Interstate 82 (I-82) is a Interstate Highway that extends from I-90 in Ellensburg, Washington to I-84 near Umatilla, Oregon in the United States. In the state of Washington, it serves the cities of Ellensburg, Yakima, and the Tri Cities (via I-182), and in Oregon, it serves Umatilla and Hermiston. It is the major route westwards to Seattle and eastwards to Boise, Idaho and Salt Lake City, Utah (via I-84 and I-15). I-82's designation is a violation of the Interstate system's numbering rules, as it is located north of I-84. I-84 was originally designated I-80N, but received its current number in 1980 as part of a mandate to eliminate suffixed routes.
I-82 passes over Selah Creek on the Fred G. Redmon Bridge. When this bridge was opened on November 2, 1971 it was the longest concrete arch bridge in North America. The bridge spans long across the creek. In 1999, a plan surfaced to extend the Interstate down south through Oregon. Three routes were proposed but all were rejected.
Bolded cities are officially-designated control cities for signs
I-82 is the sixth busiest Interstate in Washington based on annual average daily traffic (AADT) figures, behind I-5 at 240,000 vehicles, I-405 at 201,000 vehicles, I-90 at 148,000 vehicles, Interstate 205 at 136,000 vehicles, and Interstate 705 at 67,000 vehicles. I-82 is also the fifth busiest Interstate in Oregon, behind I-5 at 99,350 vehicles, I-405 at 97,700 vehicles, I-84 87,410 vehicles, I-205 at 75,490 vehicles, and I-105 at 33,610 vehicles. An estimated 8,160 motorists utilize the road daily in Oregon.
Just north of Selah, the freeway passes over Selah Creek on the Fred G. Redmon Bridge, the longest concrete arch in North America at the time of its opening, spanning long across the creek. From the bridge, I-82/US 97 passes from Selah into Yakima. In Yakima, I-82/US 97 join US 12 and intersect SR 24. After leaving Yakima and Union Gap, US 97 splits from I-82/US 12. I-82 then enters the Yakima Indian Reservation as it starts turning eastward towards the Tri-Cities. West of Toppenish, I-82/US 12 intersects SR 22, and then goes east past Zillah and into Granger, where it intersects SR 223.
After leaving both Granger and the Yakima Indian Reservation, the freeway continues east to Sunnyside, where the highway intersects SR 240. Then, I-82/US 12 turns southeast to pass Grandview and reach Prosser, where SR 22 intersects the freeway. From Prosser, the highway turns northeast into Benton City, where SR 224 and SR 225 intersect I-82/US 12. From Benton City, the freeway goes eastward towards Richland, when I-182 starts and US 12 joins I-182 into Richland. From the interchange, I-82 goes southeast around the Tri-Cities and joins US 395. After joining US 395, the freeway goes south and then west into Plymouth, where the highway intersects SR 14 and leaves Washington on the Umatilla Bridge over the Columbia River heading into Oregon.
As part of Washington's first connected state highway system, the Washington State Legislature designated the Inland Empire Highway between Ellensburg and Laurier in 1913. The State Highway Board selected a route that would connect the main cities of Eastern Washington and the Inland Empire, which were Ellensburg, Yakima, the Tri Cities, Colfax, and Spokane. In 1923, by which time the entire road had been improved, the highway became State Road 3 (Primary State Highway 3 and Primary State Highway 3 WA after 1937), but retained its name. By that time, most of the route of Interstate 82 became parts of US 410, US 97, and US 395, all three were established in 1926.
In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, which started the construction of Interstate Highways. Even though I-82 was designated in 1956, construction did not start until the early 1980s, and the last section of Interstate 82 within Washington opened in 1987. Legally, the Washington section of I-82 is defined at Washington Revised Code § 47.17.135. Several projects are currently ongoing and have been completed in the recent years on I-82.
The original plans for the included two options. One was the current route (which was opposed by the Tri-Cities), and another had I-82 go from Prosser into Richland and Pasco, and then southeast to Wallula and then end at I-80N (present-day I-84) in Pendleton. The first option was chosen, but the Tri-Cities needed access, so the Federal Highway Administration created Interstate 182, which would serve as a connector from I-82 to the Tri-Cities.
When I-80N was renumbered I-84 in 1980, I-82's designation became a violation of the Interstate system's numbering rules, as it was now located north of I-84. The reason for the renumbering was part of a mandate to eliminate suffixed routes. In 1999, a plan surfaced to extend I-82 further south in Oregon. Three major routes were proposed including the Madras Route, from Umatilla through Heppner, Condon, Fossil, and Antelope to Madras, where I-82 would replace US 97 south through Bend to the California border, the Prineville route, from Umatilla through Heppner, Hardman, Spray, Prineville, and Powell Butte to US 97 near Bend, then continue south to the border, and the US 395 route, from Umatilla through John Day, Burns, and Lakeview, presumably to the California border and beyond.
|Kittitas||0.00||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance|
|11.62||11||Yakima Training Center||Signed as "Military Area"|
|28.99||29||East Selah Road|
|30.59||30||Signed as exits 30A (SR 823) and 30B (Rest Haven Road) westbound|
|Yakima||31.35||31||West end of US 12 overlap; signed as exits 31A (US 12) and 31B (1st Street) eastbound|
|33.21||33A||Fair Avenue, Lincoln Avenue||Eastbound exit and entrance|
|33.21||33B||Yakima Avenue – Terrace Heights||Signed as exit 33 westbound|
|Union Gap||36.26||36||Valley Mall Boulevard – Union Gap|
|37.81||37||, Bend||East end of US 97 overlap; eastbound exit and westbound entrance|
|38.07||38||Union Gap||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance|
|40.31||40||Thorp Road, Parker Road|
|54.05||54||Division Road – Zillah|
|68.91||69||– Vernita Bridge, Sunnyside, Mabton|
|Grandview||72.58||73||Stover Road – Grandview|
|75.02||75||County Line Road – Grandview|
|Benton||Prosser||79.90||80||Gap Road – Prosser|
|102.48||102||East end of US 12 overlap|
|112.76||113||West end of US 395 overlap|
|114.36||114||Locust Grove Road (I-82 to SR 397 Intertie)|
|Washington / Oregon state line|
|1.00||1||East end of US 395 overlap|
|4.83||5||Power Line Road|