History of Interstate 10 in Texas

History of Interstate 10 in Texas

Interstate 10 has replaced several old US Highways mainly in western Texas. Between the New Mexico border and the junction with I-20, the highway has replaced US 80. From there to west of Kerrville, I-10 replaced US 290, and part of US 87 between Comfort and San Antonio. Between San Antonio and the Louisiana border, I-10 replaced US 90.

The highway was opened to traffic in stages between 1949 and 1983, the first part in San Antonio, the last part at Fort Stockton. The first long section was run from Houston to the Louisiana border, followed by the section between El Paso and Van Horn and soon after the section between San Antonio and Houston. Between Van Horn and San Antonio, the I-10 runs through a very sparsely populated and extensive area, so construction was relatively slow.

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El Paso

The highway through El Paso was opened in phases in 1968-1969. The official opening was on October 4, 1969, when the sunken part near the center was opened.

Between 2015 and 2019, I-10 in western El Paso was upgraded with a parallel structure and braiding between Mesa Street and Executive Center Boulevard. This project was called GO10. Work started in April 2015 and was completed on June 30, 2019.

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West Texas

I-10 east of Fort Stockton.

Construction of I-10 in western Texas was difficult because of the vast distances and lack of personnel and equipment in these remote and sparsely populated areas. Construction mainly took place in the 1970s and 1980s. The first long stretch to be completed was from El Paso to Van Horn, which was already passable by about 1965. However, in 1965 no section between Van Horn and San Antonio had been opened. In the second half of the 1960s and the first half of the 1970s, some routes opened, such as a stretch just west of Fort Stockton, between Ozona and Sonora, between Junction and US 290, and from Kerrville to San Antonio.. Circa 1976, the section between I-20 and Balmorhea opened. The section between Sonora and Junction opened in 1981. early years’ 80 opened the last sections of I-10 west of San Antonio. The penultimate part was a winding section near Sheffield. The final link was the Fort Stockton bypass, which opened on May 20, 1983, completing I-10 throughout Texas.

San Antonio

I-10 at San Antonio.

The predecessor of I-10 opened to traffic between Culebra and Woodlawn in July 1949 and was the first freeway in San Antonio. In 1950, a northwest extension opened to Martin Avenue. The downtown route opened to traffic in 1964, and the remainder of the route northwest through Bexar County was completed in 1968. The eastbound section from Commerce Street was completed in 1964. The route closer to the center was completed in 1968. During the 1980s, the part near the center was made double-deck.

Between 2014 and 2015, I-10 in northwest San Antonio was widened. The highway originally had 2×3 lanes, but has been widened to 2×4 to 2×5 lanes between the Loop 1604 interchange and Huebner Road. The widening of this 5-kilometer section cost $44 million.

In 2018-2020, I-10 northwest of San Antonio was widened from 2×2 to 2×4 lanes. This was originally planned with 2 managed lanes per direction. These are approximately 10 miles from Ralph Fair Road (FM 3351) at Boerne to the Loop 1604 in northwest San Antonio. The highway would be widened from 2×2 to 4×2 lanes. The project would cost $180 million. In December 2015, however, it was decided not to build toll lanes, but a third general purpose lane and an extra HOV lane in each direction, so that the highway was eventually widened to eight lanes. The widening was completed in December 2019, but the HOV lanes did not open until September 2020.

San Antonio – Houston

The stretch from San Antonio to Houston was built primarily during the 1960s to connect these two fast-growing cities. In 1972 the entire I-10 between the two cities was ready.


The Katy Freeway at Beltway 8.

See also East Freeway and Katy Freeway.

In Houston, the road was built mainly in the 1950s and 1960s. The first was the East Freeway east of Houston. The first part of this opened in 1953. The East Freeway was largely completed before the Katy Freeway opened. In 1961, the second to last section of the East Freeway and the first section of the Katy Freeway opened. Both highways were completed in quick succession in 1966 and 1968.

At the time, the section of the Katy Freeway within I-610 was considered ambitious with 2×5 lanes. West of it, the highway had only 2×3 lanes. It became Houston’s most congested highway beginning in the 1970s. From 2000, plans were made to upgrade the highway to more lanes, and in 2002 the adjacent railroad was demolished to make room for widening. The widening of the Katy Freeway began in 2004, and 16 lanes have been completed. The first pieces were delivered in 2006, most were delivered in 2008, and by 2009 the entire project was completed. The Katy Freeway has since experienced significant traffic growth with 383,000 vehicles in 2013 but is much less prone to congestion than it was before 2008.

The East Freeway has been upgraded to a more limited extent in Houston. The highway was widened to 2×4 lanes outside of I-610 in the early 1980s and within I-610 in the early 1990s. The highway handles a lot of truck traffic, but Houston’s urban growth has been a lot less on the east side than on the west side of the city, so I-10 east of downtown remains relatively traffic-free.

Houston – Louisiana

Between Houston and the Louisiana border at Orange, I-10 is built parallel to US 90. Before the Interstate Highway system was created, a freeway was planned as SH 73 from Houston to Port Arthur, later it was decided not to run the highway to Port Arthur, but to Beaumont. The first section with 2×2 lanes was completed in 1956, between Beaumont and Vidor, but it is unclear whether this was already a freeway at the time. About 1957 the Vidor bypass opened. The first long section opened circa 1958-1960, from Houston to Hankamer, with a section continuing to Winnie under construction in 1960, which was also opened circa 1960. The section from Vidor was also extended to just before Orange. Construction progressed rapidly in the early 1960s, and by 1965 the entirety of I-10 between Houston and the Louisiana border had been opened.

I-10 has been completely widened to 2×3 lanes east of Houston. Around 2005, the section along Baytown and up to Mont Belvieu was widened to 2×3 lanes. The bridge over the Old River Lake was replaced in the 1990s, followed by the bridge over the Trinity River just east of it in 2009-2010. Before 1995, the section between Anahuac and Winnie was widened to 2×3 lanes. The section of I-10 along the north side of Beaumont was widened to 2×3 lanes in or before the 1980s, followed by the section along the west side of Beaumont in the late 1990s/early 2000s. Between 2004 and 2010, the section between the east side of Beaumont and Vidor was widened to 2×3 lanes in phases. The bridge over the Neches River in Beaumont was replaced in 2018-2020. In 2018, I-10 between Vidor and Orange was widened to 2×3 lanes,

Later, the remaining part in the Beaumont region was widened to 2×3 lanes. Between early 2017 and 2020, the section between Winnie and Hamshire was widened to 2×3 lanes. A second phase runs from FM 365 at Fannett to Walden Road at Beaumont. Of these, a viaduct was already constructed in 2016 at the connection with Walden Drive that is wide enough for 2×3 lanes. Between 2022 and 2027, the section between Waldon Road and US 90 in Beaumont has been widened to 2×3 lanes for $307 million.


El Paso

Interstate 10 through El Paso is significantly congested. It is planned to tackle larger sections of I-10 through El Paso, the study is dubbed “Reimagine I-10.” The study area includes 90 kilometers from I-10 from the New Mexico border to FM 1110 at Clint.

San Antonio

From San Antonio, it is planned to be the first to widen the eight-mile stretch from I-410 past Loop 1604 from 2×2 to 2×3 lanes. The widening of this part started in October 2018. The widening of the first phase was completed in 2021. A second phase includes the widening between Loop 1604 and SH 130 in Seguin.

A separate project is the construction of flyovers at the Loop 1604 interchange. In 2009, 92,000 vehicles drove daily on this section of I-10, which is expected to increase to 213,000 vehicles per day by 2039. The project has no additional right -of-way. of-way is required, but the existing highway will be completely reconstructed.

San Antonio – Houston

It has sometimes been proposed to completely widen the I-10 between San Antonio and Houston to 2×3 lanes, but lack of money meant that this was not yet concrete, although several widenings were initiated after 2015. Specifically, the widening of I-10 between Sealy and Katy, which are now within the area of ​​influence of the urban area of ​​Houston. In January 2016, $209 million was made available to widen I-10 between the Brazos River and Brookshire to 2×3 lanes. Between 2018 and 2020, this section was widened to 2×3 lanes. It is also being investigated whether the managed lanes of the Katy Freeway can be extended westwards to Brookshire. Managed lanes are also proposed on the western section between San Antonio and Seguin.

In 2018, procedures began to widen I-10 between SH 71 in Columbus and Sealy to 2×3 lanes. [26] [27] These projects will already widen nearly half of I-10 between San Antonio and Houston to 2×3 lanes.

Traffic intensities

Interstate 10 is a highway of contrasts in use in Texas. The first peak is in El Paso, with over 200,000 vehicles per day. Only about 10,000 vehicles drive between El Paso and the fork with I-20, which then drops further to 5,000 and only rises to 10,000 vehicles close to San Antonio. In San Antonio, this flies up to again more than 200,000 vehicles per day.

There is a bit more traffic between San Antonio and Houston, with mostly 30,000 to 50,000 vehicles. In Houston, I-10 is extremely busy, especially in the west of the city, where a long stretch handles more than 250,000 vehicles, and even peaks above 350,000 vehicles per day. This makes I-10 one of the busiest highways in the world. In the east of Houston, the intensities are somewhat lower, with mostly 100,000 to 200,000 vehicles per day. About 50,000 vehicles drive between Houston and Beaumont, peaking at over 100,000 vehicles in Beaumont and over 40,000 at the Louisiana border.

All data are intensities after the relevant turn.

Exit Location 2007 2012 2015
0 New Mexico state line 34,000 36,000 36,000
11 El Paso 102,000 100,000 103,000
22 El Paso 194,000 191,000 191,000
25 El Paso 200,000 236,000 195,000
33 El Paso 58,000 68,000 79,000
138 Van Horn 13,200 10,200 12,600
186 Knows 4.100 5,000 5,200
259 Fort Stockton 4,800 5,400 7,600
368 ozone 8,200 6.600 9,300
400 Sonora 7,200 6.900 8.800
456 Junction 10,100 9,500 12,400
537 Boerne 23,000 25,000 26,000
556 San Antonio 155,000 177,000 187,000
563 San Antonio 215,000 223,000 244,000
570 San Antonio 188,000 175,000 174,000
572 San Antonio 128,000 120,000 134,000
574 San Antonio 95,000 86,000 81,000
581 San Antonio 92,000 71,000 69,000
612 Seguin 33,000 35,000 33,000
632 Luling 26,000 30,000 32,000
675 Schulenburg 25,000 27,000 32,000
698 Columbus 37,000 40,000 41,000
723 sealy 56,000 53,000 52,000
742 Katy 106,000 124,000 141,000
753 Houston 276,000 271,000 270,000
756 Houston 265,000 360,000 375,000
763 Houston 234,000 276,000 285,000
769 Houston 170,000 145,000 143,000
770 Houston 161,000 149,000 185,000
774 Houston 192,000 165,000 199,000
781 Houston 110,000 110,000 118,000
788 Houston 77,000 82,000 79,000
798 Baytown 55,000 62,000 64,000
849 Beaumont 114,000 116,000 133,000
853 Beaumont 87,000 88,000 89,000
880 Louisiana state line 46,000 46,000 44,000

Lane Configuration

The lane list below applies to through lanes, and frontage roads are not included.

From Unpleasant Lanes
exit 0 Exit 11 2×2
Exit 11 Exit 16 2×3
Exit 16 Exit 18 2×4
Exit 18 Exit 22 2×5
Exit 22 exit 28 2×4
exit 28 Exit 34 2×3
Exit 34 Exit 550 2×2
Exit 550 Exit 564 2×4
Exit 564 Exit 569 2×5
Exit 569 Exit 574 2×4
Exit 574 Exit 587 2×3
Exit 587 Exit 733 2×2
Exit 733 Exit 742 2×3
Exit 742 Exit 746 2×4
Exit 746 Exit 751 4+1+1+4
Exit 751 Exit 763 4+2+2+4
Exit 763 Exit 768 2×5
Exit 768 Exit 770 2×3
Exit 770 Exit 781 2×4
Exit 781 Exit 828 2×3
Exit 828 Exit 849 2×2
Exit 849 Exit 861 2×3
Exit 861 Exit 880 2×2

History of Interstate 10 in Texas

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