.S. Route 40 (US-40) is in the U.S. state of Utah at Silver Creek Junction in Silver Summit (about 20.7 miles (33.3 km) east of Salt Lake City) with Interstate 80. From there it heads southeast through Heber City and east into Colorado on its way to the Mid-Atlantic.

Route description

U.S. Route 40 begins at I-80 at Silver Creek Junction in Silver Summit, traveling south-southeast as a full freeway in a broad valley northeast of Park City. At the south end of the valley, Jordanelle Reservoir comes into view and US-40 continues south high on the slope above its western shore while Utah State Route 248 climbs away to the east on the slope overlooking the northern shore. The freeway passes through several large cuttings in the side of the mountains that were dug when US-40 was relocated to make way for the reservoir; Utah State Route 319 provides access down the slope to a state park on the shore of the reservoir. South of the reservoir, the dam is visible on the left and the road loses elevation quickly before abruptly connecting to an exurban non-freeway segment with frequent curb cuts and building frontage. In central Heber, U.S. Route 189 continues south, but US-40 turns east to leave the city. US-40 continues south and east through mountains and the Uintah Basin to the Colorado border near Dinosaur National Monument.


The Utah State Road Commission took over what would become US 40 from Kimball Junction to Colorado by 1911. In late 1926, the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) assigned the US 40 designation to this cross-state route,[2] as part of one of the original U.S. Highway system.

As with most states, this new US 40 followed the route of the Victory Highway through Utah. This auto trail had been organized in 1921, and overlapped the older Lincoln Highway through Salt Lake City. To the west, it split from the Lincoln at Mills Junction, and took a straight path across the Great Salt Lake Desert on the proposed Wendover Cut-off to Nevada. The east split with the Lincoln was at Kimball Junction, where the Victory turned to the southeast over the old Heber to Fort Duchesne trail that led past Heber City, over Daniel's Pass, and along the north side of Strawberry Reservoir to Million dollar pass. From this point east into the town of Duchesne, the highway followed the same path as the Dominguez-Escalate party of 1776. Since they were being escorted by a Ute boy this is assumed to have been a quite well known native path. From the pass leaving Strawberry Reservoir, the road followed Deep Creek canyon to Current creek junction. Crossing over Current creek the road turned north-east and through the town of Fruitland then east until crossing Red Creek, across an elevated plane and into Rabbit Gulch. Proceeding due east across a broad valley and crossing the Strawberry river at Starvation flats. The road continued due east leaving Starvation flat over a sandstone laden ridge three miles west of city of Duchesne. Continuing East through Duchesne and over the 1910 bridge, past the convergence of the Strawberry and Duchesne rivers, the road continued on the North side of the Duchesne river until crossing over the Duchesne river at Bridgeland. The road then continues on to Myton before crossing the Duchesne River, continues north over the Myton bench then east into Roosevelt, then East into Fort Duchesne. The highway continued north-east across a relatively flat area through Vernal then south-east to Colorado.[3][4]

Between 1931 and 1938 the entire length of Highway 40 was improved from gravel to oiled or asphalt.[5]

The old Lincoln Highway east of Kimball Junction was initially US 530, but in the late 1930s it became part of US 189. The split between US 40 and US 189, formerly the junction of the Victory and Lincoln Highways, was moved east from Kimball Junction to Silver Creek Junction in 1952; this change moved both routes to a new road between Keetley Junction and Silver Creek Junction, and renumbered the road between Kimball and Silver Creek Junctions from US-189 to US-40.[6] The old road between Keetley and Kimball Junctions became State Route 248.[7] In 1974, with its replacement - Interstate 80 - almost complete across California, Nevada, and Utah, the three states applied to AASHO to truncate US-40 to Silver Creek Junction. (US 40 had been removed west of Truckee, California in 1964.) AASHO approved the truncation on June 17, 1975.[8]

In 1972 with the completion of Starvation Reservoir in Duchesne County a new route was built from mile marker 88 west of the new reservoir to the newly completed Freedom bridge, bypassing Starvation Flats and into Duchesne City. The old route is now mostly under Starvation Reservoir and the rest is designated as Duchesne county road 311. East of Duchesne the new road was moved south of the river along the southern bench, bypassing Bridgeland and into Myton.

In 1953 a new bridge was built over the Duchesne river just west of Myton. The old route along Main and Sixth Street across the old bridge became State Route 252 in 1953.[9] It was given to the city in 1969.[10]

Major intersections

SummitSilver Creek Junction0.0000.000
I-80 west – Salt Lake City
Western terminus of US 40
I-80 east (US-189 north) / Silver Creek Road – Cheyenne
Westbound exit and eastbound entrance; west end of unsigned US-189 overlap
1.3092.1072Silver Summit
3.9986.4344Park City, Kamas (SR-248)
Wasatch8.24613.2718Mayflower (SR-319)
13.03320.975East end of freeway
13.24821.321 SR-32 – Francis, Kamas, Midway
Heber City17.00627.369 SR-113 (100 South) – Midway
US 189 south – Orem, Provo
East end of US-189 overlap
Duchesne68.247109.833 SR-208 – Tabiona
Duchesne85.931138.293 SR-311 – Starvation State Park
US 191 south (100 West) – Price, Green River
West end of US-191 overlap
86.524139.247 SR-87 (Center Street) – Altamont
109.538176.284 SR-87 – Ioka, Altamont
Roosevelt114.576184.392 SR-121 (200 North) – Neola
Uintah130.450209.939 SR-88 – Ouray
Vernal143.787231.403 SR-121 (500 West) – Maeser
US 191 north (Vernal Avenue) – Flaming Gorge, Rock Springs
East end of US-191 overlap
Naples148.242238.572 SR-45 – Bonanza
157.109252.842 SR-149 – Dinosaur National Monument
US 40 east – Craig, Denver
Continuation into Colorado
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also


  1. ^ a b "Highway Reference Online - US-40". Utah Department of Transportation. (128 KB), updated May 2008, accessed June 2008
  2. ^ Bureau of Public Roads & American Association of State Highway Officials (November 11, 1926). United States System of Highways Adopted for Uniform Marking by the American Association of State Highway Officials (Map). 1:7,000,000. Washington, DC: United States Geological Survey. OCLC 32889555. Retrieved November 7, 2013 – via Wikimedia Commons.
  3. ^ Froiseth, B.A.M., Map of the Territory of Utah, 1870
  4. ^ Rand McNally Auto Road Atlas, 1926, accessed via the Broer Map Library
  5. ^ Newspaper="Roosevelt Standard"|date= July 23, 1936| Title= Governor Blood Assures Completion of Highway 40 |url= https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/details?id=9618746&q=%22Myton%22+%2B+%22construction%22&rows=200&year_start=1928&year_end=1941&facet_paper=%22Roosevelt+Standard%22
  6. ^ Utah Department of Transportation, Route 6 history, updated September 2005
  7. ^ "State Road Resolutions SR-248.pdf". Utah Department of Transportation., updated December 2005
  8. ^ "State Road Resolutions SR-40.pdf". Utah Department of Transportation., updated October 2005
  9. ^ Utah State Legislature (1953). "Chapter 45: Designation of State Roads". Session Laws of Utah. Route 252. From route 6 west of Myton via Myton Main Street to route 6.
  10. ^ "State Road Resolutions SR-252.pdf". Utah Department of Transportation. (2.54 MB), updated November 2007, accessed May 2008

External links

Media related to U.S. Route 40 in Utah at Wikimedia Commons

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