Interstate 8

Fact Box

Interstate 8
File:Interstate 8 map.png
Length- 348 miles
West end- San Diego, CA
East end- Casa Grande, AZ
States served- AZ, CA

Interstate 8 (I-8) is an Interstate Highway in the southwestern United States. It runs from the southern edge of Mission Bay at Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, in San Diego, California, almost at the Pacific Ocean, to the junction with I-10, just southeast of Casa Grande, Arizona. In California, the freeway travels through the San Diego metropolitan area as the Ocean Beach Freeway and the Mission Valley Freeway before traversing the Cuyamaca Mountains and providing access through the Imperial Valley, including the city of El Centro. Crossing the Colorado River into Arizona, I-8 continues through the city of Yuma across the Sonoran Desert to Casa Grande, in between the cities of Phoenix and Tucson.

The first route over the Cuyamaca Mountains was dedicated in 1912, and a plank road served as the first road across the Imperial Valley to Yuma; east of there, the Gila Trail continued east to Gila Bend. These were later replaced by U.S. Route 80 (US 80) across California and part of Arizona, and Arizona State Route 84 (SR 84) between Gila Bend and Casa Grande. The US 80 freeway through San Diego was largely complete by the time it was renumbered as I-8 in the 1964 state highway renumbering; east of San Diego, the US 80 roadway was slowly replaced by I-8 as construction progressed in the Imperial Valley. The Arizona portion of the road was built starting in the 1960s. Several controversies erupted during the construction process; questionable labor practices in Imperial County led to the federal conviction of mobster Jimmy Fratianno, and the Arizona government was found to have mismanaged financial resources by the U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee.

The route was completed in 1975 through California, and by 1977 through Arizona, though the bridge over the Colorado River was not completed until 1978. Since then, the freeway through San Diego has been widened due to increasing congestion, and another portion in Imperial County had to be rebuilt following Tropical Storm Kathleen.

Major junctions
West end:Sunset Cliffs Boulevard / Nimitz Boulevard in San Diego, CA
  • I‑5 in San Diego, CA
  • I‑805 in San Diego, CA
  • I‑15 / SR 15 in San Diego, CA
  • US 95 in Yuma, AZ
  • SR 85 in Gila Bend, AZ
East end:I‑10 in Casa Grande, AZ

Auxiliary routes

  • There are no three-digit Interstates that are related to I-8. However, there are four signed business routes related to I-8 that provide additional access to particular towns or cities:Main article: Business routes of Interstate 8
  • El Cajon Boulevard passes through downtown El Cajon.
  • The El Centro business loop runs along Adams Avenue in downtown El Centro.
  • The Yuma business loop begins in Winterhaven before crossing the Colorado River into Yuma and providing access to the downtown area.
  • The Gila Bend business loop connects with Arizona State Route 85.