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For another freeway route in the United States with Interstate 27 as a "misreference", see U.S. Route 27 in Michigan and U.S. Route 127 in Michigan.
Interstate 27 shield
Interstate 27
Main route of the Interstate Highway System
Length: 124.132 mi[1] (199.77 km)
Formed: 1969[1]
South end: US 87 / Loop 289 south of Lubbock
Major
junctions:
US 70 in Plainview
US 60 north of Canyon
North end: I-40 / US 60 / US 87 / US 287 in Amarillo
Highways in Texas
< SH 26 SH 27 >
InterstateU.S.T.X. (LoopsSpursRecFM)

Interstate 27 (I-27) is an intrastate Interstate Highway, located entirely in the U.S. state of Texas, running north from Lubbock to Interstate 40 in Amarillo. These two cities are the only control cities on I-27;[2] other cities and towns served by I-27 include (from south to north) New Deal, Abernathy, Hale Center, Plainview, Kress, Tulia, Happy, and Canyon. In Amarillo, I-27 is commonly known as the Canyon Expressway. The entire length of I-27 replaced U.S. Highway 87 for through traffic.

Contents

Route description

I-27 parallels the BNSF Railway's Plainview Subdivision, which splits from its Chicago-Southern California Transcon line at Canyon and runs south to Lubbock. A large amount of the alignment is on former US 87, but several portions through built-up areas have been bypassed, as well as two longer areas where US 87 still follows the old road.[3]

The Interstate begins at a point along the four-lane US 87 freeway south of downtown Lubbock. Mile 0 is posted near 77th Street,[4] about five blocks south of Loop 289. Exit numbering begins just to the south, with exit 1 at the 82nd Street interchange; the freeway becomes six lanes at its north end. The Loop 289 interchange is a cloverleaf between the one-way frontage roads of each highway, and with direct ramps from I-27 south to Loop 289 west (exit 1A) and Loop 289 east to I-27 north. U.S. Highway 84 (Avenue Q and Slaton Highway) crosses I-27 at a split diamond interchange, with an extra approach from the northeast carrying U.S. Highway 87 Business (Avenue A) into the junction. Exit 1B connects I-27 south to US 84 and the Loop 289 frontage roads, while all traffic from US 87 north to US 84, US 87 Business, or Loop 289 must use exit 1 for 82nd Street.[3]

The six-lane cross section that began at exit 1 remains through Lubbock. Major junctions in that city include U.S. Highway 62/State Highway 114 (19th Street, exit 3) and U.S. Highway 82 (4th Street, exit 4), which is also the north end of US 87 Business. Between these two interchanges, the frontage roads temporarily end as I-27 crosses over a rail line. Spur 326 (Avenue Q) merges with I-27 at exit 6A, and exit 6B is a split diamond with Loop 289. The outer lanes leave at Farm to Market Road 2641 (Regis Street, exit 8), reducing I-27 to two lanes in each direction as it passes Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport and leaves the city.[3]

I-27 crosses over the Plainview Sub for the first time north of Farm to Market Road 1294 (Drew Street, exit 11), and another short gap exists in the frontage roads there. North of the overpass, the frontage roads are two-way; I-27 then passes through New Deal, bypassing the central part of the town to the west. Old US 87 between exits 13 and 15 is now Loop 461; at exit 15, I-27 begins to parallel the rail line, just to its west. Along this part of the highway, and other similar portions, slip ramps still connect the main lanes with the frontage roads, but intersecting roads pass over all four roadways and the railroad on a long bridge; a pair of two-way roadways connects the frontage roads to the crossroad, with the one on the east crossing the railroad at-grade.[3]

As it approaches Abernathy, I-27 curves west away from the Plainview Sub. The old main road through the city, between exits 20 and 22, is now Loop 369; I-27 passes through 1.5 blocks to the east. Despite I-27's location north of Abernathy, 1/2 mile (1 km) west of the rail line, all interchanges between Abernathy and Hale Center, except the one at Farm to Market Road (exit 24), use the same configuration where the intersecting road crosses over all roadways. Approaching Hale Center, I-27 curves northeast as it splits from Farm to Market Road 1424 (exit 36) at a simple diamond interchange. The freeway passes through the city one block east of the old road, now I-27 Business, which is accessed at exits 36 and 38. As it leaves Hale Center, I-27 turns to the northeast, following the northwest side of the rail line.[3]

The next two interchanges along the railroad between Hale Center and Plainview use the same style, in which the crossroad goes over everything. I-27 Business splits at exit 45, a modified Y interchange, to pass through Plainview, and I-27 travels west of that city on a bypass. The two outer interchanges on this bypass, Farm to Market Road 3466 (exit 48) and Quincy Street (exit 51), are handled in the same way as the interchanges along the railroad, but the other two, U.S. Highway 70 (exit 49) and State Highway 194 (exit 50), are standard diamonds. Between exits 49 and 50 is another overpass over the frontage roads - 24th Street — with no separate slip ramps. I-27 Business ends at a trumpet interchange (exit 53) north of Plainview, where I-27 again begins to parallel the Plainview Sub to the west. Both interchanges between this one and the first split with US 87 (exit 61), a modified Y south of Kress, continue the pattern with the crossroad bridging over everything.[3]

After it leaves US 87, I-27 is no longer next to the rail line, but it continues to handle interchanges as it does alongside the line, except at State Highway 86 (exit 74), a standard diamond that serves Tulia. US 87 rejoins the freeway at a modified diamond (exit 77) north of Tulia, at which I-27 crosses to the east side of the Plainview Sub before paralleling it to that side. After several of the typical interchanges adjacent to the railroad, US 87 splits again at a modified Y (exit 88) south of Happy. Except for the northernmost one, all of the interchanges on the bypass of Happy and Canyon are diamonds; there is a break in the frontage road north of Farm to Market Road 3331 (exit 108), where I-27 crosses the Prairie Dog Town Fork Red River. Exits 109 (Buffalo Stadium Road) and 110 (US 87 south, US 60 west) are integrated, with some access to one road provided via the other.[3]

I-27 is overlapped by US 60 and US 87 from exit 110 north of Canyon to the end of the Interstate in Amarillo; here the frontage roads are one-way. Several near the south end are handled by bridging the intersecting road over all roadways, but, once I-27 crosses Loop 335 (exit 116), almost all interchanges are diamonds. At exit 119A, which marks the south end of the six-lane cross section in Amarillo, Hillside Road passes under both the main lanes and the frontage roads, with two ramps providing partial access. Other connections with Hillside Road are made via Western Street (exit 119B), which crosses the frontage roads at grade. The end of I-27 at Interstate 40 (exit 123B) is a fully-directional turbine interchange; U.S. Highway 287 also passes through, using I-40 to the east and US 60/US 87 to the north. Four lanes continue beyond I-40, and are joined by several from the I-40 ramps, making the northernmost portion of the Canyon Expressway five lanes in each direction. Several blocks beyond I-40, the highway ends at a split into two one-way pairs. Northbound traffic feeds onto Fillmore Street (US 87 north) and Buchanan Street (US 60 east and US 287 north), while southbound traffic approaches on Taylor Street (US 287 south) and Pierce Street (US 60 west and US 87 south). The rightmost of the five northbound lanes is barrier-separated from the rest, forcing traffic exiting I-40 west onto Buchanan Street. Through the I-40 interchange and the split, the frontage roads are discontinuous.[3]

History

The roadway between Lubbock and Amarillo was part of the Puget Sound to Gulf Highway (State Highway 9), one of the original state highways defined in 1917.[5] In 1926, it became part of U.S. Highway 385,[6] which was absorbed into U.S. Highway 87 in 1935.[7] The SH 9 overlap was dropped in the 1939 renumbering.[8][9] Paving began in 1929 near Plainview,[10] and was almost complete by 1940, with only about 8 miles (13 km) south of Canyon still bituminous surfaced[11] until later that decade.[12] The Canyon Expressway, a freeway upgrade of US 87 (also US 60 there) between Canyon and Amarillo, was built in the late 1950s and early 1960s.[10] This highway, with a design speed of 45 miles per hour (70 km/h), included frontage roads along its entire length,[13] and ended in each city with a wye junction: the split of US 60 and US 87 in Canyon, and a split between the two one-way pairs of Taylor and Fillmore Streets and Pierce and Buchanan Streets in Amarillo. The Dumas Expressway, a freeway upgrade of US 87 north from Amarillo, opened several years later, feeding into the same one-way pairs.[14]

Four-laning of US 87 from Canyon to Lubbock was completed in the late 1960s, with the last section to be widened lying between Abernathy and Lubbock. While this was built as a surface divided highway south of Canyon,[15][16][17] short sections of freeway were built through New Deal, Abernathy, and Hale Center, and interchanges were built at U.S. Highway 70 and State Highway 194 on the new bypass of Plainview[18] and at State Highway 86 (towards the west) south of Tulia.[13][14] The original two-lane road, where bypassed, became Loop 461 (New Deal, 1968, marked as US 87 Business),[19] Loop 369 (Abernathy, 1962),[20] a local street (Hale Center), and Loop 445 (Plainview, 1967, marked as US 87 Business).[21]

Interstate 27 was not part of the original Interstate Highway System chosen in the 1950s; the spur from I-40 to Lubbock was authorized with the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1968, which added 1500 miles (2400 km) to the system.[22] George H. Mahon, member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1935 to 1979 and chairman of the House Appropriations Committee after 1964, helped secure funding for the road. Texas officially designated the highway in early 1969, originally running from U.S. Highway 62 near downtown Lubbock to I-40 in Amarillo; the definition was extended south through Lubbock to the south side of the loop in early 1976.[1] The existing freeway sections, including the Canyon Expressway, were absorbed into I-27, despite not being built to Interstate standards. New construction began in 1975, from Lubbock north to New Deal, and most of the freeway was completed in the 1980s.[14] Two long sections of US 87 were bypassed: Happy to Canyon on December 5, 1986,[10] and Kress to Tulia soon after;[14] I-27 was complete north of Lubbock by 1988.[23] Most of the Happy-Canyon bypass was built along the two-lane Farm to Market Road 1541, which now ends at exit 103 southeast of Canyon.[24]

The final section of I-27 to be built was through Lubbock, inside Loop 289; this was built in the early 1990s, and completed on September 3, 1992. On that day, a ceremony at the 34th Street overpass opened the road from 19th Street (US 62) to 54th Street,[25] completing Texas's 3200-mile (5100 km) portion of the Interstate Highway System.[26] At its south end, the new I-27 connected to an existing freeway upgrade of US 87, built about 1970[14] to a traffic circle at US 84 (just north of Loop 289).[27] The old route of US 87 through Lubbock became U.S. Highway 87 Business upon completion of I-27.[28] Two business loops of I-27 have been designated: through Plainview (former Loop 445) in early 1991,[29] and through Hale Center (formerly a local street) in 2002.[30]

The completion of I-27, costing a total of $453.4 million, encouraged growth along the highway: towards the north side of Lubbock and the southwest in Amarillo; Canyon has become a suburb of Amarillo. Plainview, the largest city between Lubbock and Amarillo, has the only significant retail cluster outside the two terminal cities, and has attracted several industries. On the other hand, Tulia, once a self-contained community with local businesses, was bypassed by I-27, and residents must now drive elsewhere for most shopping needs.[10]

A study of a southern extension of I-27 to I-10[31] found that a full freeway extension would not be not economically feasible, instead recommending limited upgrades to the three corridors studied: SH 349 via Midland-Odessa to east of Fort Stockton, US 87 via Big Spring to Sonora or Junction, and US 84 via Sweetwater to Sonora or Junction. Of the three corridors, the Sweetwater route came the closest to warranting a freeway.[32] The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, passed in 1998, designated I-27 as part of the Ports-to-Plains Trade Corridor, a High Priority Corridor from Mexico at Laredo to Denver.[33] This corridor, planned for upgrading but not as a freeway, crosses I-20 at Big Spring and Midland (via a split), and I-10 at Sonora.[34] It also forms part of the Great Plains International Trade Corridor, continuing north to Saskatoon, Canada.[35] The part of the Ports-to-Plains Trade Corridor within Texas is a proposed Trans-Texas Corridor.[36]

Exit list

County Location # Destinations Notes
Lubbock Lubbock US 87 south – Tahoka Southbound exit and northbound entrance
1
US 84 / US 87 Bus. north / Loop 289 / 82nd Street – Littlefield, Post
1A 50th Street Signed as exit 1C southbound
2 34th Street, Avenue H
3 US 62 / SH 114Floydada, Levelland
3A 13th Street, Broadway Northbound exit and southbound entrance
4
US 82 (4th Street) / US 87 Bus. south  – Mackenzie Park, Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, Crosbyton, Brownfield
5 Avenue H, Municipal Drive Southbound exit and northbound entrance
6A Spur 326 (Avenue Q) Southbound exit and northbound entrance
6B Loop 289 Signed as exit 6 northbound
7 Yucca Lane
8 FM 2641 (Regis Street) – Lubbock International Airport
9 Lubbock International Airport, General Aviation, FAA
10 Keuka Street
11 FM 1294Shallowater
12 County Road 58 Northbound exit and southbound entrance
New Deal 13 Loop 461 north – New Deal
14 FM 1729
15 Loop 461 south – New Deal Southbound exit and northbound entrance
17 County Road 53
20 FM 597Abernathy (Loop 369 north) Northbound exit and southbound entrance
Hale Abernathy 21 FM 597 / FM 2060 / Main Street
22 Loop 369 south – Abernathy Southbound exit and northbound entrance
24 FM 54
27 County Road
31 FM 37 east South end of FM 37 overlap
32 FM 37 west North end of FM 37 overlap
36 FM 1424 north / Main Street (I-27 Bus. north)
Hale Center 37 FM 1914 (Cleveland Street)
38 Main Street (I-27 Bus. south) Southbound exit and northbound entrance
41 County Road
43 FM 2337
45 I-27 Bus. north – Plainview
Plainview 48 FM 3466 Northbound exit and southbound entrance
49 US 70
50 SH 194
51 Quincy Street
53 I-27 Bus. south – Plainview
54 FM 3183
56 FM 788
Swisher 61 US 87 north / County Road – Kress North end of US 87 overlap
63 FM 145Kress
68 FM 928
Tulia 74 SH 86Tulia
75 Northwest 6th Street
77 US 87 south – Tulia South end of US 87 overlap
82 FM 214
83 FM 2698
88 US 87 north / FM 1881Happy North end of US 87 overlap; signed as exits 88A (FM 1881) and 88B (US 87 north) northbound
Happy 90 FM 1075Happy
Randall
92 Haley Road
94 FM 285Wayside
96 Dowlen Road
99 Hungate Road
103 FM 1541 north / Cemetery Road
Canyon 106 SH 217Canyon, Palo Duro Canyon State Park
108 To US 60 west (Hunsley Road) / FM 3331Hereford
109 Buffalo Stadium Road
110 US 60 west / US 87 south – Canyon, Hereford South end of US 60/US 87 overlap; no northbound exit
111 Rockwell Road
112 FM 2219
113 McCormick Road
115 Sundown Lane
Amarillo 116 Loop 335 (Hollywood Road)
117 Bell Street, Arden Road
119 Hillside Road, Western Street, 58th Avenue Signed as exits 119A (Hillside Road west) and 119B (Western Street, 58th Avenue) southbound
120A Republic Avenue Southbound exit and northbound entrance
120B 45th Avenue Signed as exit 120 northbound
121A Georgia Street Signed as exit 121 northbound
121B Hawthorne Drive, Austin Street Southbound exit and northbound entrance
122A Parker Street, Moss Lane Northbound exita nd southbound entrance
122B FM 1541 (Washington Street) / 34th Avenue
122C 34th Street, Tyler Street Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Potter 123A 26th Avenue Signed as exit 123 southbound
123B I-40 / US 287 south  – Oklahoma City, Fort Worth, Albuquerque North end of I-27; south end of US 287 overlap; no exit number southbound
US 60 east / US 287 north (Buchanan Street) Northbound exit and southbound entrance
US 87 north (Fillmore Street) Northbound exit and southbound entrance

References

  1. ^ a b c Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Designation File: Interstate Highway No. 27
  2. ^ American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, List of Control Cities for Use in Guide Signs on Interstate Highways, 2001
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Google, Inc. Google Maps – overview map of I-27 [map]. Cartography by Tele Atlas. Retrieved on 2008-02-15.
  4. ^ Photograph of milepost 0, taken June 17, 2006 on I-27 north; the concrete can be matched on aerial photos to the onramp from 82nd Street
  5. ^ Commerce Journal, Highway Commission Adopts 25 Highways, July 6, 1917
  6. ^ United States System of Highways, November 11, 1926
  7. ^ Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Designation File: U.S. Highway No. 87
  8. ^ H.M. Gousha Company, Official Road Map: Texas (Conoco), 1938
  9. ^ Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Designation File: State Highway No. 9
  10. ^ a b c d Jack Faucett Associates, Inc. of Bethesda, Maryland under contract with the Federal Highway Administration, Economic Development History of Interstate 27 in Texas, accessed August 2007
  11. ^ Texas State Highway Department, General Highway Maps: Lubbock, Hale, Swisher, Randall, and Potter Counties, partially revised to February 1, 1940
  12. ^ Rand McNally & Company, Texas-Oklahoma-Eastern New Mexico (Sinclair), 1946
  13. ^ a b Texas State Highway Department, General Highway Maps: Lubbock, Hale, Swisher, Randall, and Potter Counties, and Amarillo and vicinity, state highways revised to January 1, 1961
  14. ^ a b c d e Federal Highway Administration, National Bridge Inventory, 2006
  15. ^ General Drafting Company, Texas (Enco), 1961
  16. ^ H.M. Gousha Company, Texas (Texaco), 1967
  17. ^ H.M. Gousha Company, Texas (Texaco), 1969
  18. ^ U.S. Geological Survey, 15 minute quadrangle of Plainview, July 1, 1983 (before the bypass was upgraded to freeway standards)
  19. ^ Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Designation File: State Highway Loop No. 461
  20. ^ Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Designation File: State Highway Loop No. 369
  21. ^ Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Designation File: State Highway Loop No. 445
  22. ^ Federal Highway Administration, FHWA By Day: December 13, accessed August 2007
  23. ^ Rand McNally, 1988 Road Atlas
  24. ^ Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Designation File: Farm to Market Road No. 1541
  25. ^ Federal Highway Administration, Previous Interstate Facts of the Day (May 5, 2007), accessed August 2007
  26. ^ Texas Department of Transportation, TxDOT History: 2000 to 1971, accessed August 2007
  27. ^ U.S. Geological Survey, 7.5 minute quadrangle of southern Lubbock, July 1, 1975
  28. ^ Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Designation File: Business U.S. Highway No. 87-G
  29. ^ Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Designation File: Business Interstate Highway No. 27-U
  30. ^ Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Designation File: Business Interstate Highway No. 27-T
  31. ^ Austin American-Statesman, Towns to vie for I-27 extension, July 18, 1995
  32. ^ San Antonio Express-News, Engineers opt for improving 3 roads, May 14, 1996
  33. ^ Ports to Plains study, Frequestly Asked Questions, accessed August 2007
  34. ^ Ports to Plains study, Corridor Map, accessed August 2007
  35. ^ Ports-to-Plains Trade Corridor Coalition, PTP Partners: Great Plains International Trade Corridor, accessed August 2007
  36. ^ Texas Department of Transportation, Trans-Texas Corridor conceptual map, 2002
Main Interstate Highways (major interstates highlighted)
4 5 8 10 12 15 16 17 19 20 22 24 25 26 27 29 30
35 37 39 40 43 44 45 49 55 57 59 64 65 66 68 69
70 71 72 73 74 75 76 (W) 76 (E) 77 78 79 80 81 82
83 84 (W) 84 (E) 85 86 (W) 86 (E) 87 88 (W) 88 (E) 89 90
91 93 94 95 96 97 99 (238) H-1 H-2 H-3
Unsigned  A-1 A-2 A-3 A-4 PRI-1 PRI-2 PRI-3
Lists  Primary  Main - Intrastate - Suffixed - Future - Gaps
Auxiliary  Main - Future - Unsigned
Other  Standards - Business - Bypassed
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