Texas State Highway 255

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State Highway 255 marker

State Highway 255
Camino Colombia Toll Road
Route information
Maintained by TxDOT
Length: 22.451 mi[1] (36.131 km)
Existed: 2004 – present
Major junctions
West end: Colombia Solidarity International Bridge at the International Border
  US 83 near Laredo
East end: I-35 near Laredo
Location
Counties: Webb
Highway system
SH 254 SH 256
I-35 Interchange
Toll rates as seen on I-35 south in 2008

State Highway 255 (SH 255) toll road owned by the state of Texas that has operated since 2000 that allows international traffic to bypass Laredo. The route stretches from the Colombia Solidarity International Bridge to Interstate 35 at exit #24.[1] It is one of the few operating toll roads in the United States to have gone through the legal process of foreclosure.

Route description[edit]

SH 255 begins at the Colombia Solidarity International Bridge on the United States-Mexico border. SH 255 heads northeast from there as a 4-lane divided highway, crosses FM 1472 (Mines Road), then merges down to a 2-lane road just west of the former toll barrier. SH 255 continues northeast to an intersection at FM 3338 and a diamond interchange with US 83. It continues to the northeast to its eastern terminus at I-35.[2] Although the portion from the United States–Mexico border to FM 1472 is officially an extension of SH 255, it is still signed in the field as FM 255.

Since June 1, 2009, use of the TxTag electronic toll collection system (or the interoperable EZ TAG and TollTag system) has been mandatory; unlike other TxDOT-operated toll roads, there is no pay-by-mail option, although there is the option to set up a prepaid day pass account. Laredo Trade Tags may also be used if they are tied to a TxTag account. [3]

History[edit]

The route was originally approved in 1997 as a privately owned toll route for mainly truck traffic to bypass the city of Laredo for traffic congestion. The route was opened as the Camino Colombia Toll Road in October 2000, costing around $90 million.

In August 2001, landowners that were shareholders of the route filed a lawsuit, claiming that profits and traffic usage were less than expected. The failure of the route was attributed to the price for truck traffic ($16), the continuation of U.S. government policies banning Mexican trucks from the interior of the United States (which had been expected to be abolished under the North American Free Trade Agreement), and the approval of a new freeway connecting route from the World Trade International Bridge crossing along Loop 20 to Interstate 35.

The toll road was foreclosed on late in 2003, and was auctioned off on the steps of the Webb County courthouse January 6, 2004.[4] It was purchased by its main creditor, the John Hancock Life Insurance Company, for the minimum $12 million, 1/6 of the construction value. The only other bidder was the Texas Department of Transportation at $11 million. The route was subsequently closed to all traffic. In May 2004, TxDOT purchased the route from John Hancock for a negotiated $20 million, and reopened the route in September, dropping the toll to $2 toll for cars and $2 per additional axle.[5]

SH 255 inherited its number from FM 255, which was designated on the route between the border crossing and FM 1472 in 1989.[6] The SH 255 designation was extended over this segment in 2005.[1]

Previous route[edit]

A previous route existed with the SH 255 designation, beginning in Bremond and traveling southeast to Bryan. This route became FM 46 by 1942.[7]

Major intersections[edit]

The entire route is in Webb County.

Location Mile[8] km Destinations Notes
Rio Grande 0.00 0.00 Colombia Solidarity International Bridge – Mexico Border Western terminus
Laredo 0.20 0.32 Laredo Colombia Solidarity Port of Entry
1.30 2.09 FM 1472 At-grade intersection
1.90 3.06 Las Minas Boulevard At-grade intersection
  3.70 5.95 Port Industrial Boulevard At-grade intersection
  4.50 7.24 CCTR Admin Building
  8.20 13.20 FM 3338 south (Las Tiendas Road) At-grade intersection, north end of FM 3338
  17.80 28.65 Jeffries Road At-grade intersection
  19.30 31.06 US 83 – Laredo, Carrizo Springs Interchange
  19.80 31.87 Camino Colombia Automated Gantry ($3.00 TxTag, $3.99 Prepaid Day Pass)
  22.70 36.53 I-35 – Laredo, San Antonio Interchange, eastern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
  •       ETC

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Transportation Planning and Programming Division. "State Highway No. 255". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  2. ^ Google Inc. "overview map of SH 255". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&geocode=3480571624540148819,27.699868,-99.745313%3B12798883612421464554,27.828930,-99.411319&saddr=FM-255+E+%4027.699868,+-99.745313&daddr=Camino+Colombia+Rd+%4027.828930,+-99.411319&doflg=ptm&sll=27.828939,-99.411845&sspn=0.003022,0.003036&ie=UTF8&ll=27.675015,-99.610291&spn=0.387352,0.388641&z=11. Retrieved 2008-03-14.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Camino Colombia TR in creditor hands, fate uncertain". TOLLROADSnews. 2004-01-15. Retrieved 2008-03-14. [unreliable source?][dead link]
  5. ^ "Camino Colombia TR begins operations under TXDOT". TOLLROADSnews. 2004-09-09. Retrieved 2008-03-14. [unreliable source?][dead link]
  6. ^ Transportation Planning and Programming Division. "Farm to Market Road No. 255". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  7. ^ Transportation Planning and Programming Division. "Farm to Market Road No. 46". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2011-09-02. 
  8. ^ Google Inc. "SH 255". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. https://www.google.com/maps/preview#!data=!4m21!3m20!1m4!3m2!3d27.6997501!4d-99.7455299!6e2!1m4!3m2!3d27.8289263!4d-99.4105424!6e2!2e0!3m8!1m3!1d99045!2d-99.7119412!3d27.7156428!3m2!1i1366!2i673!4f13.1&fid=0. Retrieved September 29,2013.