U.S. Route 81 in Texas

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US Highway 81 marker

US Highway 81
Route information
Maintained by TxDOT
Length: 81.458 mi[1] (131.094 km)
Existed: 1927[1] – present
Major junctions
South end: I-35W / US 287 in Fort Worth
  US 380 in Decatur
US 287 in Bowie
US 82 in Ringgold
North end: US-81 at TexasOklahoma state line
Location
Counties: Tarrant, Wise, Montague
Highway system
US 80 US 82

U.S. Route 81 (US 81) is a U.S. Highway that begins at an interchange with Interstate 35W/U.S. Route 287 in northern Fort Worth in Texas. US 81 leaves the state and crosses the Red River into Oklahoma between Ringgold and Terral.

Route description[edit]

US 81 begins at an interchange with Interstate 35W/U.S. Route 287 in northern Fort Worth. The two highways travel northwest as a freeway, passing by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing near Blue Mound Road (Farm to Market Road 156), through the city's northwest side. US 81/287 leave the city of Fort Worth and enter Wise County near Avondale. The two highways run through or near the towns of Rhome, New Fairview, Decatur, Alvord, and Sunset before separating in southern Bowie. US 81 runs through the town as Wise Street, running in a more east–west direction before turning in a more north–south direction at Farm to Market Road 174. The highway has a mostly rural route, running through western Montague County, before crossing the Red River into Oklahoma.

History[edit]

US 81 at its inception in 1926 followed the route of State Highway 2, which began in Laredo and passed through San Antonio, Austin, Waco, and Fort Worth before passing over the Red River into Oklahoma four miles (6 km) north of Ringgold. The 1936 Official Map of the Highway System of Texas clearly shows the route labeled both as US 81 and S.H. 2. It was cosigned with U.S. Route 83 for 18 miles (29 km) from Laredo to 2 miles (3.2 km) south of Webb, with U.S. Highway 79 for 18 miles (29 km) from Austin north to Round Rock, and with U.S. Route 77 for 33 miles (53 km) from Waco to Hillsboro. In 1940 U.S. Route 287 was extended south into Texas, and a 67-mile (108 km) stretch from Fort Worth northwest to Bowie was cosigned with US 81.[2] The Summer 1941 Texas Highway Map shows this pairing, and the current southern terminus of US 81 is still cosigned with US 287.

The Spring and Summer 1949 Texas Highway Department Official Map designates the length of US 81 from Laredo to Fort Worth as part of the National System of Interstate Highways, but no numeric designation was given at the time.

It was not until 1959 that parts of US 81 in Texas appeared on the Texas Official Highway Travel Map cosigned with Interstate 35 shields. Succeeding maps reflect the slow completion of Interstate 35 and I-35W over the stretch of US 81 between Laredo and Fort Worth, with the 1978-79 Texas Official Highway Travel Map showing only a 14-mile (23 km) section from Encinal north to 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Artesia Wells as incomplete, and the 1980 Texas Official Highway Travel Map showing that section completed. In 1980, US 81 was cosigned with I-35 and I-35W except where the Interstate bypassed towns, with US 81 providing the main route through town and then reconnecting with I-35 on the other side. The longest section of US 81 in 1980 not cosigned with the Interstate ran from I-35 in Hillsboro 20 miles (32 km) north to I-35W, just north of Grandview. This section of US 81 became State Highway 81 in 1991 when most of US 81 in Texas was decommissioned.[3] The section of highway from Devine to Lytle became SH 132 and the section from Derby to the Pearsall town square became Spur 581 when US 81 south of Fort Worth was decommissioned in 1991.[4][5]

Junction list[edit]

County Location mi[6] km Destinations Notes
Tarrant Fort Worth 0.0 0.0 I-35W south / US 287 south – Fort Worth South end of US 287 overlap/freeway; I-35W exit 60
1.5 2.4 FM 3479 (Harmon Road)
3.1 5.0 FM 156 (Blue Mound Road) – Blue Mound, Haslet, Bureau of Engraving and Printing
3.9 6.3 Bonds Ranch Road, Hicks Road
6.2 10.0 Blue Mound Road West, Willow Springs Road
8.2 13.2
Bus. US 287 south / FM 718 – Avondale, Haslet
North end of freeway
Wise Rhome 14.7 23.7 SH 114 east – Dallas, Texas Motor Speedway South end of freeway; south end of SH 114 overlap
15.6 25.1
Bus. US 81 north / Bus. US 287 north / FM 3433 – Rhome
15.9 25.6 SH 114 west – Bridgeport North end of SH 114 overlap
16.8 27.0
Bus. US 81 south / Bus. US 287 south / Pioneer Road – Rhome
North end of freeway
New Fairview 19.0 30.6 FM 407 – Justin Interchange
Decatur 27.7 44.6
Bus. US 81 north / Bus. US 287 north / FM 2264 east – Decatur
Interchange
29.6 47.6 FM 730 – Boyd Interchange
30.7 49.4
Bus. US 380 / FM 51 – Weatherford, Gainesville
Interchange
31.7 51.0 US 380 – Bridgeport, Denton Interchange
32.2 51.8 FM 1810 west (Old Chico Road) – Chico
33.3 53.6
Bus. US 81 south / Bus. US 287 south – Decatur
40.4 65.0
Bus. US 81 north / Bus. US 287 north – Alvord
South end of freeway; no northbound entrance
40.9 65.8 Hubbard Street No southbound entrance
Alvord 41.9 67.4 FM 1655 (State Street) – Alvord
43.4 69.8
Bus. US 81 south / Bus. US 287 south – Alvord
North end of freeway; southbound exit and northbound entrance
Montague Sunset 48.5 78.1 Spur 511 / Cemetery Road – Sunset South end of freeway
49.7 80.0 SH 101 – Bridgeport, Sunset
51.5 82.9 Lawhorn Lane
52.9 85.1 Fruitland Road
54.8 88.2 Wagonseller Road
Bowie 56.6 91.1 US 287 north / SH 101 south – Wichita Falls, Sunset North end of US 287 overlap/freeway
58.5 94.1 FM 1125 (Mills Street)
58.8 94.6 SH 59 – Jacksboro, Montague
59.3 95.4 FM 174 west – Windthorst
Stoneburg 67.2 108.1 FM 1806 west South end of FM 1806 overlap
67.7 109.0 FM 1806 east – Montague North end of FM 1806 overlap
Ringgold 77.6 124.9 US 82 – Henrietta, Gainesville Interchange
78.4 126.2 Spur 19 south – Ringgold
81.5 131.2 US-81 north – Ryan Crosses the Red River into Oklahoma
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "U.S. Highway No. 81". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 1, 2016. 
  2. ^ Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "U.S. Highway No. 287". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 1, 2016. 
  3. ^ Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "State Highway No. 81". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 1, 2016. 
  4. ^ Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "State Highway No. 132". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 12, 2017. 
  5. ^ Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "State Highway Spur No. 581". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 12, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Highway Overview Map of US 81 in Texas". Google Maps. Retrieved August 1, 2016.