I-40 Manuelito Interchange Study

I-40 Milepost 7.9 to 8.9 near Manuelito in McKinley County

NMDOT Control No. 6101600

PROJECT OVERVIEW

WHERE IS THE STUDY AREA LOCATED?

The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is conducting a study of the Interstate 40 (I-40) and New Mexico Highway 118 (NM 118) interchange located at Exit 8 (3.4 miles east of Manuelito) in McKinley County, New Mexico. The study area extends along I-40 from milepost (MP) 7.9 to 8.9. The closest surrounding communities and establishments within the study area include Southwest Indian Ministries – Church of God, Manuelito Chapter House, Manuelito Navajo Children’s Home, Gallup Christian School, Tobe Turpen Elementary School, and the Villages of Manuelito, Defiance, and Mentmore. The lands in the vicinity of the roadway right-of-way consist of private, Navajo Nation and BNSF Railroad lands.

FUNDING

FHWA federal and state funds are being used to conduct this study, develop a preliminary design, and perform environmental investigations under Control Number 6101600. Final design and construction will be performed in the future when funds can be identified. 

Study Area Map for the I-40 Manuelito Interchange Study

Study Area Map (click on image to enlarge).

County

McKinley

District

District 6

STIP Number

Status

Study and Design (Preliminary)

Contact

Gabriel Sanchez-Ramos
Central Region Design
(505) 699-9616

PROJECT RESOURCES

EXISTING CONDITIONS

I-40 is the primary west-to-east route to and through central New Mexico and is a primary freight route.  In the study area, I-40 is a rural, divided four-lane interstate with a posted speed limit of 75 miles per hour. NM 118 is a rural two-lane highway with a 30-mph posted speed limit. NM 118 follows the route of the former historic Route 66 and parallels I-40 for most of its length. A major element of this study is the I-40 bridge (Bridge No. 6502) over NM 118 at Exit 8.  The additional bridges (Bridge Nos. 3488, 6281, and 6282) surrounding the study area are not included as part of this study.

As part of the information gathering stage, the study team has been collecting data on the existing conditions for the roadway, right-of-way, bridge, geotechnical, drainage, utilities, safety, traffic, land use, and environmental resources to inform the need for improvements and influence the development of the initial design alternatives.

View looking west on I-40 near Exit 8 at the interchange with NM 118

View looking west on I-40 near Exit 8 at the interchange with NM 118 (click to enlarge the image).

SOME OF THE EXISTING ENGINEERING FEATURES AND PHYSICAL CONDITIONS

Image of a school bus moving through Bridge No. 6502.

BRIDGE HEIGHT AND WIDTH CLEARANCE:

The I-40 bridge (Bridge No. 6502) over NM 118 has a height of 13.5 feet and width restrictions.  Semi-trucks traveling or diverted to this route do not have enough space to safely travel under the I-40 bridge.

view of roadway from NM 118 at the intersection of I-40 westbound off-ramp and I-40 westbound on-ramp

SIGHT DISTANCE approaching I-40 from NM 118:

View of intersection with the I-40 westbound off-ramp approaching NM 118 and the I-40 westbound on-ramp from NM 118.  There is a limited view of oncoming I-40 traffic for those entering the on-ramp.

Aerial view looking NW from NM 118 at the I-40 interchange.

INTERCHANGE TYPE:

The existing I-40 and NM 118 interchange does not meet current design standards and is complex and unclear for drivers to navigate.

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT

A PUBLIC MEETING was hosted on March 17, 2024

The team gave a presentation on the study during a regularly scheduled monthly Manuelito Chapter House meeting. They went over the existing conditions identified in the study area and the initial design alternatives developed.

If  you were unable to attend, please review the meeting presentation and factsheet available.

WHERE WE ARE NOW AND NEXT STEPS

With public and stakeholder input gathered to date, the team will select the most reasonable and feasible design alternatives to carry forward into the detailed analysis phase of this study.  Additional public engagement is planned for late summer.  The goal is to identify a preferred alternative and finalize the study document this fall.

MEETING RESOURCES

Public Meeting Summary and Comments (PDF)
June 2024

Public Meeting Factsheet (PDF)
Spring 2024

Meeting Presentation (PDF)
March 2024

Recorded meeting presentation with a speaker (English).

I-40 Manuelito Interchange

Study Timeline