Texas State Highway 3
|Maintained by TxDOT|
|Length:||30.4 mi (48.9 km)|
|Existed:||1939 – present|
|South end:||SH 146 in La Marque|
|Beltway 8 near Ellington Field|
|North end:||I-45 in Houston|
State Highway 3, or SH 3, is a state highway in the U.S. state of Texas that runs from Interstate 45 in Houston near William P. Hobby Airport to State Highway 146, 9.9 miles (15.9 km) northwest of Galveston. For most of its length, SH 3 parallels I-45 and runs alongside the former Galveston, Houston and Henderson Railroad lines.
SH 3 begins in Galveston County, south of La Marque near the Texas City Industrial Complex at a junction with SH 146. The highway heads to the northwest through La Marque intersecting FM 519 and FM 1765 before an interchange with FM 1764 (Emmett F. Lowry Expressway). The highway roughly parallels to the east of I-45 as it heads towards Dickinson. In Dickinson, the highway intersects FM 517 and FM 646 before entering the League City city limits. In League City, SH 3 has junctions with SH 96 and FM 518, and head northwest into Harris County.
The first junction in Harris County is with NASA Road 1, which provides access to the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. The highway continues to the northwest to an intersection with FM 2351 and passes along the western boundary of Ellington Field. Heading northwest, the highway enters Houston city limits and has a junction with Beltway 8 (Sam Houston Tollway). The highway continues to the northwest through South Houston until it reaches an intersection with Winkler Drive. The highway turns to the west and follows Winkler Drive to its northern terminus at an interchange with I-45.
SH 3 was one of the original twenty six state highways proposed in 1917, overlaid on top of the Southern National Highway. From 1919, the routing mostly followed present day U.S. Highway 90 from Orange to Houston and San Antonio through to Del Rio. The road at this time also had numerous alternate routes simultaneously marked as SH 3, along with occasionally signed SH 3A routes (although most of those routes were given their own numbers by the 1930s).
In 1926, US 90 was routed over SH 3 to Del Rio. Its route was extended along US 90 through Sanderson to Alpine, it then headed northwest to Fort Davis, north to Balmorhea, and then west to a final terminus at San Martine. By 1933, SH 3 was rerouted from Alpine to end in Van Horn. While the routes were marked concurrently, by 1939, SH 3 was truncated to a small route running from Seguin, Luling to Waelder. By 1952, the original route ceased to be, and the present day routing was assigned.
SH 3 is sometimes referred to as Old Galveston Road, indicating its function as a thoroughfare between Houston and Galveston.
Numerous spur routes were created along the main routing of SH 3, especially during the 1920s:
State Highway 3-A was an original state highway proposed in 1917, splitting from the main route at Houston and roughly parallelling it to the north through La Grange and ending at San Marcos. By 1919, the routing had changed slightly, now veering further north from La Grange through Bastrop and ending in Austin. By 1926, this routing had been renumbered as SH 71 west of La Grange and SH 73 (now I-10) east of La Grange. SH 3A was reassigned to an alternate routing of SH 3 that was under construction between San Antonio and Waelder. By 1938, the route was limited to the section between Seguin and Waelder, and in 1939 became the main routing of SH 3 when the original SH 3 was transferred to US 90.
State Highway 3-B was a spur route created by 1922. The route crossed the main route of SH 3 at Schulenberg. The route travelled north through La Grange to Caldwell and south from Schulenberg through Hallettsville to Cuero. There it splits again, travelling both southwest to Kenedy and south to Goliad. By 1926 the route had been reassigned to SH 72 (later US 77).
State Highway 3-D was a spur that connected the main route and SH 3A between La Grange and Columbus. By 1926 the route was still under construction, but had been transferred to SH 71.
|Galveston||La Marque||0.0||0.0||SH 146||interchange|
|1.3||2.1||FM 519 (Main Street)|
|La Marque–Texas City line||3.1||5.0||FM 1765|
|Texas City||4.7||7.6||FM 1764 (Emmett F. Lowry Expressway) to I-45 – Texas City||interchange|
|8.6||13.8||FM 2004 south to I-45 – Hitchcock|
|Dickinson||10.7||17.2||FM 517 – Alvin, San Leon|
|League City||12.4||20.0||FM 646 to FM 1266|
|13.4||21.6||SH 96 (League City Parkway)|
|14.8||23.8||FM 518 – Friendswood, Kemah|
|Harris||Webster||NASA 1 west (NASA Bypass) to I-45||interchange|
|17.4||28.0||NASA Parkway - NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Alvin, Seabrook||former NASA 1|
|Houston||21.1||34.0||FM 2351 west (Clear Lake City Boulevard) – Friendswood|
|23.0||37.0||FM 1959 west (Dixie Farm Road) to I-45 – Ellington Airport|
|23.8||38.3||FM 2553 west (Scarsdale Boulevard) to I-45|
|24.4||39.3||Beltway 8 to Sam Houston Tollway||interchange|
|30.4||48.9||I-45 (Gulf Freeway) – Galveston, Houston||I-45 exit 38|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi