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Old 03-26-2023, 10:06 PM   #1
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Memphis to Little Rock. I-40 or Alternatives?

Hi all,

We are returning to Denver from Fort Myers Fl. later this week. I plan to avoid I-10 as much as I can, as well as Atlanta, so we're planning to head NW on US 231 from west of Tallahassee through Montgomery, AL, then I-65 to Birmingham, then I-22 to Memphis. I am hearing that I-40 between Memphis and Little Rock has a ton of semis, so we might avoid that stretch by taking US 64 from Memphis to Conway, AR and back onto I-40 to Tulsa, and on to Denver through Dodge City, KS, and Pueblo, CO. My biggest concern right now is I-40 between Memphis and Little Rock, but I am open to suggestions on the rest of the route. I also hear I-70 in eastern Colorado is rough, so taking US 50 is a reasonable option since we live in the south metro Denver area off I-25 and C-470.

Looks like ~ 2000 miles just about any route we take, so I'd like a pleasant mix roads and traffic,

TIA
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Old 03-26-2023, 11:06 PM   #2
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as you come north on US 231 take a RIGHT on US271. that will be a T intersection. follow 271 for 5-6 miles to I-85. take the NB ramp toward Montgomery then hop on I-65 NB about 10-min later. if you follow 231 to 65 youll do lots of xtra miles and minutes and encounter lots of stop n go traffic.
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Old 03-26-2023, 11:35 PM   #3
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If you dont like the ten , you really wont like the 40. Packed with trucks as you hit the 30 heading from Dallas connecting in Little Rock to the 40.
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Old 03-27-2023, 02:31 AM   #4
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Memphis to Little Rock. I-40 or Alternatives?

Weve traveled from Memphis to Little Rock on 40 dozens of times. Never saw a reason to research alternative routes. There are trucks but so what. Its not a bad drive at all. Drive the speed limit or fall in with trucks running 62-65. What speed do you like to travel on the interstate?
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Old 03-27-2023, 03:00 AM   #5
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I have traveled the I40 Memphis to Little Rock a half dozen times headed to Branson and never found it to be better or worse than other roads. I take I40 to I35 at Oklahoma City N. on I35 to past Wichita then NWY 50 to home. I have traveled 50 as family lives in Denver area to me its nicer than I70 but thats me.

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Old 03-27-2023, 06:12 AM   #6
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I40 between Little Rock and Memphis is good now. There are lots of trucks but road is decent and it flows smoothly. There are a lot of accidents around the Lonoke area so try avoid that area in morning and evening rush hours.
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Old 03-27-2023, 09:18 AM   #7
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Memphis to LR

We travel that way often. Trucks are manageable and roads are good. Much better than I-30 towards Texarkana/Dallas!
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Old 03-27-2023, 09:30 AM   #8
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This past year I have found nose to tail semis no matter which main route I take. And every road/interstate has rough sections, but usually doesn't last that long.
I40 is definitely the best all around route to get you back home.
I used to live off of C-470 in Littleton Worked at Inverness Business Park for Martin Marietta.
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Old 03-27-2023, 01:10 PM   #9
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If you don't actually care about seeing Little Rock, why not take the more northern more scenic option across Arkansas, US64 to US65 to Harrison, then US 412 across to OK, mostly good road though US412 does get a bit twisty for 25 or so miles just west of Harrison. I have driven a good bit of this rout in Arkansas over the years in bits and pieces.
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Old 03-27-2023, 09:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob_M View Post
Weve traveled from Memphis to Little Rock on 40 dozens of times. Never saw a reason to research alternative routes. There are trucks but so what. Its not a bad drive at all. Drive the speed limit or fall in with trucks running 62-65. What speed do you like to travel on the interstate?
I generally run no more than 72 MPH.
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Old 04-09-2023, 08:56 AM   #11
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Thanks, all, for the input. We ended up taking 40 the entire route, planning to exit to the north if necessary. It is a nice, mostly flat road and the traffic pace was reasonable. I actually found myself thinking that I would rather be on an interstate highway surrounded by a bunch of professional truck drivers than with a bunch of unprofessional drivers who cannot seem to put their phones down unless they are weaving through traffic like it is the Indy 500, which is what I experienced as we approached some of the metro areas we traversed on our trip back to Colorado from Florida. In any event, that stretch of highway was in reasonably good shape and certainly not the madness I was somewhat expecting.
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Old 04-10-2023, 10:45 AM   #12
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The only real problem I've seen with I-40 Memphis - Little Rock is in case of an accident.

Like I-10 from Baton Rouge to Lafayette - there is no real alternative if the highway is blocked except to sit in the backup for hours and wait.

Of course, that isn't unusual on the US interstate system - got stuck almost an entire day between Lordsburg and Deming NM when a heavy line of storms up near Silver City sent flood waters across the west bound main lanes of I-10.
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Old 04-11-2023, 09:43 AM   #13
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We've only driven it once, like others and the OP, we had no problems. As was pointed out a nice open drive.

We enjoyed our visit to Little Rock. There are many well known museums in the city. Worth a short stop to those who choose to bypass the city.
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