Texas State Highway Loop 343

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State Highway Loop 343 marker

State Highway Loop 343
Route information
Length: 5.186 mi[1] (8.346 km)
Existed: 1961 – present
Major junctions
South end: US 290 / SH 71
East end: I-35
Highway system
Spur 342 Loop 344

Loop 343 is a 5.186-mile (8.346 km) state-maintained roadway located in Austin, Texas.

History[edit]

Loop 343 was formed in 1961 along the previous routes of SH 71 and US 290 as those roads were realigned. It passed through downtown Austin along 6th and 7th Streets to Lamar Boulevard.

It was rerouted in 1977 to use 1st Street (now Cesar Chavez Street) west of I-35. In 1987, the portion east of I-35 was removed from state maintenance, forming the current alignment.[1]

Between 1978 and 2008, a segment of Cesar Chavez Street in downtown Austin was one-way eastbound. Westbound traffic on Loop 343 was diverted to Second and Third Streets before merging back onto Cesar Chavez Street at . In 2008, as part of a larger public works project, the City of Austin converted Cesar Chavez Street back to two-way traffic along its entire length.[2]

Route description[edit]

Loop 343 begins in south Austin at the intersection of US 290/SH 71 and the southern terminus of Loop 360. It proceeds north along Lamar Boulevard for 3.5 miles (5.6 km) towards downtown Austin. Here, it crosses Town Lake on the Lamar Boulevard Bridge. This segment of Loop 343 is a four-lane heavily-developed urban road.

Loop 343 (Lamar Boulevard) crossing Town Lake

At this point, Loop 343 heads east along Cesar Chavez Street for 1.6 miles (2.6 km), past Austin City Hall and the Austin Convention Center, to its terminus at I-35. This segment of Loop 343 is a four-lane downtown road.

Loop 343 is only signed as such at its entrance from US 290/SH 71. There are no shields displayed anywhere along its length, nor on its entrance from I-35.

Future[edit]

The City of Austin is planning extensive development near the former Seaholm power plant site west of the intersection of Lamar Boulevard and Cesar Chavez Street. In addition to new multi-family residences and new public arts facilities, the development will include reconfiguration of the intersection at Lamar and Cesar Chavez.[3]

Junction list[edit]

The entire route is in Austin, Travis County.

[4]

Mile km Destinations Notes
US 290 / SH 71 / Loop 360
I-35
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Transportation Planning and Programming Division. "State Highway Loop No. 343". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. 
  2. ^ "Cesar Chavez St. to go both ways". Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  3. ^ "City of Austin - Seaholm District". Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
  4. ^ Google Maps, [1]