Texas State Highway 4
|Maintained by TxDOT|
|Length:||24.4 mi (39.3 km)|
|Existed:||before 1939 – present|
|West end:||MX 180 in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico|
| I-69E / US 77 / US 83 in Brownsville
SH 48 in Brownsville
|East end:||Boca Chica State Park|
State Highway 4 or SH 4 is an east–west state highway that runs from the Gateway International Bridge in Brownsville to the Gulf of Mexico at Boca Chica State Park. Outside of Brownsville, it parallels the Rio Grande. It is the southernmost Texas state highway.
SH 4 was one of the original twenty-six state highways proposed in 1917, overlaid on top of the Del Rio – Canadian Highway. From 1919 the routing mostly followed present-day U.S. Highway 83 from Perryton, Childress, to Aspermont. From there, it followed present-day FM 610 and SH 70 to Blackwell. It then continued down present-day U.S. Highway 277 into San Angelo and Sonora. From there, it split into two routes. The western branch terminated in Del Rio and the eastern terminated at Uvalde. The road at this time also had numerous alternate routes simultaneously marked as SH 4, along with occasionally signed SH 4A routes (although most of those routes were given their own numbers by the 1930s).
In 1926, U.S. Highway 83 was routed over SH 4 from Oklahoma to Del Rio. The eastern branch from Sonora to Del Rio was then given the designation State Highway 55. Both SH 4 and US 83 were marked concurrently at the time. Unable to create the proposed road, a new route was under construction southeast from Aspermont, taking SH 4 to Anson. By 1928,SH 4 was extended through Abilene and Coleman to end at Brady, taking over SH 107. By 1931, SH 4 and US 83 extended through Junction, Uvalde, Carrizo Springs, Laredo and finally, Brownsville, taking over the proposed Pharr-Brownsville segment of the now severely reworked SH 12 and portions of SH 30 and SH 55. The old route from Brady to Santa Anna was changed back to SH 107. THere was an alternate routing east to Artesia Wells. By 1933, this alternate routing was renumbered as SH 189. By 1936, this route was swapped with SH 48. By 1939, the route was turned over to U.S. Route 83, with the only remaining portion of SH 4 being the current routing from Brownsville eastward.
SH 4 begins at the Gateway International Bridge in downtown Brownsville, travelling northeast on International Blvd. A mile later, it reaches the I-69E/US 77/83 expressway. This first one-mile (1.6 km) section was previously the final stretch of US 77 and 83 before they were rerouted to the southeast around downtown to the Veteran's International Bridge. SH 4 continues northeast, passing the intersection with Farm to Market Road 1418, until it reaches an intersection with SH 48 at Boca Chica Blvd. SH 4 turns east onto Boca Chica Blvd. About a mile to the east is the cutoff for Farm to Market Road 2519, which leads to the Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport. SH 4 continues east, passing along the north side of the airport grounds and meeting intersections with Farm to Market Roads 313 and 511. SH 4 exits Brownsville continuing east near the southern side of the Port of Brownsville. This section passes a few historical landmarks, including the site of the Battle of Palmito Ranch, site of the final battle of the American Civil War. The highway continues east-northeast, past Boca Chica Village and SpaceX's under construction launch site, until it reaches a stop sign at Boca Chica Beach and Brazos Island State Park.
The entire route is in Cameron County.
|Brownsville||0.0||0.0||Fed. 180 at the International Bridge||Mexican border (Rio Grande)|
|Elizabeth Street - Fort Brown|
Bus. US 77 north (Washington Street) – Downtown Brownsville
|0.9||1.4||I-69E / US 77 / US 83 – Harlingen, Veterans International Bridge, UT-Brownsville, Texas Southmost College||I-69E exit 1A; interchange.|
|1.7||2.7||FM 1419 east (Southmost Boulevard)|
|2.5||4.0||SH 48 (Padre Island Highway / Boca Chica Boulevard) – Port of Brownsville, South Padre Island|
|3.2||5.1||FM 2519 south (Billy Mitchell Boulevard) – International Airport, Confederate Air Force|
|4.8||7.7||FM 313 north (Minnesota Avenue)|
|6.3||10.1||FM 511 (Indiana Avenue) – Port Brownsville|
|||FM 1419 west|
|||24.4||39.3||Boca Chica Beach|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi