Interstate 40 in Arkansas

Interstate 40 in Arkansas


Begin Fort Smith
End West Memphis
Length 284 mi
Length 457 km
Oklahoma1 Dora

3 Rena Road

5 Van Buren

7 → Fort Smith

12 → Fayetteville

13 Alma

20 Dyer

24 Mulberry

35 Ozark

37 Ozark

41 Altus

47 Coal Hill

55 West Clarksville

57 Crawford Street

58 Clarksville

64 Lamar

67 Knoxville

74 London


81 Russellville

83 Weir Road

84 East Russellville

88 Pottsville

94 Atkins

101 Fishlake Road

107 Morrilton

108 Morrilton

112 Plumerville

117 Menifee

124-129: Conway

124 Old Morrilton Highway

125 Conway

127 Conway

129 Dave Ward Drive

135 Mayflower

142 Maumelle

145 Maumelle

147 → Texarkana

148-157: North Little Rock

148 Crystal Hill Road

150 Military Drive

152 MacArthur Drive

153 → Texarkana / Pine Bluff

154 Hills Boulevard

155 → Jonesboro

156 North Little Rock

157 Jacksonville Highway

159 → Pine Bluff

161 Valentine Road

165 Kerr Road

169 SR-15

173 London

175 London

183 Carlisle

193 Hazen

202 Fredonia

216 Brinkley

221 Wheatley

233 Palestine

239 Forrest City Bypass

241 Forrest City

242 Forrest City

247 Widener

256 Parkin

260 Earle


271 SR-147

275 West Memphis

277 → St. Louis

279A West Memphis

279B → Jackson

280 Club Road

281 Mound City Road


Interstate 40 or I -40 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Arkansas. The highway runs west to east through the center of the state, from Fort Smith on the Oklahoma border to West Memphis on the Tennessee border. The route is 457 kilometers long.

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Travel directions

Western Arkansas

Near the town of Fort Smith, I-40 crosses the Arkansas border. Interstate 40 in Oklahoma comes from Oklahoma City. Fort Smith has a population of 83,000 and is the second largest city in Arkansas. A suburb of Fort Smith is Van Buren, and that’s where I-40 comes through. It crosses Interstate 540, which runs north from Fort Smith to Fayetteville. It’s a fast connection to Kansas City. The highway passes with 2×2 lanes through hilly area. US 64 runs parallel to the highway. The highway also runs parallel to the Arkansas River, which is quite large here, and is an important tributary of the Mississippi. The landscape consists of low hills with regular forests and meadows. The Arkansas River is dammed here, and is sometimes several miles wide. The I-40 runs directly past these lakes in some places.

You pass Russellville, a regional town with 26,000 inhabitants. From here you can enter the forests of the Ozark National Forest, and the Ouachita National Forest via several roads. A somewhat larger town on the route is Conway, which has a population of 52,000. Here, I-40 turns south, and US 64 continues straight toward Beebe, a town on US 67, the highway from Little Rock to Jonesboro. I-40 then has 2×3 lanes and crosses a number of ridges, reaching Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas.

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Little Rock

I-40 at Little Rock.

One enters the city from the northwest. Little Rock has 184,000 inhabitants, with an agglomeration of 650,000 inhabitants. First, one crosses Interstate 430, the city’s western bypass, which leads to Interstate 30, which goes to Texarkana and Dallas. From here, the highway has 2×3 lanes. North of downtown, Interstate 30 ends at I-40. From here, one can also go directly to Pine Bluff to the south, via Interstate 530. Little Rock has a good highway network, and also has few traffic jams. The US 67. turns into a business parkoff to the northeast, the highway to Jonesboro. All the way to the east of the city, one eventually crosses Interstate 440, the eastern bypass.

Eastern Arkansas

I-40 in West Memphis.

US 70 now runs parallel to I-40, which came from Hot Springs and southern Oklahoma. Eastern Arkansas is flatter, with slightly fewer forests. One crosses several tributaries of the Arkansas, and then enters the plains of the Mississippi. At Brinkley you cross the US 49, which leads from Helena to Jonesboro. The highway just has 2×2 lanes here in the countryside. At the town of Forrest City there is an important intersection with State Route 1, which has been expanded here over several lanes. One then crosses a short ridge, and then enters the Mississippi River basin. One then arrives at West Memphis, a suburb of Memphis, which is located in Tennessee.

Here Interstate 55 heads north toward Saint Louis. Barely a few miles away, I-55 turns back toward Jackson and New Orleans. The I-40 then has 2×3 lanes, and via the Hernando de Soto Bridge you cross the mighty Mississippi River, which is more than a kilometer wide here. From the bridge you have a view over the skyline of Memphis. The river also forms the border with Tennessee, and Interstate 40 in Tennessee continues to Memphis and Nashville.


The predecessor to I-40 was US 64 between the Oklahoma and Little Rock border, and US 70 between Little Rock and the Tennessee border.

The first section of Interstate 40 to open was in eastern Arkansas, a stretch near West Memphis, which also includes I-55. On November 30, 1962, the interchange between I-30 and I-40 in North Little Rock opened to traffic, allowing traffic from I-30 to US 67, which included only 2 miles of I-40. In 1965, I-40 was more or less ready through the Little Rock region. The highway was then built at a rapid pace during the 1960s. In about 1966, the north-south section of I-40 between Conway and Little Rock opened to traffic. By 1970, almost all of I-40 through Arkansas was completed, only between Mulberry and Clarksville in western Arkansas, a 31-mile section was missing until 1972. The capstone of I-40 through Arkansas was the Hernando de Soto Bridge.across the Mississippi River at Memphis which opened on August 2, 1973, completing I-40 in Arkansas.


Between 2003 and 2006, I-40 was widened to 2×3 lanes in Little Rock, between I-430 and I-30 on the north side of town. In 2013-2014, I-40 through Conway was widened to 2×3 lanes, and in 2014-2015 the section between Conway and Little Rock.

Opening history

van nasty length datum
Exit 277 I-55 (West Memphis) Exit 279 I-55 3 km 1960
Exit 271 Lehi Exit 277 I-55 (West Memphis) 10 km 1962
Exit 153 I-30 (North Little Rock) Exit 155 US 67 (North Little Rock) 3 km 1962
Exit 148 Crystal Hill Exit 153 I-30 (North Little Rock) 8 km 1965
Exit 155 US 67 (North Little Rock) Exit 175 Lonoke 32 km 1965
Exit 0 Oklahoma state line Exit 7 I-540 (Van Buren) 11 km 1966
Exit 55 Clarksville (west) Exit 84 Russellville (east) 47 km 1966
Exit 135 Mayflower Exit 148 Crystal Hill 24 km 1966
Exit 175 Lonoke Exit 193 Hazen 29 km 1966
Exit 239 Forrest City (west) Exit 247 Widener 13 km 1966
Exit 7 I-540 (Van Buren) Exit 20 Dyer 21 km 1967
Exit 129 Conway (south) Exit 135 Mayflower 10 km 1967
Exit 265 Jennette Exit 271 Lehi 10 km 1967
Exit 20 Dyer Exit 24 Mulberry 6 km 1968
Exit 84 Russellville (east) Exit 94 Atkins 16 km 1968
Exit 193 Hazen Exit 202 Fredonia 14 km 1968
Exit 216 Brinkley Exit 239 Forrest City (west) 37 km 1968
Exit 125 US 65 (Conway) Exit 129 Conway (south) 6 km 1969
Exit 202 Fredonia Exit 216 Brinkley 23 km 1969
Exit 247 Widener Exit 265 Jennette 29 km 1969
Exit 94 Atkins Exit 125 US 65 (Conway) 50 km 1970
Exit 24 Mulberry Exit 35 Ozark 18 km 1971
Exit 35 Ozark Exit 55 Clarksville (west) 32 km 1972
Exit 279 I-55 Exit 284 Tennessee state line 8 km 1973

Traffic intensities

14,900 vehicles cross the Oklahoma border every day. This rises to 34,300 at Van Buren. The rest of the route to Little Rock has between 20,000 and 30,000 vehicles per day, and is fairly quiet. Only between Conway and Little Rock is it a bit busier with 60,000 vehicles. In Little Rock, 79,000 vehicles travel between I-430 and I-30, then 117,000 until US 67 exits. After that, the intensity already drops to 32,400 vehicles. From West Memphis it is a bit busier, the double numbering with I-55 has 67,300 vehicles, and 36,000 vehicles cross the border into Tennessee every day.

Lane Configuration

Van Unpleasant Lanes Comments
Exit 0 Exit 147 2×2
Exit 125 Exit 153 2×3 Conway-Little Rock
Exit 153 Exit 155 2×4 Little Rock
Exit 155 Exit 280 2×2
Exit 280 Exit 282 2×3 Memphis

Interstate 40 in Arkansas

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