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[i] Information SAN ANTONIO FREEWAY HISTORY
Read my essay on San Antonio's freeway history for the Express-News' Tricentennial series here. The full history of the freeway system is available on this site here.

San Antonio Area Freeway System
Historical I-10/US 87 West Photos

This page last updated April 26, 2010

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Below are historical photos of the I-10 West/US 87 freeway.  These photos were compiled from a number of sources including old San Antonio-Bexar County Urban Transportation Study (SABCUTS) planning documents, the TxDOT photo library, the San Antonio TxDOT district office, and the personal collections of the myself and of a former local Highway Department engineer.  Locations are given using the present-day roadway names.  The photos are arranged roughly from downtown outward.

Click here to return to the historical photo galleries page.
Click here to return to the I-10 West media gallery page.


Map showing original US 87 expressway
(ca. 1952/SAPL)

 

Approaching I-35 looking east
At this time, I-35's predecessor (the US 81 expressway) had not been built, so the expressway simply curved to the south at what is now the "Downtown Y" interchange downtown and terminated at Martin St.  The small black & white sign on the right edge of the roadway just ahead simply reads "Expressway" with a right arrow.  Just beyond that is a pedestrian bridge, and just past that is a left hand exit for Santa Rosa Blvd. that is in the same approximate location as today's left hand exit for Santa Rosa Blvd. from the I-10 access road.
(1951/TxDOT)

 

Approaching I-35 looking east
 This location is a little further west than the one above.
(1962/TxDOT)

 

At Frio St. looking east
(1967/TxDOT)

 

Looking southeast at the Frio St. exit
(1962/TxDOT)

 

From the railroad overpass near Culebra Ave. looking east at the Colorado St. exit
(ca. 1955/TxDOT)

 

Looking northwest over the curve at Culebra Ave.
(Date unknown/TxDOT)

 

At Culebra Ave. looking east
(1967/SABCUTS)

 

At Culebra Ave. looking north
Note the grassy median here at this time.
(1951/TxDOT)

 

At Culebra Ave. looking north
(1967/SABCUTS)

 

Looking south at Culebra Ave. overpass
Again note the grassy median in place at the time.
(ca. 1955/TxDOT)

 

South of Cincinnati Ave. looking north
There used to be bus stops on both sides of the I-10 mainlanes at Cincinnati.  This is a picture of the northbound bus stop.
(1955/TxDOT)

 

North of Cincinnati Ave. looking south
This picture shows the southbound bus stop.
(1962/TxDOT)

 

At Cincinnati Ave. looking north
The grassy median was being replaced with safer concrete and steel guardrail.  You can see the aforementioned southbound bus stop on the left.  We also get our first view of the arched pedestrian overpass that's still in use today.
(1968/TxDOT)

 

At the pedestrian bridge north of Cincinnati Ave.
This is the east side of the freeway.
(1951/TxDOT)

 

South of Woodlawn Ave. looking south
(ca. 1955/TxDOT)

 

Ramp meter at the Woodlawn Ave. entrance to eastbound I-10
All ramp meters in this area were removed during double-decking of the freeway in the late '80s.
(1981/SABCUTS)

 

At Woodlawn Ave. looking south
The ramp on the right is the same one in the photo of the ramp meter above.
(1967/SABCUTS)

 

South of Woodlawn Ave. looking north
At this time, the freeway ended just past the Woodlawn/Fredericksburg underpasses.  You can see just past the underpasses where is turns to the left and climbs-up to Fredericksburg Rd.
(ca. 1955/TxDOT)

 

At Woodlawn looking northwest along Fredericksburg Rd.
This photo shows where the original US 87 freeway ended.  Just beyond the overpass, you can see the ramp that curves up to Fredericksburg Rd. that was mentioned in the previous photo.  That ramp reached Fredericksburg Rd. via Magnolia St. and you can still see elements of that curve today. (See the bottom of the double-decked freeways page.)
(ca. 1951/TxDOT)

 

At Fredericksburg Rd. looking north
By this time, the freeway had long since been extended northward.
(1967/SABCUTS)

 

At Fredericksburg Rd. looking north
This area is where the double-decked freeway starts today.  The curved wall between the freeway and frontage road near the bottom center of the picture was part of the Magnolia St. curve discussed above.
(1967/SABCUTS)

 

From the pedestrian bridge between West Ave. and Fresno Dr. looking south
Note the drainage channel in the median; this is Martinez Creek.  The creek runs under the current-day freeway between West Ave. and Fresno.
(1968/TxDOT)

 

Pedestrian overpass between West Ave. and Fresno Dr.
Again, note Martinez Creek in the median.
(Date unknown, probably ca. 1961/TxDOT)

 

Looking northbound (now westbound I-10) near Crossroads Blvd.
(1968/TxDOT)

 

I-10/Loop 410 interchange under construction looking north
I-10 outside Loop 410 was still under construction, and work on I-10 inside 410 had not even started yet.
(ca. 1959/TxDOT)

 

I-10/Loop 410 interchange looking northeast over Wonderland Mall
(ca. 1961/TxDOT)

 

South of DeZavala Rd. looking north
The roads in this photo are now the frontage roads for I-10 West.  This picture was taken from the top of the hill approaching DeZavala on the westbound side.  You can see DeZavala itself on the right near the third-furthest vehicle.  The inward "bracket" indentions of the frontage roads in the distance are still in place today between DeZavala and UTSA Blvd.
(1966/TxDOT)





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