History of Interstate 20 in Texas

Interstate 20 in Texas was established in 1959 and was to replace or parallel US 80. The first construction started from the east towards the west, mainly with bypasses around small towns. In 1967, the highway was completed between Fort Worth and the Louisiana border, providing Texas’s largest conurbation with a through east-west highway. At the time, I-20 passed through the centers of Fort Worth and Dallas. This was the Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike, a toll road. East of Dallas, I-20 did not replace US 80, but runs parallel to it. Construction in western Texas was much slower due to the lower priority. In 1971, I-20 was moved to a more southerly route through the Dallas metropolitan area, and the old part, which then already existed as a highway, was given the number I-30. The section between I-10 and Dallas was double-numbered with US 80 until 1991. In 1991 the number was shortened, starting in Dallas.

  • EHUACOM: Provides city overview of capital of Texas, including general information about the state Texas.

West Texas

I-20 at Pecos in West Texas.

Not much is known about the history of I-20 west of Fort Worth. The section between Weatherford and Fort Worth was the first to be upgraded and had 2×2 lanes in or before 1954, but was not upgraded to freeway until the 1970s. By 1960 a section between Ranger and Strawn was also equipped with 2×2 lanes, as well as between Eastland and Ranger, but this was presumably a double-lane US 80, the bypasses of Eastland and Ranger were still missing. The I-20 around Weatherford was opened circa 1968.

By 1965, a fairly long section between Big Spring and Abilene had also opened, as well as a short section west of Monahans. In the late 1960s, a section opened between New Salem and Weatherford, as well as the Eastland and Ranger bypasses, and in the late 1970s, a missing link opened between Strawn and New Salem, allowing I-20 to travel west from Fort Worth for a fairly long stretch. used to be.

In the early 1970s, I-20 opened on the westernmost section, from I-10 to Monahans. In 1973, a section between Monahans and Odessa was still missing, but at the time it had 2×2 lanes. It is unclear when the last part will open.

After 2010, various studies were started to implement small-scale adjustments to I-20, such as the optimization of connections and some reroutes, including at Ranger, and Roscoe . A widening of I-20 through the region has also been planned. Abilene examined.

  • existingcountries: state overview of Texas, including geography, history and major cities.

Fort Worth

I-20 through Arlington.

The portion around the south side of Fort Worth has its origins in the city ring road, as early as 1935 a bypass was planned on the southwest side of Fort Worth between what were then US 80 and US 81. In 1951, the southwest section was included in the Fort Worth road plan, with the Loop 217 number and freeway status. Construction on the highway began in 1956, and the highway between Vickery Boulevard and I-35W was opened between 1957 and 1959. This includes a portion now numbered SH 183. In July 1961, Fort Worth’s Southeast Beltway opened to traffic, between I-35W and US 287.

Because the west ring of Fort Worth was not included in the original Interstate Highways plan in 1955 and I-20 originally ran through Downtown Fort Worth, the portion west of Fort Worth had less priority. In the end it was decided to build the west ring of Fort Worth further outside the city, which meant that a new route had to be built to connect the south ring to the west ring. This section opened to traffic between the Benbrook Highway and SH 183 in 1981. The original beltway from Vickery Boulevard to I-20 was renumbered SH 183.

However, I-20 was not quite complete. On March 12, 1982, the remaining portion of Fort Worth’s west ring opened between I-30 and Benbrook Highway. This meant that through traffic had to turn off I-20 and travel on I-820 to reach Fort Worth’s South Ring from the west. That is why a cut-off of 10 kilometers in length has been constructed here. This section opened to traffic about 1986, and was the second last new section of I-20 to be commissioned.


Opened between 1957 and 1961, the South Ring Road was the oldest section of I-20 along Fort Worth and the oldest portion of the Fort Worth Ring Road, and as such was prioritized for modernization. In the late 1980s, the widening of the south ring to 2×4 lanes began, the widening was carried out from east to west and opened in phases between 1989 and 1995. In 1990 the renovated interchange with I-35W opened. The interchange with US 287/I-820 southeast of Fort Worth was not addressed at the time. Construction of the Chisholm Trail Parkway from Fort Worth to Cleburne has also included an interchange with I-20, which includes the longest flyovers in the Fort Worth area. Between 2011 and 2014, this node was realized with 4 flyovers. The other connections are viafrontage roads and SH 183.


I-20 past Dallas was originally part of I-635. This part was opened in a short time between 1969 and 1975. It is striking that this part (along with part of the current I-635), has 6 identical stack nodes, the so-called “cookie-cutter interchanges”. This is the only place in the world where you can find six stacks in a row. Like Fort Wort, I-20 took a long time to complete at Dallas, with a 30-kilometer section opening in 1989 east of Balch Springs. Through traffic no longer had to use US 80 and I-30 to pass through Dallas-Fort Worth.

Dallas – Louisiana

When planning the Interstate Highways in the 1950s, there was a hard ceiling on the maximum number of kilometers of highway that could be built under federal funding. For this reason, the straightest possible route was chosen in eastern Texas, bypassing the towns of Tyler and Longview at a greater distance than was customary at the time.

I-20 has been built through East Texas at a rapid pace. The oldest section was located between Dallas and Terrell, which is now numbered US 80. Until the early 1960s, no section east of Terrell was open. But construction progressed quickly, and all of I-20 to the Louisiana border was opened long stretches at a time between about 1964 and 1967. On May 6, 1967, the last section of I-20 at Longview opened to traffic. I-20 was ready before I-30 in East Texas. A new route further south between Dallas and Terrell opened in 1989, after which the original route was renumbered as US 80 and Spur 557.

Opening history

Fort Worth
From Unpleasant Length Date
James Avenue I-35W 2.5 km 00-06-1958
Granbury Road James Avenue 3.5 km 00-07-1958
SH 183 Granbury Road 2.0 km 07-04-1959
I-35W I-820 (east) 10.5 km 00-07-1961
I-820 (east) US 287 3.0 km 00-04-1974
US 287 Cooper Street 6.9 km 00-11-1974
Cooper Street Great SW Parkway 8.5 km 00-00-1975
Benbrook Hwy (US 377) SH 183 5.6 km 00-00-1981
I-30 Benbrook Hwy (US 377) 12.1 km 00-00-1986
From Unpleasant Length Date
US 175 I-635 1.0 km 00-00-1969
I-45 US 175 9.7 km 00-00-1971
I-35E I-45 9.5 km 05-10-1973
US 67 I-35E 5.6 km 14-07-1974
Great SW Parkway Beltline Road 5.5 km 00-09-1974
Beltline Road US 67 10.4 km 27-08-1975
I-635 US 80 30.5 km 27-01-1989
Dallas – Louisiana
From Unpleasant Length Date
Canton (SH 64) Tyler (US 69) 53 km ~1964
wash bowl Louisiana state line 4 km ~1964
Terrell (US 80) Canton (SH 64) 38 km ~1966
Tyler (US 69) Kilgore (US 259) 53 km ~1966
Longview (US 259) wash bowl 58 km ~1966
Kilgore (US 259) Longview (US 259) 11 km 06-05-1967


Odessa – Midland

In 2019, a study was launched to improve I-20 between Odessa and Midland in West Texas. The study includes the widening of I-20 between the two cities and the reconstruction of the frontage roads to one-way roads. The cost is estimated at $770 million, nearly half of which will be for the reconstruction of the frontage roads.


It is planned to widen I-20 on the east side of Abilene to 2×3 lanes.

Fort Worth: Southeast Connector

Under the heading “Southeast Connector”, it is planned to reconstruct I-20 and the connecting I-820 and US 287 between Fort Worth and Arlington. This includes the large-scale reconstruction of the interchanges and widening of these highways. In particular, the I-20 / I-820 node is problematic because there are left-wing evaders here. The project includes a total of 25 miles of freeway, including 10 miles of I-20 between Forest Hill Drive and Park Springs Boulevard, 9 miles of I-820 between I-30 and I-20, and 7 miles of US 287 between Bishop Street and Sublett Road. These three freeways converge in southeastern Fort Worth.


It is also planned to extend the 12-kilometer stretch from Park Springs Drive to the Dallas County border from 2×4 to 2×5 lanes, adjacent to the Southeast Connector. The cost is estimated at $366 million.

East Texas

A corridor study is currently underway to widen I-20 between Terrell and the Louisiana border from 2×2 to 2+1+1+2 lanes, with toll lanes in the median strip. The intensities on I-20 are steadily increasing due to the development of the medium-sized cities in eastern Texas. It is also planned to build a high-speed line in the central reservation of the I-20. However, the construction of toll lanes is uncertain.

There are also plans to widen a 10-mile stretch from Hallsville to SH 43 at Marshall to 2×3 lanes and include frontage roads. The cost is estimated at $161 million.

Traffic intensities

Exit Location 2007 2012 2016
0 7,400 5,600 6.200
42 pecos 9,700 7.100 13,700
86 Monahans 15.100 12,000 14,500
116 Odessa 24,000 43,000 42,600
134 Midland 40,000 47,000 27,300
176 Big Spring 15.100 15,700 19,500
216 Colorado City 14,600 13,000 17,400
239 Roscoe 21,000 21,000 29,600
247 sweet water 19,200 19,300 24,600
284 Abilene 28,000 28,000 34,000
307 Baird 16,700 17,200 20,000
332 Cisco 10,400 17,600 23,500
354 ranger 16,800 24,000 22,000
396 Mineral Wells 22,000 21,000 28,200
407 Weatherford 38,000 46,000 65,000
414 Weatherford 70,000 73,000 68,200
421 Fort Worth 21,000 28,000 33,200
428 Benbrook 86,000 85,000 104,000
432 Fort Worth 142,000 139,000 151,000
438 Fort Worth 174,000 170,000 175,000
442 Arlington 204,000 207,000 218,000
444 Arlington 176,000 173,000 188,000
453 Grand Prairie 164,000 167,000 175,000
460 Dallas 143,000 146,000 169,000
464 Dallas 145,000 153,000 180,000
467 Dallas 136,000 136,000 177,000
473 Dallas 107,000 100,000 118,000
480 Dallas 47,000 46,000 56,000
500 Terrell 51,000 45,000 50,000
527 Canton 34,000 28,000 42,000
556 Tyler 29,000 26,000 32,000
571 Tyler 31,000 28,000 35,000
589 long view 35,000 31,000 34,000
617 Marshall 33,000 30,000 29,000
633 Louisiana state line 31,000 35,000 33,000

Lane Configuration

The interchange between I-20, SH 183 and the Chisholm Trail Parkway in Fort Worth.

From Unpleasant Lanes Comments
exit 0 Exit 414 2×2
Exit 414 Exit 421 2×3
Exit 421 Exit 428 2×2
Exit 428 Exit 432 2×3 Fort Worth
Exit 432 Exit 442 2×4 Fort Worth
Exit 442 Exit 444 2×5 Arlington
Exit 444 Exit 480 2×4 Dallas
Exit 480 Exit 487 2×3
Exit 487 Exit 635 2×2

History of Interstate 20 in Texas

History of Interstate 20 in Texas
Rate this post

You may also like...