Interstate 35 in Texas

Interstate 35 in Texas

Infobox TX State Highway
length_ref=cite web | author=Texas Department of Transportation | title=Highway Designation File - Interstate Highway 35 | url= | accessdate=2007-07-23 ]

from=jct|state=TX|US|83|BL|35|dab2=Laredo in Laredo
(to )
junction=jct|state=TX|I|37 in San Antonio
jct|state=TX|I|10 in San Antonio
jct|state=TX|I|35E|I|35W near Hillsboro
jct|state=TX|I|35E|I|35W in Denton
to=jct|state=OK|I|35 at Oklahoma state line

Interstate 35 in Texas (abbreviated I-35 or IH-35) is a major north-south Interstate Highway running from Laredo near the United States-Mexico border to the Red River north of Gainesville where it crosses into Oklahoma. Along its route, it passes through the cities of San Antonio, Austin, and Waco before it splits into two auxiliary routes just north of Hillsboro. Interstate 35E heads northeast where it passes through Dallas. Interstate 35W turns northwest to run through Fort Worth. The two branches meet up in Denton to again form Interstate 35, where it continues to the Oklahoma border. The exit numbers for Interstate 35E maintain the sequence of exit numbers from the southern segment of Interstate 35, and the northern segment of Interstate 35 follows on from the sequence of exit numbers from Interstate 35E. Interstate 35W maintains its own sequence of exit numbers.

In Texas, Interstate 35 runs for just over 407 miles (655 km), which does not include either the 85-mile (137-km) segment of Interstate 35W or the 97-mile (156-km) segment of Interstate 35E. Texas contains more miles of the overall length of Interstate 35 than any other state, almost one-third of the entire length.

In general, this article only describes Interstate 35; for Interstates 35E and 35W, see their respective articles.

Route description

Laredo and South Texas

In Laredo, Interstate 35 is 6-8 mainlanes in each direction later dropping to 4 near the Bob Bullock Loop. After being multiplexed for 20 miles with US highway 83, I-35 continues north-northeast across the South Texas Plains. The highway passes through the towns of Cotulla, Dilley, Pearsall, Devine, and Lytle before reaching San Antonio. From the Webb-La Salle county line to the Medina-Bexar county line, the interstate has a speed limit of 75 mph due to low population counts, while it retains a truck speed limit of 70 mph.

San Antonio

In San Antonio, I-35 has 6 to 8 mainlanes of travel. Its southern point begins in the southwest corner of town and travels northeast, crossing Interstate 410 near its southwest point. It continues in this direction before merging with Interstate 10 from it's eastbound direction and crossing United States Highway 90 as it splits from I-10 and continues westward. From here, I-35, now running concurrently with I-10, continues north through the western edge of the downtown area, where it splits the lanes to form two levels, a lower one for local traffic and a higher one for express traffic. They briefly rejoin near the northwest corner of downtown to allow I-10 to split off and go northwest.

I-35 continues, resplitting the lanes again as it curves around the northwest corner of downtown and goes east. It rejoins the lanes as it goes through an intersection at the northeast corner of downtown, where Interstate 37's northern terminus is located, while United States Highway 281 will continue on the north-south freeway, shifting east-to-west as it continues northward. I-35 continues east for a few miles until it begins to curve back to the northwest. It merges with I-410 on it's western north-south leg from it's northbound direction in a triangular interchange and continues north concurrently from there. A couple of miles later, I-410 will split off onto its northern west-east leg, while I-35 resumes its north-northwest direction past the northeast corner of the city.

Trucks are restricted from travel in the far left lane of I-35 in either direction throughout the San Antonio area. The restriction covers Bexar, Guadalupe, Comal, and Hays counties.cite web|publisher=Texas Transportation Commission|title=Minute Order 110856|url=|accessdate=2007-07-28]


In Austin, Interstate 35 is named Interregional Highway. Through most of the greater Austin area, I-35 is six to eight lanes, dropping to four lanes north of Williamson county. It forms the eastern boundary of downtown Austin and also passes through the eastern side of the University of Texas campus. I-35 is co-located with U.S. Highway 290 through central Austin.

Trucks are restricted from travel in the far left lane of I-35 in either direction throughout the Austin area. The restriction covers Hays and Travis counties and most of Williamson county and ends north of Jarrell, Tx where I-35 is reduced to four lanes.cite web|publisher=Texas Transportation Commission|title=May 27 Minutes|url=|accessdate=2007-07-28]

I-35 is split into two decks between Martin Luther King Boulevard and Airport Boulevard, north of downtown Austin. Both the upper and lower decks are signed as I-35 and US 290, and they use a common set of exit numbers, with some exit numbers duplicated between the two decks. The upper deck lanes are express lanes, with no on- or off-ramps. Drivers wishing to exit between Martin Luther King Boulevard and Airport Boulevard must use the lower deck.

The I-35 corridor between San Antonio and Austin is considered one of the most congested stretches of highway in the Interstate System. Much of this traffic is due to I-35 being considered one of the primary North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) corridors. Efforts to alleviate the congestion include the construction of State Highway 130, which when complete will form an I-35 bypass loop to the east of Austin, and the development of the Trans-Texas Corridor, which has a planned alignment that parallels I-35. Many local and regional governance organizations have on-going studies on other methods to improve mobility on I-35, which include such features as commuter rail lines and additional managed lanes.

Waco and Central Texas

In Waco, Interstate 35 is known as the Jack Kultgen Freeway. I-35 has six to eight lanes in Waco, and portions of I-35 between Waco and Hillsboro are currently being expanded from four to six lanes. It passes just to the west of the Baylor University campus.

Beginning in Waco and continuing up until just before the I-35E/I-35W split north of Hillsboro, I-35 is co-located with U.S. Highway 77.

Dallas and Fort Worth

Denton and North Texas

Just southwest of Denton, Interstate 35W and Interstate 35E join to reform Interstate 35, which then continues north to the Oklahoma border. The exit numbers on I-35 continue on from the last exit of Interstate 35E.

Just north of Denton, U.S. Highway 77 is co-located with Interstate 35 through to the Oklahoma border, although it is not signed as such.


Laredo and South Texas

San Antonio


The right-of-way for the future Interstate 35 in Austin began being purchased in 1946,cite web|title=History Lesson|publisher=Experience Austin|url=|accessdate=2007-07-30] running along the so-called "inter-regional highway" (named for the precursor to the current Interstate Highway System). The formal opening of Interstate 35 in Austin took place in 1962. The alignment was chosen to line up with U.S. Highway 81 and with East Avenue, which formed the eastern boundary of Austin.cite web|publisher=Texas Transportation Institute|author=Christiansen, Dennis L.|date=2005-08-11|title=History and Impacts of the Interstate Highway System in Texas|pages=32-35|url=|accessdate=2007-07-29] US 81 has since been truncated and does not extend to Austin, and East Avenue today forms part of the frontage road for I-35 through downtown Austin.

In 1975, a 2-mile set of elevated express lanes were added to I-35 between 15th Street and Airport Boulevard.cite news|first=Dave|last=Mann|title=Born to be Reviled|url=|publisher=Austin Chronicle|date=2002-09-20|accessdate=2007-07-30] The reason double-decking was used is because the highway is bounded in the area by the University of Texas campus on the west and by the Mount Calvary Cemetery on the east, restricting the available right-of-way. The lower deck kept its original configuration, which featured short on- and off-ramps with limited visibility. In 2000, some off-ramps on the lower deck were removed, in response to the already dangerous conditions becoming more so as traffic levels on the road increased.cite news|first=Nate|last=Blakeslee|title=I-35: Rebuilding The Lower Deck|url=|work=Politics|publisher=Austin Chronicle|date=1999-06-10|accessdate=2007-07-30] Interstate 35 in general and the double-decked section in particular have been viewed as a social dividing line between the central Austin and U.T. communities and the more economically-depressed East Austin neighborhoods.cite web|publisher=University of Texas at Austin|title=East Austin Stories|url=|accessdate=2007-07-30]

Interstate 35 at one time had one of the few at-grade railroad crossings in the interstate highway system. The crossing was removed during the 1970s.cite web|publisher = Texas Department of Transportation|title=Building a Better IH 35 for Central Texas|url=|accessdate=2007-07-29 ]

Waco and Central Texas

Dallas and Fort Worth

Denton and North Texas

Exit list

Auxiliary routes

* .
* .
* . I-635 intersects with I-35E in north Dallas, and does not intersect either I-35W or I-35.


* Interstate 35 has been designated the Texas portion of the Purple Heart Trail. Signage noting this designation is being added along the route. [ [ 79(R) SB 678 - Enrolled version - Bill Text ] ]


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