U.S. Route 281 in Texas

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See also: Interstate 69C

US Highway 281 marker

US Highway 281
Route information
Maintained by TxDOT
Length: 580.608 mi[1] (934.398 km)
Existed: 1935 – present
Major junctions
South end:
Bus. US 77 / SH 48 in Brownsville
 

I‑2 / US 83 in Pharr
I‑69C from Pharr to Edinburg
I‑37 in Three Rivers
I‑10 / US 87 / US 90 in San Antonio
I‑35 in San Antonio
I‑20 north of Stephenville

I‑44 / US 82 / US 277 / US 287 in Wichita Falls
North end: I‑44 / US-277 / US-281 at Texas-Oklahoma state line in Burkburnett
Highway system

U.S. Route 281 in Texas is a major north-south highway in the U.S. state of Texas. U.S. 281 runs from Brownsville, just north of the US-Mexico Border to the Texas-Oklahoma state line in Burkburnett north of Wichita Falls, concurrent with I-44.

Route description[edit]

US 281 begins at an intersection with Business US 77 and SH 48 about 2 miles (3.2 km) from the Mexico border.[2] It travels along the border through the Rio Grande Valley, turning north at Pharr, travelling through many small towns, alternating as a divided highway and main street, until joining I-37. It splits with I-37 and travels through Pleasanton, travelling north to San Antonio. In San Antonio, US 281 overlaps I-410 on the south side of the city until the interchange with I-37. US 281 and I-37 then overlap north into Downtown San Antonio until I-37 ends at I-35. US 281 continues north from Downtown San Antonio as a freeway, intersecting I-410 again in Uptown San Antonio, with access to the San Antonio International Airport. A project to construct a stack interchange at I-410 (the "San Antonio Web"[3]) was completed June 9, 2008;[4] formerly there was no direct access between the two freeways and surface streets were required travel between the freeways. The reason for this initial lack of direct interchange was due to litigation filed in the late 1960s against the Texas Highway Department over the highway's original construction alignment through portions of Brackenridge Park and Olmos Park that were alleged to be in violation of several Federal laws, ultimately including NEPA. As a result of the Supreme Court decision[5] in a more advanced and very similar case involving the proposed construction of I-40 through Overton Park in Memphis, Tennessee which upheld and affirmed the plaintiffs in that circumstance and precluded that highway's construction through the parkland with Federal funding, the Texas Highway Department chose instead to construct the McAlister Freeway entirely with State funding using a modified design that would increase curvature but limit encroachment into and noise impact on the Sunken Gardens area within Brackenridge Park. Funding of various highway projects from around Texas was re-allocated to the McAlister Freeway project, which was initially completed with only the indirect interchange via existing surface streets to Loop 410 since it required no Federal funding or approval and the Loop 410 overpass of that location where the McAlister Freeway main lanes would pass beneath had already been completed many years earlier. North of San Antonio, US 281 is not a freeway and forms the Main Street of Blanco. It overlaps US 290 south of Johnson City. US 290 continues toward Austin, so US 281 and US 290 between San Antonio and Austin are available as a scenic and less congested alternate to I-35.

North of San Antonio, US 281 continues through central and north-central Texas, passing through many towns, including Stephenville, Mineral Wells and Jacksboro before reaching Wichita Falls, where the highway begins a concurrency with I-44 north across the Red River into Oklahoma.

Freeway portions[edit]

U.S. Route 281 is a freeway three different times over its course in Texas, not counting overlaps with interstates. The first freeway portion is Cage Boulevard in the McAllen area that runs from I-2/US 83 north to Business US 281. This freeway is designated as I-69C. The second time Hwy 281 becomes a freeway is in San Antonio. The freeway is known as the McAllister Freeway from its beginniing at the end of I-37 at an interchange with I-35. Just north of I-410, the freeway changes names to San Pedro Avenue, which used to be a surface street. The freeway ends just north of Loop 1604 at Sonterra Boulevard. From here, US 281 becomes a "super street." The highway has two interchanges in Bulverde. The third freeway runs on the east side of Wichita Falls. The highway then begins an overlap with US 287 that runs to I-44. The highway crosses the Red River into Oklahoma with I-44 and US 277.

Future[edit]

The highway is currently being expanded from a two-lane highway to a four-lane divided highway from River Crossing to the Comal-Blanco county line at a cost of $30.5 million.[6] The section of US 281 from I-2/US 83 in Pharr to George West is steadily being upgraded to an interstate-grade freeway as part of the Interstate 69 expansion, and will be signed as Interstate 69C.

Junction list[edit]

County Location Mile km Destinations Notes
Cameron Brownsville 0.0 0.0
Bus. US 77 / SH 48 east – Port Isabel
Southern terminus
2.0 3.2 FM 802 east (Ruben M. Torres, Sr. Boulevard)
7.7 12.4 FM 1421 north – San Benito
9.5 15.3 FM 1732 east – Olmito
Encantada-
Ranchito El Calaboz
10.9 17.5 FM 1577 north – San Benito
La Paloma 13.6 21.9 FM 732 north – San Benito
Los Indios 15.6 25.1 FM 2520 north – San Benito
18.0 29.0 FM 509 – Harlingen, Free Trade International Bridge
19.6 31.5 FM 1479 north – Rangerville
Bluetown-
Iglesia Antigua
23.8 38.3 FM 506 north – La Feria, Santa Rosa
Santa Maria 25.5 41.0 FM 2556 north – Solis
Hidalgo Progreso 28.8 46.3 FM 491 north – Mercedes
31.9 51.3 FM 1015 – Weslaco, Nuevo Progreso
  34.6 55.7 FM 88 north
  38.9 62.6 FM 493 – Donna
  43.9 70.7 FM 907 north – Alamo
San Juan 45.4 73.1 FM 2557 north (Stewart Road)
Pharr 47.5 76.4 Spur 241 west (Military Highway) / Spur 600 south (Pharr Bridge) – Hidalgo Interchange
49.7 80.0 FM 3072 (Dicker Road)
54.7 88.0
Bus. US 83 (Center Avenue)
55.6 89.5 I‑2 / US 83 – McAllen, Harlingen South end of I-69C overlap; southbound exit and northbound entrance
56.2 90.4 SH 495 (Ferguson Avenue) Southbound exit and northbound entrance
56.7 91.2 Sioux Road Southbound exit and northbound entrance
57.0 91.7 FM 3461 (Earling Road) / Nolana Loop
57.6 92.7
Bus. US 281 north / Owassa Road – Edinburg
Edinburg 58.8 94.6 Trenton Road
59.8 96.2 Canton Road
60.9 98.0 Freddy Gonzalez Drive
62.2 100.1 SH 107 – McAllen, Mission, UTPA No northbound entrance
62.7 100.9 Schunior Street/Richardson Road, Jasman Road, Chapin Street
63.8 102.7 Russel Road No southbound entrance
64.2 103.3 FM 1925 (Monte Cristo Road)
66.2 106.5
Bus. US 281 south – Edinburg
No northbound entrance
66.4 106.9 Palm Drive, Ramseyer Drive
68.1 109.6 FM 2812
  69.3 111.5 I‑69C Current north end of I-69C overlap
Edinburg 70.3 113.1 El Cibolo Road Interchange
  72.3 116.4 FM 490South Texas International Airport at Edinburg Interchange
Linn 79.8 128.4 SH 186 east / FM 1017 west – Raymondville, La Reforma Interchange
Brooks Rachal FM 755 south – Rio Grande City
Encino
Bus. US 281 north – Encino

Bus. US 281 south – Encino
Falfurrias Frontage Road South end of freeway; northbound exit and southbound entrance

Bus. US 281 north – Falfurrias
Northbound exit and southbound entrance
FM 2191 (Noble Street)
SH 285 – Hebbronville, Riviera
Travis Street Southbound exit and northbound entrance

Bus. US 281 south – Falfurrias
Southbound exit and northbound entrance
  FM 1418 North end of freeway
Jim Wells   FM 1538 west
Premont FM 716 west – Realitos
  SH 141 east / FM 2295 west – Kingsville, Benavides Interchange
  FM 735 west
Ben Bolt FM 2508 – Ben Bolt Interchange
 
Bus. US 281 north / FM 1930 east – Alice
Interchange
Alice FM 1554 – Alice
SH 44 / SH 359 – Freer, Mathis, Corpus Christi Interchange
 
Bus. US 281 south / County Road 118 – Alice
Interchange
  FM 2044 east – Alfred
  FM 624 – Cotulla, Orange Grove Interchange
Live Oak   FM 3162 east – Lake Corpus Christi
George West
US 59 / Bus. US 59 – Freer, Beeville
South end of Bus. US 59 overlap; Future north end of I-69C overlap; future I-69W

Bus. US 59 north (Houston Street)
North end of Bus. US 59 overlap
  FM 889 south
  FM 1042 west
Three Rivers SH 72 west – Tilden South end of SH 72 overlap
SH 72 east – Kenedy North end of SH 72 overlap
  I‑37 south – Corpus Christi South end of I-37 overlap
 
Alt. US 281 north – Whitsett
Exit 76
  FM 99 – Whitsett, Karnes City Exit 83
  FM 1099 – Campbellton Exit 88
Atascosa  
Alt. US 281 south – Campbellton
Exit 92; southbound exit and northbound entrance
  FM 541 – Poth Exit 98
  I‑37 north – San Antonio North end of I-37 overlap
  Spur 199 east (Leal Road)
Pleasanton SH 97 west – Jourdanton South end of SH 97 overlap
SH 97 east – Floresville North end of SH 97 overlap
Spur 242 (Bensdale Road)
  FM 3006 east
Leming FM 1470 west – Poteet
  FM 536 east – Floresville
Bexar   Loop 1604 (Anderson Loop) – Somerset Interchange
  FM 2537 (Martinez Losoya Road)
San Antonio FM 1937 south
I‑410 west / SH 130 south (Connally Loop) / Spur 536 north (Roosevelt Avenue) South end of I-410/SH 130 overlap
Espada Road – San Antonio Missions National Historic Park Exit 44
Spur 122 (Presa Street) / Southton Road Exit 42
I‑37 south / I‑410 north / SH 130 north – Corpus Christi, Austin North end of I-410/SH 130 overlap; south end of I-37 overlap
Loop 13 (S.E. Military Drive) Exit 135
Pecan Valley Drive Exit 136
Hot Wells Boulevard Exit 137
Southcross Boulevard, New Braunfels Avenue Signed as exit 138A (Southcross Boulevard) and exit 138B (New Braunfels Avenue) southbound
Fair Avenue Exit 138C
I‑10 / US 87 / US 90 (Jose Lopez Freeway) – El Paso, Del Rio, Victoria, Houston Exit 139
Carolina Street, Florida Street Exit 140A
Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard – Tower of the Americas, Alamodome Exit 140B; no northbound entrance
Commerce Street – The Alamo, Riverwalk, Rivercenter Mall Exit 141A; no southbound entrance
Houston Street – The Alamo, Rivercenter Mall Exit 141B; southbound exit only
Brooklyn Avenue, Nolan Street Exit 141C; no northbound exit
I‑35 (Pan Am Expressway) – Laredo, Austin North end of I-37
Josephine Street Southbound exit and northbound entrance
St. Mary's Avenue, Mulberry Avenue – Trinity University, Alamo Stadium
Hildebrand Avenue – University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio Zoo and Aquarium
Basse Road – Alamo Quarry Market Northbound exit and southbound entrance
Jones Maltsberger Road – Alamo Quarry Market
Sunset Road Southbound exit only
I‑410 (Connally Loop)
Airport Boulevard – San Antonio International Airport Northbound exit and southbound entrance
San Antonio International Airport Northbound exit only
Terminal Drive – San Antonio International Airport No northbound entrance
Jones Maltsberger Road, Isom Road
Spur 537 south (San Pedro Avenue) Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Nakoma Road, Sandau Drive, Rhapsody Drive Northbound exit signed as Nakoma Road
Wurzbach Parkway Future interchange under construction
Bitters Road
Winding Way/Oak Shadows Drive, Brook Hollow Boulevard – Hill Country Village Split into two exits northbound:Winding Way/Oak Shadows Drive and Brook Hollow Boulevard
Mecca Drive/Thousand Oaks Drive – Hill Country Village
Donella Drive – Hollywood Park Northbound exit and southbound entrance
Loop 1604 (Anderson Loop) – UTSA, Fiesta Texas
Sonterra Boulevard Southbound exit and northbound entrance; north end of freeway
Comal Bulverde FM 1863 (Bulverde Road) Interchange
SH 46 – Boerne, New Braunfels Interchange
Spring Branch FM 311 east – Canyon Lake
  FM 306 east – Canyon Lake
Blanco   RM 473 west – Kendalia South end of RM 473 overlap
  RM 473 east North end of RM 473 overlap
  RM 32 east – Canyon Lake
  Loop 163 north
Blanco PR 23 west – Blanco State Park
Loop 163 south / RM 165 north / RM 1623 north – Stonewall
  US 290 east – Austin South end of US 290 overlap
Johnson City RM 2766 east – Pedernales Falls State Park
US 290 west – Fredericksburg North end of US 290 overlap
  Spur 356 south – Johnson City
  RM 1323 east – Eckert
Round Mountain RM 962 east South end of RM 962 overlap
RM 962 west – Llano North end of RM 962 overlap
Burnet Marble Falls SH 71 – Llano, Austin Interchange
RM 2147 east South end of RM 2147 overlap
RM 2147 west – Cottonwood Shores, Horseshoe Bay North end of RM 2147 overlap
RM 1431 – Granite Shoals, Cedar Park
  RM 1855 west
Burnet PR 4 west – Longhorn Cavern State Park, Inks Dam
SH 29 – Llano, Georgetown
RM 963 north
  FM 2430 east – Lake Victor
Lampasas Lampasas US 183 south / US 190 east – Austin, Copperas Cove South end of US 183/190 overlap
Loop 257 east (4th Street)
FM 580 west – Nix South end of FM 580 overlap
FM 580 east North end of FM 580 overlap
  US 183 north / US 190 west – Goldthwaite, San Saba North end of US 183/190 overlap
  FM 1690 north
  FM 581 west South end of FM 581 overlap
  FM 581 east North end of FM 581 overlap
Hamilton Evant US 84 – Goldthwaite, Gatesville Interchange
  FM 221 north – Shive
Hamilton SH 36 / SH 22 east – Comanche, Gatesville, Meridian
FM 2905 north
  FM 219 – Dublin, Cranfills Gap
  FM 1744 west – Carlton
  FM 1602 south – Fairy
Hico SH 6 south to SH 220 – Meridian, Glen Rose South end of SH 6 overlap
Erath   SH 6 north – Dublin North end of SH 6 overlap
  FM 1824 east
  FM 913 north – Selden
Stephenville SH 108 north – Gordon
US 67 – Dublin, Glen Rose
US 377 – Dublin, Granbury

Bus. US 377 (Washington Street)
FM 8 west – Lingleville
Morgan Mill FM 1188 west / FM 1189 north – Lipan
  FM 2803 north – Palo Pinto
Palo Pinto   FM 4 – Palo Pinto, Granbury
  I‑20 – Abilene, Fort Worth
  FM 2201 west – Santo
  FM 129 west – Brazos
  FM 1195 north (Airport Road) – Millsap
Mineral Wells FM 2256 south
US 180 – Palo Pinto, Weatherford
FM 3027 east (N.E. 23rd Street) South end of FM 3027 overlap
FM 3027 west North end of FM 3027 overlap
  FM 1821 south
  SH 254 west / FM 1885 south – Graford, Possum Kingdom Lake
  FM 52 – Oran, Whitt
Jack Perrin FM 2210 – Westbrook
  SH 199 south – Azle, Fort Worth
  FM 3324 south
  US 380 east / SH 114 east – Bridgeport South end of US 380/SH 114 overlap
Jacksboro US 380 west / SH 59 north – Graham, Bowie North end of US 380 overlap
SH 148 north – Henrietta
  SH 114 west – Olney North end of SH 114 overlap
  FM 1191 south – Bryson
  FM 2190 east
  Loop 187 north – Antelope
  Loop 187 south – Antelope
Archer   SH 16 south – Graham
  FM 2581 west – Archer City
Windthorst SH 25 west / FM 174 east – Archer City, Bowie
Scotland FM 172 – Bluegrove
  PR 63 east – Lake Arrowhead State Park
  FM 1954 – Holliday
Wichita Wichita Falls Loop 473 (Old Jacksboro Highway) / Ratheber Road South end of freeway
SH 79 south / FM 369 (Southwest Parkway) – Archer City South end of SH 79 overlap; no southbound entrance
Hatton Road
Midwestern Parkway
US 82 east / US 287 south / SH 79 north (Central East Freeway) – Henrietta, Fort Worth, Petrolia North end of SH 79 overlap; south end of US 82/287 overlap
Loop 473 (Old Jacksboro Highway) / Loop 477 (Kell Boulevard) Northbound exit and southbound entrance
US 82 west (Kell Boulevard) / US 277 south – Seymour North end of US 82 overlap; south end of US 277 overlap
15th-8th Streets Signed as exit 1 southbound

Bus. US 277 (Seymour Highway)
Exit 1A; west end of I-44
Lucy Park Exit 1B; northbound exit and southbound entrance
North 8th Sreet Exit 1C

Bus. US 287 (Old Iowa Park Road)
Exit 1D
Maurine Street Exit 2
US 287 north (Northwest Freeway) / Spur 325 east – Amarillo, Sheppard AFB North end of US 287 overlap; signed as exits 3A (US 287) and 3B (Spur 325)
FM 890 (Airport Drive) Exit 3C
Frontage Road Exit 4; no southbound entrance
Frontage Road Exit 5; northbound exit and southbound entrance
Reily Road/Missile Road Exit 5A
Bacon Switch Road/Hemme Road Exit 6
  E Road Exit 7
Burkburnett FM 3429 / Daniels Road Exit 11
SH 240 (Sheppard Road) / Loop 267 – Burkburnett Exit 12
Spur 383 (Glendale Street) Exit 13
Loop 267 south (3rd Street) – Burkburnett Exit 14
Texas-Oklahoma state line I‑44 / US-277 / US-281 Continuation into Oklahoma
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

  1. ^ Transportation Planning and Programming Division. "U.S. Highway No. 281". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 21, 2014. 
  2. ^ Texas Department of Transportation (2012) (PDF). Texas County Map Book (Map). 1:120,000. Cartography by Transportation Planning and Programming Division (2012 ed.). p. 477. http://www.dot.state.tx.us/apps-cg/grid_search/_includes/countymapbook2006/Pages/477.pdf. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
  3. ^ Driscoll, Patrick (2006-01-16). "Now there's a name for it". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved 2008-06-20. 
  4. ^ Driscoll, Patrick (2008-06-10). "U.S. 281/Loop 410 interchange ramps are complete". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved 2008-06-20. 
  5. ^ Citizens to Preserve Overton Park v. Volpe
  6. ^ "US 281 - Spring Branch". TxDOT. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
U.S. Route 281
Previous state:
Terminus
Texas Next state:
Oklahoma