Texas State Highway Spur 1966
|Maintained by TxDOT|
|Length:||0.3 mi (0.5 km)|
|Existed:||2012 – present|
|West end:||US 85 in El Paso|
|I-10 in El Paso|
|East end:||Schuster Avenue in El Paso|
State Highway Spur 1966 or Spur 1966 is a proposed spur route in the U.S. state of Texas that will be built and maintained by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The route, located in El Paso County on the west side of the city of El Paso, will link U.S. Highway 85 (US 85) across Interstate 10 (I-10) to the campus of the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). The spur's numerical designation commemorates the championship won by UTEP, then known as Texas Western University, in the 1966 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament.
The 0.7-mile (1.1 km) spur will begin at US 85 (Paisano Drive) and proceed to the northeast over a bridge crossing I-10 before ending at Schuster Avenue. The route will replace the nearby Yandell Drive overpass across I-10, and the project includes the demolition of the older bridge.
The route is intended to provide better access between UTEP and nearby medical facilities, provide an additional route along US 85 between the campus and downtown El Paso, and allow improved access to businesses along State Highway 20 (SH 20, Mesa Street). The route is also designed to alleviate heavy traffic encroachment into nearby residential neighborhoods, and foster a more pedestrian-friendly environment for the UTEP campus. TxDOT planning for the spur includes accommodation, not only of vehicular traffic, but also bicycle and pedestrian traffic.
Spur 1966 was originally designated in 2012. The alignment of the spur has not been finalized, and alternative routes are still under consideration. The project is expected to cost between $50–60 million, and construction is expected to begin in spring 2013 with completion anticipated in the fall of 2014.
The spur's unusual designation—it will be the only four-digit state highway spur in Texas—was chosen to honor the historic 1966 NCAA championship of the 1965–66 Texas Western Miners men's basketball team as UTEP and the UTEP Miners were previously known. The Miners made history by playing the NCAA basketball championships' first-ever entirely African-American starting lineup inspiring the film Glory Road.
- Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "State Highway Spur No. 1966". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
- Flores, Aileen B. (May 1, 2012). "Schuster spur proposed: TxDOT Project would link UTEP area to Paisano". El Paso Times. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
- Hinojosa, Alex (May 2, 2012). "Few attend unveiling of Spur 1966 plans". El Paso Times. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
- "Public handout from May 1, 2012 public meeting" (PDF). Texas Department of Transportation. p. 3. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
- Fitzpatrick, Frank (November 19, 2003). "Texas Western's 1966 title left lasting legacy". ESPN Classic. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
- Spur 1966 Project from TxDOT