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Interstate 8

 

Miles from the ocean, Interstate 8 finds itself at Sea Level in the Imperial Valley of California. Photo taken 01/27/06.

Routing

Possibly the lowest Interstate in the country at one point (as the freeway drops below sea level elevation in the Imperial Valley near El Centro), Interstate 8 also traverses several mountain passes on its journey between San Diego, California, and Casa Grande, Arizona. Interstate 8 provides a dynamic look at everything that's good about an Interstate: It has the multi-lane, urban feel in San Diego, the mountainous terrain with peaks and valleys in Cleveland National Forest/Laguna Mountains, the In-ko-pah Gorge, rolling desert hills, farmland in the Imperial Valley, the vast Imperial dunes, a Colorado River Bridge, and more desert scenery (including the famed Arizona saguaro).

History

The Pine Valley Creek Bridge opened to traffic in 1975. This segmental balanced cantilever bridge carries the freeway over 200 feet above the valley floor.1

The lowest point on the entire Interstate Highway System (excluding underwater tunnels) is located on Interstate 8 at this point, when the freeway crosses the New River at an elevation of -52 feet below sea level. The lowest point is located near Exit 107 (Drew Road), which is west of El Centro in California's Imperial Valley. To the west, Interstate 8 climbs to over 4,000 feet above sea level to cross the Cuyamaca Mountains. Photo taken 01/27/06.

Parallel/Historic U.S. Routes

Interstate 8 only intersects one U.S. route for its entire length, U.S. 95, thus lending credibility to the paucity of U.S. highways in the Southwestern United States. However, it parallels the route of a well-preserved U.S. route, Old U.S. 80. U.S. 80 follows Interstate 8 from San Diego to Gila Bend. Sections of the well-preserved stretches are accessible as frontage roads and county roads along the freeway corridor. The easternmost stretch of Interstate 8 between Gila Bend and Casa Grande was not a former U.S. route; the Interstate instead replaced former Arizona 84. (A shorter section remains close to Casa Grande.)

Highway Guides

Western Terminus - Sunset Cliffs Drive/Nimitz Boulevard - San Diego (Ocean Beach), California
Perspective from Interstate 8 west
The final four miles of Interstate 8 feature two freeway interchanges (one each with California 163 and Interstate 5) before the freeway ends at a traffic signal with Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. Here, westbound Interstate 8 meets Exits 4B-A, Junction California 163/Cabrillo Freeway north to Escondido and south to downtown. Photo taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
This mileage sign marks the first appearance of an Interstate 5 sign along westbound Interstate 5. Prior to Interstate 5, there are exits for Exit 4A, Junction California 163 south; Exit 3, Taylor Street/Hotel Circle; and Exit 2C, Morena Boulevard (former U.S. 101). Photo taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
Westbound Interstate 8 reaches Exit 4A, Junction California 163 south to downtown San Diego. The freeway narrows to three through lanes along westbound, but it will quickly swell back to five lanes between California 163 and Interstate 5. Photo taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
Continuing west, Interstate 8 again has five through lanes. The next exit is Exit 3, Taylor Street, and an advance sign is posted for Exits 2B-A, Junction Interstate 5. (Exit 2C, Morena Boulevard, is omitted from this sign.) The Hotel Circle exit seen on the far right of the photo is only accessible by those transitioning from southbound California 163 to westbound Interstate 8. Photo taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
The right lane becomes exit only for Exit 3, Taylor Street/Hotel Circle. A variable message sign warning of traffic or weather conditions is posted alongside this newer (2004) sign. Photo taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
This mileage sign provides the distance to the Taylor Street/Hotel Circle and Morena Boulevard (former U.S. 101). Photo taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
Westbound Interstate 8 reaches Exit 3, Taylor Street. The final five exits along westbound are: Exit 2C, Morena Boulevard; Exit 2B, Junction Interstate 5 South/Rosecrans Street South; Exit 2A, Junction Interstate 5 north; Exit 1, Mission Bay Drive/Sports Arena Boulevard; and Exit 0, Nimitz Boulevard/Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. Photo taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
Use the left two lanes to continue west along Interstate 8. The right two lanes transition to Exit 2C, Morena Boulevard and Exit 2B, Junction Interstate 5 South/Rosecrans Street South. The middle lane connects to Exit 2A, Junction Interstate 5 north. Photo taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
Westbound Interstate 8 reaches Exit 2C, Morena Boulevard (Junction Old U.S. 101). For through traffic on Interstate 8 west, use the left two lanes. For traffic connecting to northbound Interstate 5, use the number three lane. The right two lanes connect to Morena Boulevard, Rosecrans Street (Camino del Rio/Former California 209), and southbound Interstate 5 to downtown and the airport. Photo taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
Originally, Interstate 8 was planned to end here, at its junction with Interstate 5. However, with the construction of the Ocean Beach Freeway (former California 109), the Interstate was extended west to a new terminus at the intersection of Nimitz Drive and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. Here, Interstate 8 westbound reaches the offramps to Interstate 5 northbound, Interstate 5 southbound, and former California 209/Camino del Rio to Rosecrans Street. The next exit is Exit 2B, Junction Interstate 5 south and Rosecrans Street (former California 209) south. Photo taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
For the first time since entering the city of San Diego, Interstate 8 narrows to only two through lanes. After the Interstate 5 stack interchange, transition ramps from Interstate 5 briefly bring the freeway back to four westbound lanes, but two of those lanes will exit at Exit 1, Mission Bay Drive and Sports Arena Boulevard. Photo taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
Interstate 8 west narrows to two through lanes as it crosses over Interstate 5. Photo taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
Traffic merges onto Interstate 8 from the left (incoming from northbound Interstate 5). Photo taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
The next exit along westbound Interstate 8 is Exit 1, Mission Bay Drive/Sports Arena Boulevard, one-half mile. Photo taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
The right two lanes become exit only for Exit 1, Mission Bay Drive/Sports Arena Boulevard. Use the left three lanes to continue west toward the final exit, which serves Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Nimitz Boulevard. This final "exit" is actually a traffic signal at the western end of Interstate 8. Note the lack of overhead Interstate 8 shields on the pull-through sign. Photo taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
The penultimate exit along westbound Interstate 8 is Exit 1, Mission Bay Drive/Sports Arena Boulevard. Use Mission Bay Drive north to cross the San Diego River en route to Mission Beach and Pacific Beach. Use Sports Arena Drive south to enter the Midway-Sports Arena District, including the San Diego IPay One Sports Arena, home to several minor league sports teams. Photo taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
Westbound Interstate 8 approaches the end of the freeway at Sunset Cliffs and Nimitz Boulevard. The water to the right is the San Diego River, which widens as it approaches the ocean. Unlike Interstate 8 through Mission Valley, the freeway west of Interstate 5 is only four to six lanes. Photo taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
These signs advise that the western end of the Interstate 8 freeway is coming in one-half mile. Photo taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
Westbound Interstate 8 signage for Sunset Cliffs traffic to use the right-hand lane. Photo taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
An "End Freeway" yellow overhead sign is posted about a quarter mile east of the western terminus of Interstate 8. Photo taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
A signal ahead sign is posted immediately after the END FREEWAY overhead sign. Photo taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
A "T" intersection sign is posted as well, which advises that the road ends in 700 feet. Photo taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
Nearing the end of the freeway, this directional sign provides lane allocation for Nimitz Boulevard, Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, and Mission Bay Park. This is sign is located just ahead of the final traffic light, which signals the end of Interstate 8. Photo taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
A rarity in Southern California, Interstate 8 is signed with an END shield just prior to the Sunset Cliffs Boulevard traffic signal. Photo taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
Interstate 8 ends at this traffic light, which connects the freeway with Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. Nimitz Boulevard begins a short distance south (left) of here. Future plans call for the possible construction of an interchange here, which would extend Interstate 8 another tenth of a mile westward. But that enhancement is several years away. The area behind the traffic light is Robb Field Skate Park, so any extension of Interstate 8 would likely take a southwesterly trajectory. Photos taken by AARoads (10/08/05).
Perspective from Sunset Cliffs Boulevard north
Leaving Ocean Beach, northbound Sunset Cliffs approaches the Nimitz Boulevard and Interstate 8 intersection with these signs. Sunset Cliffs Boulevard provides the connection to Interstate 8 east, then crosses the San Diego River to enter the Mission Bay Interchange with Sea World Drive, Ingraham Street, West Mission Bay Drive, and Sports Arena Boulevard. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/11/06).
Since there is no access from eastbound Interstate 8 to northbound Interstate 5, these signs recommend using Sunset Cliffs Boulevard east to Sea World Drive to Interstate 5. During hot summer afternoons, Sea World Drive can be extremely congested with beach traffic trying to make its way back to Interstate 5. The right lane connects to eastbound Interstate 8, the Kumeyaay Highway. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/11/06).
In addition to providing a connection to eastbound Interstate 8, the right lane also connects to Interstate 5 southbound via Interstate 8. These signs were placed by the city of San Diego, not Caltrans. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/11/06).
The two left lanes of northbound Sunset Cliffs make a gentle curve to the left, merging with incoming traffic from northbound Nimitz Boulevard. Nimitz Boulevard ends here, and Sunset Cliffs continues northeast toward an interchange with Sea World Drive, Mission Bay Drive, West Mission Bay Drive, Sports Arena Boulevard, and Ingraham Street. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/11/06).
This view shows the western end of Interstate 8 as seen from northbound Sunset Cliffs while in the Nimitz Boulevard intersection. The Interstate 5 and Interstate 8 shields used here were retrofitted onto an older Caltrans sign by the city of San Diego; the sign is substandard, narrow, and should be replaced. The freeway entrance shield for Interstate 8 is visible in the distance. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/11/06).
The freeway entrance to Interstate 8 east looms after the traffic signal that separates the ramp from northbound Sunset Cliffs Boulevard to Interstate 8 from the northbound lanes of Nimitz Boulevard. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/11/06).
Returning to Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, northbound Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and northbound Nimitz Boulevard merge together after the Interstate 8 east "offramp." Photo taken by Andy Field (08/11/06).
Northbound Sunset Cliffs Boulevard reaches the traffic signal for westbound Interstate 8. No turns are permitted from this intersection, but you can look to the right (east) and see the end of the freeway. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/14/05).
After the traffic signal with Interstate 8 west, northbound Sunset Cliffs Boulevard crosses the San Diego River. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/11/06).
Shortly thereafter, Sunset Cliffs Boulevard enters the Mission Bay Park Interchange. There is no connection to Sports Arena Boulevard south, so there is no way back to Interstate 8 east until the Interstate 5 junction. There is a ramp to Ingraham Street north to West Mission Bay Drive, Sea World, and Pacific Beach. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/11/06).
Sunset Cliffs Boulevard transitions onto eastbound Sea World Drive. This ramp connects to northbound Ingraham Street and West Mission Bay Drive. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/11/06).
Perspective from Sea World Drive west
The only connection from Interstate 5 to Sunset Cliffs Drive and the west end of Interstate 8 is via Exit 22, Sea World Drive. After passing by the Pacific Highway and Friars Road traffic signals, Sea World Drive splits at the entrance to Sea World. Immediately thereafter, westbound Sea World Drive enters the Mission Bay Park interchange. At this point, traffic for Interstate 5 south and Interstate 8 east should exit onto Sports Arena Boulevard south. Through traffic to Ocean Beach via Sunset Cliffs Boulevard should continue straight ahead. The first ramp in this interchange connects to Ingraham Street north through Mission Bay Park to Pacific Beach. The second ramp connects with Sports Arena Boulevard southbound. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/11/06).
Westbound Sea World Drive reaches the connecting ramp onto southbound Sports Arena Drive. Sports Arena Drive crosses the San Diego River, then enters the Midway-Gateway area of Point Loma near the San Diego Sports Arena. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/11/06).
As noted on this sign, Sports Arena Boulevard connects to Interstate 8 and Interstate 5. What the sign does not say is that the connection only provides access to eastbound Interstate 8, ignoring that the final half-mile of westbound Interstate 8 cannot be reached via Sports Arena Boulevard. In addition, due to conditions at the Interstate 5/8 interchange, there is no direct connection from eastbound Interstate 8 to northbound Interstate 5. After this ramp, Sea World Drive transitions directly onto southbound Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/11/06).
Perspective from Sunset Cliffs Boulevard south
Now turning south, Sunset Cliffs Boulevard crosses the San Diego River. This is the westernmost crossing of the river. On the southern bank of the river, Sunset Cliffs Boulevard will meet Interstate 8. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/11/06).
This modest-looking traffic signal is the west end of Interstate 8. Since there are no left turns provided here (the eastbound lanes intersect several blocks ahead, at the Nimitz Boulevard intersection), there are no signs that show this to be Interstate 8. Instead, there is a sign advising through traffic on Nimitz Boulevard to stay right. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/11/06).
After passing through the traffic signal with westbound Interstate 8, this overhead guide sign advises that traffic for Nimitz Boulevard should remain in the left lanes, while through traffic for Sunset Cliffs Boulevard should exit to the right. What is not mentioned is that the connection to Interstate 8 east is afforded by using the left lane, making a near-U-Turn, then following the signs onto Interstate 8 east. It is assumed that all traffic for Interstate 8 east used Sports Arena Boulevard rather than Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/11/06).
Nimitz Boulevard and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard split here. If the junction between Interstate 8, Nimitz Boulevard, and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard were to be converted into an interchange rather than a signalized intersection (as envisioned by SANDAG), there is plenty of land for that to be built. However, it would be at the expensive of park land and landscaping. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/11/06).
Nimitz Boulevard crosses northbound Sunset Cliffs Boulevard at this traffic signal. One must make a U-turn to access the eastbound on-ramp at this light. Going straight takes traffic directly onto Nimitz Boulevard, a major north-south arterial between Harbor Drive near the Airport and Interstate 8. The Nimitz Boulevard sign was removed around 2004, but it was a very old white-on-black sign that very likely predated the freeway. Photo taken by Andy Field (02/25/02).
Now at the signal that governs traffic between southbound Nimitz Boulevard and eastbound Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, this "U Turn OK" sign is the only indication that a left turn can be made here to get onto Interstate 8 east. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/11/06).
Perspective from Interstate 8 east
Now on Interstate 8, the first sign after the freeway entrance shield assembly advises that this is the Kumeyaay Highway. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/11/06).
Until reaching the Sports Arena Boulevard interchange (no access from eastbound Interstate 8), the freeway only carries two lanes in each direction. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/11/06).
Traffic merges from southbound Sports Arena Drive to merge onto eastbound Interstate 8 to form the new number three lane (right lane). Photo taken by Andy Field (08/11/06).
Shortly thereafter, two more lanes merge onto eastbound Interstate 8 from northbound Sports Arena Boulevard. The freeway briefly carries four eastbound lanes until the junction with Interstate 5. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/11/06).
The right two lanes will connect to Interstate 5 south, while the left two lanes will continue east on Interstate 8 to El Centro. This is the first of many pull-through signs on eastbound Interstate 8 with the control city of "El Centro" (in the Imperial Valley). There is no direct connection to Interstate 5; the most expeditious way would be to exit onto Hotel Circle and U-turn back onto westbound Interstate 8 for the connection to northbound Interstate 5. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/11/06).
Eastbound Interstate 8 reaches Exit 2, Junction Interstate 5/San Diego Freeway south to downtown San Diego. Continue east on Interstate 8 to Mission Valley, San Diego State University, the city of La Mesa, and the city of El Cajon. Most of the route is four to five lanes in each direction, excepting this two-lane section for eastbound through the Interstate 5 interchange. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/11/06).
Eastern Terminus - Interstate 10 - Casa Grande, Arizona
Perspective from Interstate 8 east
Interstate 10 begins to appear on the mileage signs along eastbound early. This mileage sign overhead is located on Interstate 8 east, just past the Exit 161 interchange with Stanfield Road. The terminus at Interstate 10 is 16 miles to the east. There are four mainline interchanges remaining, three of which serve the community of Casa Grande. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/24/03).
This is the last Interstate 8 eastbound reassurance shield, complimented by an Interstate 10 trailblazer. The on-ramp from the right merges traffic onto the freeway from Exit 174/Trekell Road. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/24/03).
Two-mile guide sign for the final Interstate 8 interchange, Exit 178A/B with Interstate 10. The least traveled stretch of Interstate 10 between the Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas is between Interstate 8 (Exit 199) and Arizona 84 (Exit 198) with an estimated 25,479 vehicles per day. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/24/03).
The first of three sign bridges for Exits 178A/B of Interstate 8 eastbound. Traffic defaults onto Interstate 10 east for the city of Tucson. A left-hand exit is provided for return access to Casa Grande and the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/24/03).
Within the final mile of Interstate 8 eastbound. The city of Tucson is 57 miles to the southeast. The capital city is only 47 miles back to the northwest. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/24/03).
Interstate 8 eastbound draws to a close at the Interstate 10 Exit 178A/B gore point. Traffic continuing east encounters the first Interstate 10 interchange at Exit 200 Sunland Gin Road. 193 miles of Interstate 10 remain in the Grand Canyon State before the freeway crosses into the Land of Enchantment. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/24/03).
The previous set of Exit 178A/B guide signs for Interstate 10 at the terminus. On the horizon are the Picacho Mountains. Photo taken by Alan Hamilton (08/02).
A look at the Interstate 10 shields at the Exit 178A/B gore point. Unfortunately, there is no end shield or guide sign proclaiming the terminus of Interstate 8. Photo taken by Alan Hamilton (08/02).
Following the Interstate 10 westbound ramp from Interstate 8 eastbound. The next two interchanges of Interstate 10 serve Case Grande: Exit 198/Arizona 84 and Exit 194/Arizona 287. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/24/03).
Exit 178B loops around to Interstate 10 in this scene. The 199.1 milepost indicates that motorists are now on the Interstate 10 maintained freeway. Photo taken by Andy Field (05/24/03).
Perspective from Interstate 8 west
The Interstate 8/Interstate 10 interchange is essentially a very large trumpet interchange, with connections to and from Sunland Gin Road. On the transition ramp from westbound Interstate 10 to westbound Interstate 8 is this shield, which is the first westbound Interstate 8 shield. Photo taken by AARoads (01/17/05).
Continuing west on the transition ramp, westbound Interstate 8 prepares to cross over the main lanes of Interstate 10. Photo taken by AARoads (01/17/05).
The transition ramp from westbound Interstate 10 merges with the transition ramp incoming from eastbound Interstate 10. Note the sign bridges that can be seen for eastbound Interstate 8 at the merge with Interstate 10. Photo taken by AARoads (01/17/05).
First mileage sign along westbound Interstate 8 after the Interstate 10 interchange. It is 353 miles from here to San Diego. Presumably this mileage measures the distance all the way to downtown San Diego, since the total mileage of Interstate 8 is 348.25 miles. Photo taken by Alan Hamilton (08/02).
Perspective from Interstate 10 west
Several mileage signs along westbound Interstate 10 in Pinal County show the interchange with Interstate 8 as a destination point on mileage signs. This is the last of those mileage signs, about three miles east of the transition ramp to Interstate 8 westbound. Photo taken by AARoads (01/17/05).
Interstate 8 travels west through southwestern Arizona en route to California's Imperial Valley and San Diego on the coast. Interstate 10 turns northwest at this interchange so that it can connect to Phoenix, Chuckwalla Valley, Coachella Valley, and ultimately the Los Angeles Basin. Photo taken by AARoads (01/17/05).
Westbound Interstate 10 westbound approaches Exit 200/Sunland Gin Road and Exit 199/Interstate 8 westbound. A third panel is displayed on this sign bridge portraying Interstate 8 as the preferred route for traffic bound for metropolitan Los Angeles, California. These signs were placed sometime between 2003 and 2005. Note the use of the Arizona state name in the Interstate shields. Photo taken by AARoads (01/17/05).
Westbound Interstate 10 at Exit 200/Sunland Gin Road to Arizona City. One half mile is all that separates Interstate 10 from its split with Interstate 8 west. Interstate 8 only siphons about 3,500 vehicles a day from Interstate 10 westbound. Photo taken by AARoads (01/17/05).
The westbound beginning of Interstate 8 from Interstate 10 west. in 2003, the next interchange was Exit 198 with Arizona 84 to Case Grande. This state highway was decommissioned, and it is now signed as "Jimmie Kerr Boulevard." Jimmie Kerr Boulevard travels through the nearby town, connecting to Arizona 84. Arizona 84 continues west from there, ending up at Exit 151 of Interstate 8 about 27 miles to the west. A second bypass route alternative sign for Interstate 10 via Interstate 8 and Arizona 85 (accessible from Interstate 8 Exit 119) is also posted here. To the right is a sign bridge on the Interstate 10 westbound on-ramp from Sunland Gin Road (see photos below for additional coverage). Photos taken by Andy Field (01/01/03) and AARoads (01/17/05).
Perspective from Interstate 10 east
Interstate 8 is a "destination city" on this mileage sign on Interstate 10 eastbound. This assembly can be found just past the Exit 167 interchange with Riggs Road at Sun Lakes. Photo taken by Marc Welby (10/00).
Interstate 10 mileage sign, three miles west of Interstate 8. This guide sign is posted south of the Exit 194 interchange with Arizona 287. Interstate 10 travels in a north-south fashion through this stretch, turning back toward the east after the Interstate 8 junction. Photo taken by AARoads (01/17/05).
The first guide sign for Exit 199/Interstate 8 west on Interstate 10 east. Ahead is the Exit 198 diamond interchange with Jimmie Kerr Boulevard (Arizona 84). This is one of two Interstate 10 interchanges to serve the town of Casa Grande (pop. 25,224). Photo taken by AARoads (01/17/05).
Exit 198 departs for Jimmie Kerr Boulevard (Arizona 84) along Interstate 10 eastbound. The Interstate 8 merge onto Interstate 10 east occurs in just one mile. Photo taken by AARoads (01/17/05).
Interstate 10 at the Exit 198 interchange for Arizona 84 15 years prior. A few notable changes on the sign bridge depicted above include: (1) there are no exit numbers; (2) the Arizona 84 Case Grande-Eloy sign has been changed to reflect that this highway is now known as Jimmie Kerr Boulevard; (3) the Interstate 10 "pull-through" panel is replaced with an Exit 200 sign; (4) Yuma is listed as a second control city for Interstate 8; and (5) the sign lighting fixtures were below the signs instead of above. Photo taken by Michael Summa (1988).
0.25 mile overhead for Exit 199/Interstate 8 west. This assembly is posted just past the merge of Arizona 84 traffic onto Interstate 10 from Jimmie Kerr Boulevard. Photo taken by AARoads (01/17/05).
The westbound beginning of Interstate 8 from Interstate 10 east. Interstate 8 will not encounter its first Interstate Junction for 341 miles, when it reaches Interstate 15 within the city of San Diego, California. Photo taken by AARoads (01/17/05).
Traffic from eastbound Interstate 8 merges onto the much busier eastbound Interstate 10 from this onramp. Photo taken by AARoads (01/17/05).
Perspective from nearby Interstate 10 interchanges
These signs are located at the Sunland Gin Road on-ramp (Exit 200). The Exit 199 gore point sign visible to the lower left represents the Interstate 10/Interstate 8 split. Since Sunland Gin Road is too close to the Interstate 8 interchange for a regular diamond interchange on-ramp, it required a loop ramp instead. Situated nearby this interchange is a large truck stop facility. The loop ramp generated some difficulties for semis utilizing the ramp to return to Interstate 10. To remedy this situation, a new ramp was built. The new configuration splits with one ramp joining the Interstate 10 to 8 trumpet ramp while the other ramp bypasses the Interstate 8/Interstate 10 interchange altogether, merging with the mainline to the northwest. See the next photograph for the shield assembly pictured in the background. Photo taken by Marc Welby (10/00); thanks to Alan Hamilton for additional commentary.
Interstate 8 and Interstate 10 Arizona shields at the Sunland Gin Road ramp split. The overpass in the background is the Interstate 8 mainline beginning. Photo taken by Marc Welby (10/00).
Interstate 8 and 10 Arizona shield assembly at one of the Casa Grande interchanges to the northwest of the terminus. Photo taken by Marc Welby (10/00).

Sources:

  1. California Celebrates 50 Years of the Interstate Highway System by Caltrans (California Department of Transportation).

Page Updated August 13, 2006.

 
Mileage

State California
Mileage 169.92
Cities San Diego, El Centro
Junctions Interstate 5, Interstate 805, Interstate 15
State Arizona
Mileage 178.33
Cities Yuma, Casa Grande
Junctions Interstate 10
TOTAL 348.25
Source: October 31, 2002 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
Interstate 8 Annual Average Daily Traffic

State Location AADT Composite Year
California San Diego 259,000 2002
California El Cajon 225,000 2002
California El Centro 32,000 2002
California Midway Wells 10,000 2002
Arizona Yuma 34,463 2001
Arizona East Gila Bend 2,280 2001
Source: 2001 Arizona Interstate Annual Average Daily Traffic (AZDOT)
Complete Interstate 8 AADT data.

 
Interstates 8 and 15 meet at a multi-level stack interchange adjacent to Qualcomm Stadium (home of the San Diego Chargers) in Mission Valley, San Diego. Photo taken 09/02/06.
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