Interstate 80

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Interstate 80 as seen from an overpass in Davis, California

Interstate 80 is the second-longest interstate highway in the United States. It connects San Francisco, California at United States Highway 101 in the west to Teaneck, New Jersey at Interstate 95 in the east, just outside New York City. The highway roughly traces some historically significant travel corridors, particularly in the western U.S. These include the Oregon Trail in Nebraska and westward, and the Donner Pass in Nevada and California.



Missing image
Interstate 80 is a major urban freeway though the San Francisco Bay Area (seen here in Berkeley, California).
199 322 California
411 666 Nevada
196 318 Utah
403 653 Wyoming
455 737 Nebraska
303 491 Iowa
164 266 Illinois
157 254 Indiana
237 384 Ohio
311 504 Pennsylvania
68.54 110.3 New Jersey
2,904 4,704 Total

Missing image
Blue Star Memorial Highway Sign in Nebraska

Major cities along the route

Intersections with other Interstates

Spur routes



The highway reaches a maximum elevation of 8,640 feet (2,633 m) above sea level between Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming. Farther west in Wyoming, the interstate passes the Continental Divide twice because two lines of mountains form a closed-off basin.

Among many picturesque sections of I-80 are the crossing of San Francisco Bay over the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (toll paid westbound only), the traverse above Donner Pass and Donner Lake (near Lake Tahoe) in California, and its run along the Truckee River both west and east of Reno, Nevada. Interstate 80 crosses the southern end of Great Salt Lake west of Salt Lake City, Utah, providing views of various mountains, although it incorporates a very long stretch of straight roadway that can induce some drivers to fall asleep.

I-80 intersects I-90 near Elyria, Ohio and they share a route all the way to Portage, Indiana, where I-90 splits off but I-80 then runs concurrently with I-94 until the Chicago suburb of South Holland, Illinois. I-80 then runs concurrently with I-294 until Markham, Illinois.

All of I-80 in Indiana is duplexed with another interstate.

Although Interstate 80 does not enter Colorado, it does manage to come within a mile of the border between Nebraska and Colorado at the junction of Interstates 80 and 76.

Although it never enters Michigan, Interstate 80 (with Interstate 90) lies within ten miles (16.1 km) of the Michigan state line between La Porte, Indiana and Toledo, Ohio. Looking north at the intersection of Indiana State Highway 9 and I-80, the "Welcome to Michigan" sign is visible in the distance.

I-80 does not go all the way to New York City via the George Washington Bridge. Its designated end is about four miles (6.4 km) short of New York City in Teaneck, New Jersey. There, it joins and becomes designated as I-95, which does cross the bridge. The tolled section of the New Jersey Turnpike ends at exit 18, which is actually just the toll plaza at the northern terminus. The next exit on I-95 is exit 68, which is consistent with the exit structure on I-80. (The truth is that the exit numbers on this section of I-95 match the mile markers on I-95 had the Somerset Freeway been built. The fact that they are similar to what the exit numbers are on I-80 is just a coincidence.)

Related highways

Interstate 80 had five branches, the most of any interstate highway. However, because suffixes were not allowed on any Interstate (save for the I-35 freeways in Dallas-Fort Worth and Minneapolis-St. Paul), all five branches have since been renumbered. There were three branches called I-80N, and two of them were I-80S (both of which were renamed I-76). The most noticeable I-80N went from Portland, Oregon to Salt Lake City. It is now signed as the western half of I-84. The other two former I-80N routes were in western Iowa (near Omaha) (I-680) and Cleveland/Youngstown (incorporated by both I-480 and I-680).

Part of Interstate 80 in Nebraska is known as the Blue Star Memorial Highway.

Interstate 480 was a double-decker freeway that parallelled the Embarcadero in San Francisco. Despised by San Franciscans because they felt it had destroyed their city, the freeway was damaged when a major earthquake shook the Bay Area in 1989. It was completely demolished a short time later, and the waterfront area opened to further development.

Interstate 880 was a double-decker freeway in Oakland, California. Like the now-demolished I-480, it was severely damaged in the 1989 earthquake. In the following years, the freeway was rebuilt so that the decks carrying its northbound and southbound lanes were built at the same level (the double-decker freeway no longer exists).

Interstate 880 was also used at one time for the current I-80 freeway around Sacramento, California, while the original I-80 went directly through the city. I-80 now goes onto the original I-880, while the old I-80 is currently the Business I-80/US 50/Secret I-305 freeway in Sacramento.

Interstate 580 is the secret name for the US 395 freeway in Reno, Nevada.

Interstate 180, between San Rafael and Richmond, California, is now an extension of I-580.

Interstate 580 in Omaha, Nebraska shared a freeway with US 75.

Interstate 180 in Cheyenne, Wyoming is an interstate with traffic lights.

Interstate 280 in New Jersey connects Northern New Jersey with New York city.

Interstate 280 in Iowa and Illinois, which makes up the western and southern edges of the Quad Cities. Interstate 80 makes up the northern and eastern borders; both interstates connect at the northwestern and southeastern edges (in Davenport and Colona, Illinois, respectively).

Interstate 380 in Iowa, connecting the highway to Cedar Rapids and Waterloo.

Interstate 480 in Nebraska and Iowa, an interstate route through Omaha and Council Bluffs to Interstate 29.

Interstate 680 in Nebraska and Iowa, which runs through western and northern Omaha before crossing the Missouri River and continuing to its connection with Interstate 80 in eastern Pottawattamie County, Iowa.

Major bridges on I-80

Des Plaines River, Illinois

The I-80 bridge over the Des Plaines River is a cantilever bridge that is six lanes wide -- three lanes traveling eastbound and westbound. It is actually a fairly dangerous section of road, as the bridge is thirty feet (9.1 m) below the surrounding elevation of the highway. A pair of downhill s-curves approach the bridge, and the speed is reduced to 45 mph (70 km/h) from 65 mph (100 km/h). This catches many drivers by surprise, since for at least a hundred miles (161 km) on either side of the bridge, the road is mainly flat and straight.

The bridge is located on the south side of Joliet, Illinois and connects U.S. Highway 6 and U.S. Highway 52/Illinois State Route 53.


Template:Ed divPrimary Interstate Highways Missing image
Interstate Highway marker

4 5 8 10 12 15 16 17
19 20 22 24 25 26 27 29
30 35 37 39 40 43 44 45
49 55 57 59 64 65 66 68
69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 (W)
76 (E) 77 78 79 80 81 82 83
84 (W) 84 (E) 85 86 (W) 86 (E) 87 88 (W) 88 (E)
89 90 91 93 94 95 96 97
99 238 H-1 H-2 H-3
Unsigned Interstate Highways
A-1 A-2 A-3 A-4 PRI-1 PRI-2 PRI-3
Two-digit Interstates - Three-digit Interstates
Gaps in Interstates - Intrastate Interstates
Interstate standards - Proposed Interstates

Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools