As a hotshot owner-operator, you spend most of your time on the road hauling loads from one destination to another. The majority of the miles you’ll be traveling will be on the U.S. Interstate System. How well do you know the various interstate highways in the United States? Here’s a list of the six longest U.S. interstates and what makes them unique.
East-west interstates are even-numbered with the lowest starting in the south, while north-south interstates are odd-numbered, with numbers increasing from west to east.
1.) I-90: 3,085 Miles (Seattle, Washington to Boston, Massachusetts)
I-90 is the longest interstate in the country, transversing 13 states. This northernmost interstate begins at Safeco Field in Seatle. Then it goes through a tunnel under the Mount Baker Ridge, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Later, it spans two floating bridges (among the world’s five longest) while leaving Seattle and crossing Lake Washington. Then it continues for over 3,000 miles passing Wallace, Idaho, and a turn in Cleveland before reaching its end near Logan International Airport in Boston.
2.) I-80: 2,906 Miles (San Francisco, California to Teaneck, New Jersey)
I-80 spans 11 states and is one of the original 1956 routes and passes through some historic transportation paths. It starts at the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, then crosses the Bonneville Salt Flats near the Great Salt Lake, reaching 8,000 feet above sea level in Wyoming. From there and it has a 72-mile stretch of virtually straight roadway outside of Lincoln, Nebraska (the longest of all interstates). The interstate comes within a few miles of Chicago and Cleveland and then ends four miles shy of New York City.
3.) I-40: 2,554 Miles (Barstow, California to Wilmington, North Carolina)
I-40 begins in Barstow, California, with a sign indicating there are 2,500 miles ahead. It spans eight states, hits cities such as Albuquerque, New Mexico; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Nashville and Memphis, Tennesee. I-40 also has scenic views as it travels through the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and a portion of historic Route 66 out west.
4.) I-10: 2,459 Miles (Los Angeles, California to Jacksonville, Florida)
I-10 is the southernmost east-west interstate from Los Angeles to Jacksonville. It passes through eight different states, but one-third of the journey is spent in Texas, which has about 17 interstate routes. I-10 reaches its highest point of over 5,000 just east of Tuscon, Arizona. It then dips under sea level in New Orleans.
5.) I-70: 2,175 Miles (Cove Fort, Utah to Baltimore, Maryland)
I-70 contains the oldest section of all U.S. Interstates, in Kansas and Missouri. However, it also has the most recently finished section, completed only in 1992. It runs through 10 states and includes major cities like Denver, Colorado; Kansas City, St. Louis, Missouri; Indianapolis, Indiana; Columbus, Ohio; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, before reaching Baltimore.
I-70 has the highest point in the entire interstate system at 11,158 feet (the Eisenhower Tunnel) as well as the highest vehicular tunnel in the United States.
6.) I-95: 1,892 miles (Miami, Florida to Houlton, Maine)
I-95 is the longest north-south interstate in the nation, covering the most number of states — 15 plus Washington, D.C. It passes through the most densely populated areas of the country as it moves through Miami, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. The interstate runs along the Atlantic Ocean but goes inland in a few places in Georgia and the Carolinas.
The Bottom Line
Have you traveled on the six longest interstates? Let us know about your experience in the comments below!