Interstate 80 in Nevada

By | October 14, 2022

 

I-80
Get started Verdi
End West Wendover
Length 411 mi
Length 661 km
Route
  • 2 Business Route 80
  • 3 Verdi-Mogul
  • 4 Garson Road
  • 5 Business Route 80
  • 8-21: Reno
  • 8 4th Street
  • 9 Robb Drive
  • 10 McCarran Boulevard
  • 12 Keystone Avenue
  • 13 Downtown Reno
  • 14 Wells Avenue
  • 15 → Carson City
  • 16 4th Street
  • 17 Rock Boulevard
  • 18 Pyramid Way
  • 19 McCarran Boulevard
  • 20 Sparks Boulevard
  • 21 Vista Boulevard
  • 22 Lockwood
  • 23 McCarran
  • 28 Patrick
  • 32 Clark
  • 36 Frontage Road
  • 38 Frontage Road
  • 40 Painted Rock Road
  • 43-50: Fernley
  • 43 Business Route 80
  • 46 Wadsworth
  • 48 Fernley
  • 50 Nevada-Pacific Boulevard
  • 65 Frontage Road
  • 78 Frontage Road
  • 83 → Fallon
  • 93 Ragged Road
  • 105 South Lovelock
  • 106 Lovelock
  • 107 North Lovelock
  • 112 Coal Canyon Road
  • 119 Lovelock Unionville Road
  • 129 Rye Patch State Rec. Area
  • 138 Frontage Road
  • 145 Imlay
  • 149 Toncston Road
  • 151 Barber Canyon Road
  • 158 truck stop
  • 168 Rose Creek Road
  • 173 Rose Creek Road
  • 176-180: Winnemucca
  • 176 Winnemucca
  • 178 Winnemucca
  • 180 East Winnemucca
  • 187 Marcus Drive
  • 194 Golconda
  • 200 Frontage Road
  • 203 Frontage Road
  • 205 Frontage Road
  • 212 Frontage Road
  • 216 Valmy
  • 222 Frontage Road
  • 229 Battle Mountain
  • 231 Battle Mountain
  • 233 Battle Mountain
  • 244 Frontage Road
  • 254 Frontage Road
  • 261 Crescent Valley
  • 268 Frontage Road
  • 271 Frenchie Road
  • 279 Carlin
  • 280 Carlin
  • 282 Carlin
  • 292 Frontage Road
  • 298-303: Elko
  • 298 Idaho Street
  • 301 Mountain City Highway
  • 303 Idaho Street
  • 310 Victory Boulevard
  • 314 3rd Street
  • 317 Old Devils Gate Road
  • 321 State Route 229
  • 328 Frontage Road
  • 333 Deeth
  • 343 Starr Valley Road
  • 348 Frontage Road
  • 352 Wells
  • 352 Wells
  • 360 Frontage Road
  • 365 Frontage Road
  • 373 Rest Area
  • 376 Frontage Road
  • 378 State Route 233
  • 387 Frontage Road
  • 398 Pilot Road
  • 407 Frontage Road
  • 410 West Wendover
  • Utah

Interstate 80 or I -80 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Nevada. The freeway forms a long east-west route through the northern half of the state. The highway begins at the California border and continues through Reno, then bending northeast to Winnemucca, then east through several mountain ranges to the Utah border at Wendover. The highest pass is Pequop Summit at 2,121 meters, just before the state border with Utah. The highway is 661 kilometers long.

  • WATCHTUTORIALS.ORG: Features why Nevada has the nickname as Silver State and its economy, history and geography.

Travel directions

I-80 through the Nevada mountains.

I-80 near Elko.

Reno/Sparks

Near Verdi, Interstate 80 in California enters the state of Nevada from Sacramento. I-80 has 2×2 lanes here and runs at over 1,500 meters above sea level through a narrow valley of the Truckee River, a valley that quickly becomes a wide valley in which the city of Reno is located. Reno, together with Sparks and a few other suburbs, forms a fairly large conurbation. I-80 runs directly past downtown Reno and is sunken with 3 to 4 lanes in each direction. There is then an interchange with Interstate 580 and US 395. Next, I-80 passes through the more industrial town of Sparks. After Sparks, you leave the urban area and take I-80 2×2 lanes east again through a narrower valley of the Truckee River.

  • acronymmonster.com: Provides state overview of Nevada and its alternative name as The Silver State

Northern Nevada

I-80 then begins a long route through northern Nevada. The first 25 miles to Fernley follow the rocky valley of the Truckee River, then some more expansive valleys with very limited cultivation. The expansive view is defined by distant vistas and mountain ranges. I-80 gradually curves slightly north. At Fernley the US 50 Alternate also splits off and 60 kilometers further the US 95 merges.

Between Fernley and Winnemucca follows a 200-mile stretch through desolate territory, with only one small village, Lovelock. I-80 runs parallel to the north-south oriented mountain ranges of the Great Basin. The lowest point of I-80 on this part of the route is about 1,200 meters above sea level. At Winnemucca, US 95 turns north again, I-80 turns east here. This is followed by a more than 350 kilometers long stretch through a very sparsely populated area, with valleys and mountain ranges. There are only a small number of places in this remote area, namely Battle Mountain, Carlin, Elko and Wells.

The landscape along I-80 consists of uncultivated rangeland, desert land, and barren mountain ranges. The mountain ranges in this region are up to about 2,100 meters high, but east of Elko are higher mountains. I-80 curves around the higher East Humboldt Range, which peaks at 3,400 meters. I-80 also rises to 1,700 feet at Wells. In Wells you cross the US 93. More than 30 kilometers east of Wells, you reach the highest point of I-80 in Nevada, the 2,123-meter-high Pequop Summit, part of the Pequop Mountains that peaks up to 2,800 meters.

East of Pequop Summit is a fairly long descent through desolate desert area. Just before Wendover you come across a ridge after which you have a wide view over the white Bonneville Salt Flats. In West Wendover it follows the border with the state of Utah, then Interstate 80 in Utah continues towards Salt Lake City.

History

The historic Lincoln Highway from New York to San Francisco ran along the route of today’s I-80. This was a car trail. In 1926 this became part of US 40. In 1930 almost the entire route was a gravel road, only the westernmost part between Reno and the California border was paved early on. The road was then rapidly paved in the early 1930s along the entire route from Reno to the Utah border.

Construction on I-80 began in the late 1950s, soon after the creation of the Interstate Highway system in 1956. Most of I-80 was built directly over US 40, which in most places ceased to exist. An exception was in the few places on the route where I-80 has been constructed as a bypass and the historic route of US 40 has been preserved in the form of a business route. By 1975, I-80 was so far completed that US 40 was scrapped from Nevada.

The construction of Interstate 80 initially started mainly on the routes between the various cores. In 1960 the first section opened through the desert between Sparks and Fernley. During the 1960s, most of the routes between the larger cores were converted from US 40 to I-80. During the 1970s, these stretches were mostly extended to the cores, but until the late 1970s, I-80 was interrupted at various locations by Reno, Lovelock, Winnemucca, Battle Mountain, Carlin, Elko, Wells, and Wendover. These villages depended largely on passers-by for their existence, and managed to delay the construction of I-80. In 1975, Reno’s bypass was opened, making the largest city now avoidable. Between 1980 and 1982 the last links opened, short stretches along the aforementioned places.

The Reno passage was widened to 3 to 4 lanes in each direction in 2012, largely on the existing pavement.

Opening history

Opening dates and lengths are indicative, there may be a small deviation of 1 year or a few kilometers. Sourced from the Nevada DOT.

From Unpleasant Length Opening
Exit 22 exit 43 34 km 1960
Exit 65 Exit 93 45 km 1963
exit 112 Exit 138 42 km 1963
Exit 194 Exit 205 18 km 1963
Exit 244 Exit 254 16 km 1963
Exit 314 Exit 321 12 km 1963
exit 0 Exit 5 8 km 1965
Exit 18 Exit 22 6 km 1965
exit 43 exit 48 8 km 1965
Exit 205 Exit 229 39 km 1965
Exit 233 Exit 244 18 km 1965
Exit 254 Exit 261 11 km 1965
Exit 321 Exit 328 11 km 1965
exit 48 Exit 65 27 km 1967
exit 180 Exit 194 23 km 1967
Exit 328 Exit 343 24 km 1967
Exit 138 Exit 151 21 km 1968
Exit 5 Exit 10 8 km 1969
Exit 352 Exit 376 39 km 1969
Exit 261 Exit 280 31 km 1971
Exit 343 Exit 351 13 km 1971
Exit 16 Exit 18 3 km 1972
Exit 151 Exit 173 35 km 1972
Exit 292 Exit 298 10 km 1973
Exit 10 Exit 16 10 km 1975
Exit 376 Exit 378 3 km 1975
Exit 282 Exit 292 16 km 1975
Exit 378 Exit 387 14 km 1978
Exit 93 Exit 105 19 km 1980
Exit 173 exit 180 11 km 1980
Exit 280 Exit 282 3 km 1980
Exit 298 Exit 314 26 km 1980
Exit 398 Exit 410 19 km 1980
Exit 105 exit 112 11 km 1982
Exit 229 Exit 233 6 km 1982
Exit 351 Exit 352 2 km 1982
Exit 387 Exit 398 19 km 1982

Future

The ‘I-80 Corridor Study’ was conducted between 2007 and 2009. A second study, the ‘I-80 Corridor Master Plan’, was conducted between 2012 and 2014. There are no concrete plans to widen sections of I-80.

Traffic intensities

I-80 is mostly a very quiet highway, with large stretches of only 5,000 to 10,000 vehicles per day. Only in the Reno-Sparks conurbation is I-80 busier, with up to 120,000 vehicles per day passing downtown Reno.

Interstate 80 in Nevada