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Interstate 82

Interstate 82

Total length: 143 miles (230 km)
Western terminus: Ellensburg, WA, at JCT I-90
Eastern terminus: Hermiston, OR, at JCT I-84

States traversed & length in each:

  • Washington — 132 miles (212 km)
  • Oregon — 11 miles (18 km)

Major cities along route:

  • Yakima, WA
  • “Tri-Cities” (Richland/Pasco/Kennewick, WA)

Junctions with non-related Interstates:

Related loops and spurs:

  • Interstate 182 — 15 miles long; spur toward Richland and Pasco, WA, also serving the other “Tri-Cities” city of Kennewick via Washington state route 240; I-82 Exit 102

Length I’ve traveled: None

Time zones:
Pacific — Entire length

Counties traversed:
Washington — Kittitas, Yakima, Benton

Oregon — Umatilla

A quick hypertext drive: I have never been on Interstate 82 at all. If somebody can offer me a good description of it, please e-mail me.

The function of Interstate 82 is to provide a connection to Seattle from points significantly southeast of Washington state, such as the central Rockies and other parts of the inter-mountain West, via I-80 and the western I-84. Additionally, it brings the Interstate system to both Yakima and the so-called “Tri-Cities” area of south-central Washington, which results in I-82’s somewhat convoluted routing. Despite its east-west signage, I-82 really runs more north-south than east-west overall, and there are numerous segments that run slightly against the signed direction (e.g., “eastbound” I-82 running toward the southwest near Yakima and again near the Columbia River).

The I-82 numbering seems to be a violation of Interstate numbering convention, because it is north of I-84, but there was no violation when I-82 was originally designated and built. (For the most part, I-82 was complete by the late 1970s.) Until 1980, what is now the western I-84 was numbered I-80N, as a letter-suffixed “child” route of mainline I-80; it was in that year that the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) ruled that suffixed Interstate designations should be eliminated. The old I-80N became a western I-84, but I-82 was not re-numbered, as it would have been too much trouble to correct such a minor violation of the numbering system.

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