Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Spurs, Bypasses and Beltways: Tennessee and Texas

San Antonio Riverwalk
San Antonio Riverwalk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The four auxiliary highways in Tennessee connect to Interstate 40 and each one is less than 20 miles long. The first is Interstate 140 which leaves I-40/I-75 near Farragut and runs south and then east for 11 miles to US 129 near Alcoa. At just over 19 miles, Interstate 240 leaves I-40 at Exit 12B/C and travels south and then west to rejoin I-40 at Exit IE. This highway provides a bypass for Memphis. Taking I-40 during slow traffic times provides a shorter route. In Nashville Interstate 440 runs for eight miles along the southern part of the city. It leaves I-40 at Exit 206 and travels south and then east to join I-24 at Exit 53. Providing a bypass for I-40 in Knoxville is Interstate 640. It leaves I-40/I-75 at Exit 385 and travels north and then east for seven miles before rejoining I-40.

The shortest of the auxiliary highways in Texas is Interstate 110 which is less than a mile in length. It connects I-10 to the United States/Mexico border in El Paso and provides access to the Bridge of the Americas across the Rio Grande River. Forming the beltway around San Antonio is Interstate 410. This highway is almost 50 miles long. The shorter half of the beltway is the section that runs along the southern edge of the city. At slow traffic times taking I-10 or I-35 would provide shorter options. Interstate 610  is 38 miles long and forms the beltway around Houston. The larger part of the beltway runs south of I-10. Drivers who want to avoid driving through Houston will find the northern section to be such shorter. At slow traffic times I-10 is the most direct route.

Interstate 635 provides a partial bypass for Dallas. This highway begins at SH 121 and travels east and then south around Dallas. Its journey of 37 miles ends at Exit 480 on I-20. Finally, Interstate 820 forms a partial circle around around Fort Worth. This highway, which is just over 35 miles, leaves I-20 and travel north and then west before turning south to rejoin I-20.

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