Texas State Highway 17
|Maintained by TxDOT|
|Length:||92.118 mi (148.250 km)|
|Existed:||by 1933 – present|
|South end:||US 67 / US 90 in Marfa|
| SH 166
|North end:||Bus. I-20-B in Pecos|
|Counties:||Presidio, Jeff Davis, Reeves|
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (December 2013)|
SH 17 begins at an intersection of San Antonio Street and Highland Avenue. In Marfa, San Antonio Street is US 90. US 67 enters the intersection from the south along S. Highland Avenue, then turns east along E. San Antonio Street becoming concurrent with US 90. SH 17 proceeds north along Highland Avenue.
SH 17 proceeds north an additional two blocks, then turns east along E. Lincoln Street directly in front of the Presidio County Courthouse. One block later, the route turns north and leaves Marfa along N. Dean Street. North of town, the route passes Marfa Municipal Airport.
SH 17 continues toward Fort Davis as a two-lane roadway with a 75 miles per hour (121 km/h) speed limit. The route follows mostly straight stretches with no sharp turns or steep grades through open ranch land.
Jeff Davis County
Soon after entering Jeff Davis County, SH 17 continues through a gentle pass across the Puertacitas Mountains. The route then passes along mostly straight stretches through ranch land. Approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) south of Fort Davis, the route intersects the western terminus of SH 166. At this point, SH 17 joins the Davis Mountains Scenic Loop.
The road then enters Fort Davis where the route is called State Street. SH 17 intersects SH 118 approaching from the east via Musquiz Drive just south of the Jeff Davis County Courthouse. At this junction, SH 17 joins the Texas Historical Commission's Texas Mountain Trail. SH 118 runs concurrently down State Street through town and past Fort Davis National Historic Site for a distance of 1.3 miles (2.1 km). The route intersects Lt. Flipper Drive, the entrance to the historic site. Across from the historic site, the route intersects Blackfoot Drive, known locally as Old Balmorhea Road which is the route's former unpaved roadway before the establishment of the state highway system. Just beyond the historic site, the route intersects Canyon Drive. At this point, SH 118, Davis Mountains Scenic Loop, and the Texas Mountain Trail leave the route and continue west along Canyon Dr. toward Davis Mountains State Park, McDonald Observatory, and Kent.
Blackfoot Drive merges back with the route as SH 17 leaves town continuing northward through Limpia Canyon in the Davis Mountains with a maximum speed limit of 55 miles per hour (89 km/h). In Limpia Canyon, the road has many curves, some with recommended speeds as low as 40 miles per hour (64 km/h) as indicated by warning signs. There are also several picnic tables in the canyon followed by one large picnic area just before reaching Wild Rose Pass. About 2.4 miles (3.9 km) past this pass, the speed limit increases to 75 miles per hour (121 km/h). The route remains a two-lane road, but from this point onward there are places where passing lanes occur.
Continuing northward, the route intersects the eastern terminus of RM 1832 approaching from Buffalo Trails Boy Scout Ranch. SH 17 then continues through ranch land and leaves the Davis Mountains before leaving the county.
The route continues northward and intersects FM 3078 at Toyahvale. FM 3078 is the former roadway of US 290 before it was replaced by Interstate 10 (I-10). SH 17 turns east onto the former US 290 roadway and reaches Texas Park Road 30 into Balmorhea State Park at Toyahvale.
Continuing into Balmorhea, the route passes fields of alfalfa watered from irrigation ditches including one running parallel with the highway. In Balmorhea, this irrigation channel becomes the centerpiece of a city park along one side of SH 17 here known as Main Street. The route intersects Business Interstate 10-F at North Fort Worth Street. I-10 Bus. Loop F going northward becomes FM 2903 to Toyah after crossing I-10. Eastward, I-10 Bus. Loop F overlays the route of SH 17.
After Balmorhea, the route has a speed limit of 55 miles per hour (89 km/h) and passes just north of the foothills of the Davis Mountains and through the small community of Brogado before reaching I-10. At I-10 Exit 209, I-10 Bus. Loop F ends, and SH 17 merges with the Interstate for slightly more than 2 miles (3.2 km) with a speed limit of 80 miles per hour (130 km/h). SH 17 leaves I-10 at Exit 212 and heads northward with a speed limit of 70 miles per hour (110 km/h) toward Saragosa. At Saragosa, the route intersects FM 1215 which merges with SH 17 and the speed limit lowers to 55 miles per hour (89 km/h). In the center of Saragosa, FM 1215 turns westward at West Main Street and loops back to end at the north service road of I-10 and SH 17 without crossing or intersecting the main Interstate roadway.
Beyond Saragosa, the route begins to parallel the route of the Pecos Valley Southern Railway which will follow SH 17 the rest of the way into Pecos. The speed limit gradually increases to 65 miles per hour (105 km/h) before intersecting FM 2448. The speed limit then increases to 75 miles per hour (121 km/h) as the route passes through cotton fields with occasional oil wells. The route then intersects FM 3334 before passing through the small community of Verhalen. The route then intersects FM 869 and later FM 1934.
The route passes alongside the community of Lindsay as it approaches the outskirts of Pecos. The route then passes Pecos Municipal Airport. The speed limit gradually lowers to 55 miles per hour (89 km/h) and then widens to four lanes before reaching I-20. In Pecos, the route intersects I-20 at Exit 39 then continues north as South Bickley Avenue. The route then intersects FM 761 at Stafford Boulevard. Then, further north, SH 17 terminates at West 3rd Street where it intersects Business Interstate 20-B.
SH 17 was one of the original 26 highways proposed in Texas in 1917. The original route was to be from another proposed route State Highway 12 running along the Rio Grande to Sanderson, then through Fort Stockton and Pecos to the New Mexico state line. By 1922, the new plan for SH 17 was then from Sanderson to Fort Stockton to Grandfalls ending at Monahans with a spur from Grandfalls to Barstow, and with a separate route, SH 17A, running from Alpine through Fort Davis, Balmorhea, and Pecos to New Mexico.
All route descriptions before 1924 were merely proposals. The Texas Highway Department, a precursor of the Texas Department of Transportation, did not have the authority to assume maintenance of roads from the counties until 1924, nor the authority to plan, survey, or build new roads until 1925. By 1926, SH 17 had been transferred to SH 82, while SH 17A was reclassified as the main route of SH 17. By 1933, SH 17 was rerouted through Marfa to end in Presidio, replacing SH 118, which was reassigned on the old route. By 1936, the stretch from Pecos to New Mexico had been transferred to SH 27. By 1939,the stretch from Presidio to Marfa was transferred to U.S. Highway 67.
|Presidio||Marfa||0||0||US 67 (S. Highland Ave., E. San Antonio St.) / US 90 (San Antonio St.) – Presidio, Valentine, Alpine||SH 17 begins as Highland Ave.|
|0.1||0.2||FM 1112 (E. Oak St.)|
|0.3||0.5||E. Lincoln St.||Route proceeds east on E. Lincoln St.|
|0.4||0.6||N. Dean St.||Route proceeds north on N. Dean St.|
|Jeff Davis||18.8||30.3||SH 166 – Valentine|
|Fort Davis||21.1||34.0||SH 118 (Musquiz Dr.) – Alpine||SH 118 merges along State St.|
|22.1||35.6||Lt. Flipper Dr.||Fort Davis National Historic Site|
|22.5||36.2||SH 118 (Canyon Dr.) – Kent||SH 118 turns off to Davis Mountains St. Pk. and McDonald Observatory|
|46.6||75.0||RM 1832||Buffalo Trails Boy Scout Ranch|
|53.8||86.6||PR 30 (Balmorhea State Park Rd.)||Balmorhea State Park|
|Balmorhea||58.0||93.3||Bus. I-10-F (N. Fort Worth St.) - Toyah||Bus. I-10-F merges along Main St.|
|60.9||98.0||I-10 – Kent||Joins I-10 at I-10 Exit 209, Bus. I-10-F ends|
|63.1||101.5||I-10 – Fort Stockton||Route exits I-10 at Exit 212|
|Saragosa||64.6||104.0||FM 1215||FM 1215 turns onto SH 17|
|65.1||104.8||FM 1215 (W. Main St.)||FM 1215 turns off of SH 17|
|88.6||142.6||FM 1934 (Davidson Rd.)|
|Pecos||93.3||150.2||I-20 – El Paso, Monahans||Now as S. Bickley Ave. at I-20 Exit 39|
|93.6||150.6||FM 761 (Stafford Blvd.)|
|94.6||152.2||Bus. I-20-B (W. 3rd St.) - Barstow||Northern terminus of SH 17|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- Transportation Planning and Programming Division. "State Highway No. 17". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation.
- Texas State Library and Archives Commission, "Map Showing Proposed System of State Highways", June 1917
- Texas State Library and Archives Commission, "Highway Map of the State of Texas", 1 December 1922
- Texas Department of Transportation, "TxDOT History: 1917-1930"
- Texas State Library and Archives Commission, "Official Map of the Highway System of Texas", 15 June 1933
- Texas State Library and Archives Commission, "Official Map of the Highway System of Texas", 1 March 1936
- Transportation Planning and Programming Division. "U.S. Highway No. 67". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation.