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Old 05-16-2022, 07:41 PM   #1
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Absolute worst highway award goes toÖ

Just traveled I-40 from Barstow, CA, to get to the Grand Canyon. On the Arizona side: Worst. Roadway. Ever.

Iíve driven lots of roads in 50+ years from Canada to Mexico and I have never seen anything as brutally bad as this. Even neglected local backroads donít even come close. From the Arizona border on, up through Kingman, it was hundreds of miles of torn up, rutted asphalt. These are not just potholes, but miles upon miles of pit mines masquerading as a highway with an occasional piece of asphalt in between. I am amazed we didnít break an axle or find the cabinets fallen to the floor. Iím really glad I put beefed up suspension and new tires on the rig this spring. Iím still picking my fillings up off the floorboards.

I cannot fathom a state allowing highway conditions like this, let alone an interstate. Itís an embarrassment to the state of Arizona. If youíre planning a trip that includes this route, find another way somehow.
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Old 05-16-2022, 07:49 PM   #2
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My vote is I-81 in PA from Hazleton to the NY boarder. It will loosen your dental work towing in that area. The expansion joints are spaced just perfectly to cause an up and down harmonic that is nearly unbearable. The funny thing is, in the 25 years that I have been traveling that route, they have repaved it numerous times and it always turns out the same.

As a bonus, as of January when I drove through there last, there was a series of potholes on the southbound side literally as soon as you cross in to PA that certainly welcome you to our wonderful roadways.
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Old 05-16-2022, 07:50 PM   #3
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Wow, I don't know but we was coming from Las Vegas through Salt Lake UT that is one bad road, coming through there I thought my tires were going to come off.
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Old 05-16-2022, 07:54 PM   #4
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I'm with ya, Lucky. I traveled the other half just in the last two weeks, from Iowa, to Flagstaff, and back. I couldn't help but think they're opening themselves up to a civil lawsuit for a high-speed "interstate" being in such bad shape.

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Old 05-16-2022, 07:56 PM   #5
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My vote is I-81 in PA from Hazleton to the NY boarder. It will loosen your dental work towing in that area. The expansion joints are spaced just perfectly to cause an up and down harmonic that is nearly unbearable. The funny thing is, in the 25 years that I have been traveling that route, they have repaved it numerous times and it always turns out the same.

As a bonus, as of January when I drove through there last, there was a series of potholes on the southbound side literally as soon as you cross in to PA that certainly welcome you to our wonderful roadways.
I have to agree with you on this. Between the perpetual construction with surprise Lane closures, left,then right, then left again. To the ruts and just pitiful road surface it gets my vote. We will be traveling it again this July - I can hardly wait...
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Old 05-16-2022, 08:27 PM   #6
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I have to agree with you on this. Between the perpetual construction with surprise Lane closures, left,then right, then left again. To the ruts and just pitiful road surface it gets my vote. We will be traveling it again this July - I can hardly wait...
We will also be heading through in late July on our way to Lakeside Campground in Windsor. Beautiful area. It's just too bad that there isn't a decent way to get through there.
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Old 05-16-2022, 09:10 PM   #7
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Just traveled I-40 from Barstow, CA, to get to the Grand Canyon. On the Arizona side: Worst. Roadway. Ever.

Iíve driven lots of roads in 50+ years from Canada to Mexico and I have never seen anything as brutally bad as this. Even neglected local backroads donít even come close. From the Arizona border on, up through Kingman, it was hundreds of miles of torn up, rutted asphalt. These are not just potholes, but miles upon miles of pit mines masquerading as a highway with an occasional piece of asphalt in between. I am amazed we didnít break an axle or find the cabinets fallen to the floor. Iím really glad I put beefed up suspension and new tires on the rig this spring. Iím still picking my fillings up off the floorboards.

I cannot fathom a state allowing highway conditions like this, let alone an interstate. Itís an embarrassment to the state of Arizona. If youíre planning a trip that includes this route, find another way somehow.
Made me laugh... I have traveled this stretch at least 8 times in the past 6 weeks. I get to see the fuel prices on the way to the California side too, the Pilot at I-40 / US95 is a popular spot to save a few hundred dollars on tractor fuel coming east. Oh.. and it's only around 50 miles on that stretch from the border to Kingman..

But i'm not going to offer you any encouragement that it will get any better in the next 3 years, since the Federal Highway funds that were designated for the maintenance were diverted to the southern part of the state. There is NOTHING major planned for maintenance, paving except for a Interstate Interchange further east of Kingman that the City is paying the majority of that cost.

And yea... that money is being spent in the southern part of the state nearer to the Mexico border.

I hear that I-90 is pretty good shape lately... who has tried that lately?
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Old 05-17-2022, 03:10 AM   #8
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I-4 in Orlando to all the wallyworlds at morning or afternoon traffic. I finally moved from there.
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Old 05-17-2022, 04:17 AM   #9
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The I-80 washboard through Iowa which got its design from many of the Michigan freeways.
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Old 05-17-2022, 04:36 AM   #10
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Our roads in the US are really in bad shape. Keep waiting for it to get built back better. Nothing so far. Nicest road Iíve driven in the last six months was 1-95 from Fort Lauderdale up to St Simons Island in GA. Traffic was bad but road was nice. Our roads now remind me of roads I saw in Mexico years back when I was in quite a few of the interior cities.
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Old 05-17-2022, 04:40 AM   #11
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I 55 n between west Memphis and the mo state line. After pulling over and cleaning up the mess created by the fridge door popping open, I drove with the right side tires on the shoulder. Was only half as bumpy. We weren't the only vehicle to pull over and inspect their junk. I 40 from okc to williams,az was no comparison to this stretch of I 55.
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Old 05-17-2022, 04:43 AM   #12
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Just traveled I-40 from Barstow, CA, to get to the Grand Canyon. On the Arizona side: Worst. Roadway. Ever.

Went thru Flagstaff on I-40 in March towing 5er, hit the freaking largest hole, no avoiding it. Literally jerked the steering wheel out of my hands. Surprised I didn't loose a tire. The DOT will put up orange BUMP signage for humps in the road that don't need it, it's the huge POTHOLES that should be repaired. I don't know how the truckers can do it, hitting worn out expansion joints and potholes day after day, my neck is sore after a 2 day drive.
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Old 05-17-2022, 05:53 AM   #13
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I-81 is certainly one of the worst. I've run that section 3 times because I thought it could only improve considering the amount of work being done on it. That certainly hasn't proven true. My usual route was to run I-81 down to Lancaster Pa. Then pick up US -30 west and various other non interstate highways to upper Illinois to visit family. This year I decided to to loop around via I-90 out of Worcester Ma. then I-88/I-86/I90 to RT 11 and pick up US 30 west of Pittsburg. I ran this route about 3 years ago and it was OK. This will be at the start of our 3 month cross country trip in July so we have the time.
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Old 05-17-2022, 06:20 AM   #14
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I35 through Texas has been in a state of upgrade and renovations for years. Lane closures are constant. It's bad we detour a hundred miles to avoid it and Dallas.
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Old 05-17-2022, 08:25 AM   #15
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Just traveled I-40 from Barstow, CA, to get to the Grand Canyon. On the Arizona side: Worst. Roadway. Ever.
Worst roadway ever? I agree that stretch of road is pretty bad, but other parts of I-40 have recently been repaved, such as the stretch from Ash Fork to Flagstaff. East of Flagstaff it is actually pretty good.

One suggestion, if going East from Kingman try the old Route 66 from Kingman to Seligman. No up and down hills, no trucks, no potholes and it's a very scenic drive. The road itself is in pretty good shape compared to I-40. Even has the old Burma Shave signs along the way. It's a bit longer drive, but much more relaxing.

The last time we ventured into California we made the mistake of going from Bakersfield to Sacramento on US-99! It was much worse than I-40 and even the semis were swerving trying to miss the potholes. On the return trip home we tried using I-5 and that was even worse, plus much more truck traffic all going way over the speed limit.

The worst roads we have ever experienced was a trip a few years ago going through Oklahoma City on I-40, both East and West bound. We had to slow down to about 45 and weave our way around the worst pot holes. It was terrible and we were just thankful we didn't drive that stretch at night.

So, what should be done? The amount of taxes we pay from the purchase of fuel is SUPPOSED to go into the highway fund for road maintenance. Why isn't that money being used as it should be? Who is responsible for diverting those funds into other uses? There needs to better accountability in the spending of tax payer dollars, not only for the roads, but in all State and Federal programs. The highway system should be top priority.
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Old 05-17-2022, 09:40 AM   #16
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I35 through Texas has been in a state of upgrade and renovations for years. Lane closures are constant. It's bad we detour a hundred miles to avoid it and Dallas.
No joke there, I believe there are road workers in Texas who have spent their careers building an off ramp between Lewisville and Denton. We call it "The highway from hell".
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Old 05-17-2022, 10:13 AM   #17
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I feel like the Northwest is being unfairly left out of this discussion...and it shouldn't be!
A few years ago I drove up to Seattle on I-5 and on up to Whidbey Island.
I-5 was so bad my wife made me stop so she could go back into the trailer and put on a bra!
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Old 05-17-2022, 10:39 AM   #18
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Made me laugh... I have traveled this stretch at least 8 times in the past 6 weeks. I get to see the fuel prices on the way to the California side too, the Pilot at I-40 / US95 is a popular spot to save a few hundred dollars on tractor fuel coming east. Oh.. and it's only around 50 miles on that stretch from the border to KingmanÖ
It just FELT like a hundred miles. I figured you had driven that stretch ó I donít know how you do it, especially that stretch coming in to Kingman. My sympathies.

I will never curse the higher California gas taxes. At least the money goes onto the roads. Rather see it there than the little bit of savings paying for an alignment or axle.
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Old 05-17-2022, 10:41 AM   #19
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Worst roadway ever? I agree that stretch of road is pretty bad, but other parts of I-40 have recently been repaved, such as the stretch from Ash Fork to Flagstaff. East of Flagstaff it is actually pretty good.

One suggestion, if going East from Kingman try the old Route 66 from Kingman to Seligman. No up and down hills, no trucks, no potholes and it's a very scenic drive. The road itself is in pretty good shape compared to I-40. Even has the old Burma Shave signs along the way. It's a bit longer drive, but much more relaxing.

The last time we ventured into California we made the mistake of going from Bakersfield to Sacramento on US-99! It was much worse than I-40 and even the semis were swerving trying to miss the potholes. On the return trip home we tried using I-5 and that was even worse, plus much more truck traffic all going way over the speed limit.

The worst roads we have ever experienced was a trip a few years ago going through Oklahoma City on I-40, both East and West bound. We had to slow down to about 45 and weave our way around the worst pot holes. It was terrible and we were just thankful we didn't drive that stretch at night.

So, what should be done? The amount of taxes we pay from the purchase of fuel is SUPPOSED to go into the highway fund for road maintenance. Why isn't that money being used as it should be? Who is responsible for diverting those funds into other uses? There needs to better accountability in the spending of tax payer dollars, not only for the roads, but in all State and Federal programs. The highway system should be top priority.
LOL, we actually did take the Route 66 bypass and yes, it was better. Loved the Burma Shave signs. But there still were some lousy spots too.
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Old 05-17-2022, 11:17 AM   #20
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[QUOTE=LuckyDuck;1048784] I will never curse the higher California gas taxes. At least the money goes onto the roads. QUOTE]

You gotta be kidding. As much as you are getting ripped off by the cost of fuel, the roads should be paved in gold!
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