U.S. Route 96
|Maintained by TxDOT|
|Length||133.746 mi (215.243 km)|
|Existed||September 26, 1939–present|
|South end||US 69 / US 287 / SH 87 in Port Arthur|
Future I-69 / Future I-369 / US 59 / US 84 in Tenaha
|Counties||Jefferson, Hardin, Jasper, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby|
U.S. Highway 96 (US 96) is a north–south United States Numbered Highway that runs for about 117.11 miles (188.47 km) entirely in the U.S state of Texas. Its number is a violation of the standard numbering convention, as even-numbered two-digit highways are east–west routes by rule. As of 2004, the highway's southern terminus (as well as those of US 287 and US 69) is in Port Arthur at an intersection with State Highway 87 (SH 87). Its northern terminus is in Tenaha at an intersection with US 59 (Future Interstate 69 [I-69])/(Future I-369) and US 84 (Future I-69).
U.S. Highway 96 is designated by the State of Texas as a major hurricane evacuation route, with the local county governments facilitating the evacuation of citizens along U.S. Highway 96 from Coastal Region counties, including but not limited to, Harris County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Chambers County, Jefferson County, Orange County, Hardin County, Jasper County, Newton County and Tyler County.
U.S. Highway 96 has been utilized many times in the past for hurricane evacuations, with the most recent being Hurricane Rita in 2005, Hurricane Gustav in 2008, Hurricane Ike in 2008, and Hurricane Laura in 2020. During Hurricane Katrina in 2005, U.S. Highway 96 was also utilized to route evacuees from Louisiana, who had fled west out of the hurricane's path. This designated hurricane evacuation route is utilized to evacuate citizens to the north into North and Northeast Texas, Northwest Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma, out of the range of a hurricane's deadly winds, tornadoes, flooding and storm surge.
U.S. Highway 96 also serves as a major Strategic Military Highway, connecting Fort Polk in Leesville, Louisiana and the Red River Army Depot near Texarkana, Texas to the Port of Beaumont in Beaumont, Texas. This Strategic Military Highway is utilized regularly by the Department of Defense for transporting military personnel, materials, equipment and vehicles to and from the Port of Beaumont in support of military deployments and operations overseas, as well as the national defense mission here in the United States.
Additionally, U.S. Highway 96 is a major highway utilized for transporting citizens, goods and services to and from four Texas ports, including Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange, as well as Intersecting Interstate 10, which connects U.S. Highway 96 to the Port of Houston.
Plans to upgrade the existing connecting route of U.S. Highway 190 to Interstate 14 and U.S. Highway 59 to Interstate 69 will increase the connectivity of U.S. Highway 96 for strategic military transport, commercial and travel purposes, connecting this artery to three major Interstate Highway Corridors, including I-10, I-14 and I-69/U.S. 59.
U.S. Highway 96 is also the primary transportation route from the Texas Coastal Region to access Lake Sam Rayburn and Lake B.A. Steinhagen, the Neches and Angelina Rivers, the Angelina National Forest, the Masterson State Forest (Established 1985) in Buna, Texas and the Daughters of the American Revolution State Forest (Established 1929) in Cairo Springs, Texas.
US 96 begins at SH 87 in Port Arthur, at a southern terminus it also shares with US 69 and US 287. The three highways head in a northwest direction toward Beaumont. In Beaumont, the three highways briefly merge with Interstate 10 (I-10), but then split from that freeway continuing northwest. In Lumberton, US 96 separates from US 287 and US 69, and heads northeast. US 96 ends in Tenaha at a junction with US 59 (Future I-69)/(Future I-369) and US 84 (Future I-69).
In 1927 US 96 was originally routed: Beginning at Rosenburg via Wharton, Victoria, Beeville, Skidmore, Alice, Falfurrias, San Juan to Brownsville.
In 1933, the present route of US 96 was originally proposed to be part of US 71. Under this plan, discussed at a meeting of the United States Good Roads Association in Beaumont, US 71 was to be diverted out of Louisiana altogether and instead re-routed from the Texarkana area southward through East Texas.
In 1935, US 96 was rerouted to Laredo instead of Brownsville. 03/01/1935 - Beginning at Rosenburg, Wharton, Victoria, Beeville, Skidmore, Mathis, Alice, Laredo. This is the current route of US 59.
In the 1935, US 59 was initially routed from Teneha to Port Arthur following the basic route of the current US 96. US 96 began in Rosenburg (Near Houston) and roughly followed the current route of US 59 to Alice then on to Brownsville and later was rerouted to Laredo.
Minute Order 016701, dated 09/26/1939 radically re-aligned US 96 to travel a route formerly used by US 59: From Tenaha via Center, San Augustine, Jasper, Buna, Voth, and Beaumont to Port Arthur. (Shelby, San Augustine, Sabine, Jasper, Hardin, and Jefferson Counties)  This renumbered US 59 and 96 beginning in Teneha to roughly their current paths. SH 35 from Teneha to Houston had become US 59. The entirety of the pre-1939 US 96 had been changed to US 59 and US 59 South of Teneha had been renumbered to US 96.
This section contains a table that is missing mileposts for one or more junctions.
|Jefferson||Port Arthur||SH 87 (Gulfway Drive)||Southern end of US 69 / US 287 concurrency|
|SH 73 – Winnie, Groves||Interchange|
|60th Street / Jimmy Johnson Boulevard||interchange; south end of freeway, access to The Medical Center of Southeast Texas|
|Port Arthur–Nederland line||FM 365 – Port Neches, Fannett|
|Nederland||Jack Brooks Regional Airport|
|Beauxart Garden Road / Spurlock Road|
|Central Gardens||FM 3514|
|Jefferson County Prison Complex||no direct northbound exit|
|Beaumont||SH 347 – Nederland||no southbound entrance|
|Spur 380 (M.L. King Parkway) – Lamar University|
|Spur 93 (Avenue A) / Highland Avenue|
|Spur 93 (Avenue A) / Florida Avenue / Erie Street|
|SH 124 (Fannett Road) – Fannett, Winnie|
|I-10 west – Houston||south end of I-10 overlap; US 96 south follows exit 849|
|Washington Boulevard||I-10 exit 850|
|US 90 – Liberty, Nome||I-10 exit 851, Access to Memorial Hermann Baptist Beaumont Hospital|
|Laurel Avenue||Southbound exit and northbound entrance; I-10 exit 852A|
|Calder Avenue / Harrison Avenue||I-10 exit 852B; no direct southbound exit (signed at Delaware Street)|
|I-10 east – Lake Charles, Lafayette||north end of I-10 overlap; US 96 north follows exit 853A|
|11th Street||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|SH 105 – Sour Lake, Conroe|
|Hardin||Rose Hill Acres||Cooks Lake Road|
|FM 3513 / Mitchell Road||No direct southbound exit (signed at Keith Road)|
|Lumberton||US 69 / US 287 – Kountze, Lufkin, Crockett||interchange; north end of US 69 / US 287 overlap|
FM 421 west to US 69 – Sour Lake
US 96 Bus. north to FM 92 north – Fred
|Interchange; no northbound entrance|
|SH 327 west – Kountze||Interchange|
US 96 Bus. south to FM 418 west – Kountze
|Jasper||Evadale||FM 105 south / FM 2246 east – Vidor, Mauriceville||Interchange|
US 96 Bus. north to FM 253 east
SH 62 south / FM 1004 north to US 96 Bus. – Mauriceville, Kirbyville
|Call Junction||FM 1004 south – Buna||south end of FM 1004 overlap|
|FM 1004 north – Trout Creek||north end of FM 1004 overlap|
FM 82 to FM 1013 – Airport, Trout Creek
|FM 1013 (Main Street) – Spurger, Call, Trout Creek|
FM 363 east to SH 87 – Bon Wier, Bleakwood
|||FM 2245 east – Roganville|
|||FM 1005 south – Magnolia Springs|
|Jasper||US 190 / SH 63 – Woodville, Leesville, Newton, DeRidder, Airport, Martin Dies Jr. State Park|
|FM 2799 west (W Houston Street)|
FM 776 east (Milam Street) to SH 63
|FM 2800 west||To Jasper County Courthouse|
|||RE 255 – Sam Rayburn Dam, Colmesneil, Toledo Bend Dam, Hornbeck|
FM 1007 to RE 255 – Colmesneil
|Loop 149 north – Brookeland, Mill Creek Park|
|Sabine||Brookeland||Loop 149 south – Browndell, Mill Creek Park|
|||FM 201 east|
|||Spur 414 south – Sam Rayburn Reservoir|
FM 1 north to FM 83 – Bronson, Hemphill
|FM 83 – Broaddus, Hemphill|
|Bronson||FM 2866 south|
|SH 184 east – Hemphill, Patricia Huffman Smith NASA Museum|
|San Augustine||||SH 103 – Lufkin, Milam, Many||Interchange|
|||FM 1751 south – Sam Rayburn Reservoir|
|||FM 2213 north – San Augustine|
|San Augustine||SH 147 – Broaddus, Zavalla, Shelbyville, El Camino Real Tourist Center (Mission Dolores)|
|FM 1277 south – Broaddus|
SH 21 to SH 103 – Nacogdoches, Milam, Many
|FM 711 north|
|||FM 3451 east|
|||FM 1279 east – Bland Lake|
|Shelby||||FM 2140 north – Neuville|
|||FM 417 east – Shelbyville, Neuville|
Loop 500 to SH 7 / SH 87 south – Nacogdoches, Shelbyville, Hemphill
|SH 7 (Nacogdoches Street / San Augustine Street) / SH 87 south – Nacogdoches, Hemphill, Logansport|
|FM 138 west – Arcadia, Garrison|
|SH 87 north (Moffett Drive / Tenaha Street) – Timpson|
|FM 2026 west – Timpson|
Loop 500 to SH 7 / SH 87 south – Logansport, Shelbyville, Hemphill
|Tenaha||Loop 157 north – Timpson, Carthage|
|I-369 north / US 59 / US 84 – Timpson, Nacogdoches, Rusk, Carthage, Marshall, Mansfield||interchange, I-69 will follow US 59 South to Houston, and US 84 east to Mansfield. I-369 will follow US 59 north to Texarkana. Interchange currently open for US 59/US 84 traffic.|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
Buna business highway
|Length||1.334 mi (2.147 km)|
Business U.S. Highway 96-E (US 96 Bus.) is a 1.3-mile long (2.1 km) spur of US 96 in the Jasper County census designated place of Buna. The highway was designated on September 25, 1939 as Texas State Highway Loop 68, going from US 59 through Buna to US 59. On January 18, 1955, Loop 68 became Texas State Highway Spur 68, and the route was moved to the current route. On June 21, 1990, the designation was changed to Business US 96-E, and a concurrency with SH 62 was added.  It begins southwest of the community at US 96 and travels northeast paralleling a railroad. Except for one small industry, the highway travels past residential areas before it ends at SH 62 in the center of Buna. A left turn onto SH 62 can be made to access US 96 again.
Silsbee business highway
|Length||5.223 mi (8.406 km)|
Business U.S. Highway 96-F (US 96 Bus.) is a five-mile-long (8.0 km) business loop of US 96 serving the Hardin County city of Silsbee. The highway begins at an interchange with US 96 south of the city and travels north to the city limits as a four-lane undivided road. Upon reaching the Silsbee city limits, the name of the road also becomes 5th Street. In the center of the city, US 96 Bus. reaches Avenue N which carries SH 327. At Avenue G, US 96 Bus. turns right while FM 92 continues north through the city. FM 418's eastern terminus occurs at a stop-controlled T intersection east of the city center. At the highway's northern intersection with US 96, US 96 Bus. briefly runs on two frontage roads on either side of US 96 before it terminates at right-in/right-out intersections with the divided US 96.
The route was originally designated on Texas State Highway Loop 498 on November 30, 1978. The route was changed to Business US 96-F on June 21, 1990.
The number was originally used for Texas State Highway Spur 498, designated on April 29, 1971 from SH 146 to Spur 501 in LaPorte via Wharton Weems Blvd. This was cancelled on July 28, 1977 and mileage was transferred to rerouted Loop 410 (not to be confused with I-410), whose alignment on Fairmont Parkway was cancelled and given to the city of LaPorte. Loop 410 was marked as Business SH 146, and became Business SH 146-D on June 21, 1990. Note that the sections of Business SH 146-D on Broadway Street and Main Street were cancelled on March 26, 2009 and given to the city of LaPorte.
- Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "U.S. Highway No. 96". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
- "Road Route Change Attempt Protested". The Times-Picayune. New Orleans. October 13, 1933. p. 27.
- 03/01/1935 - Beginning at Rosenburg, Wharton, Victoria, Beeville, Skidmore, Mathis, Alice, Laredo.
- Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "Business U.S. Highway No. 96-E". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
- Google (June 16, 2015). "US 96 Bus. - Buna" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
- Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "Business U.S. Highway No. 96-F". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
- Google (June 16, 2015). "US 96 Bus. - Buna" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved June 16, 2015.