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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 "Downtown Y" Photos

This page last updated April 26, 2010

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Below are historical photos of the "Downtown Y" interchange.  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 so that pictures from the same approximate location are grouped together in chronological order.  Miscellaneous photos follow at the end.

As San Antonio's first interchange, this appears to have been a favorite photo spot over the years.

Click here to return to the historical photo galleries page.
Click here to return to the I-10 West media gallery page.
Click here to return to the I-35 North media gallery page.
Click here to return to the I-35 South media gallery page.


Exit to northbound I-35 from inbound I-10
This exit was originally the exit for Santa Rosa Blvd. (then N. Laredo St.) as well as being the exit for northbound I-35, which was accessed via a cloverleaf ramp on the other side of the underpasses.  This exit is in the same approximate location as today's connector to Santa Rosa under I-35.  To the right, you can see where the original ramp to continue east on I-10 was closed-- work was just beginning to lower this roadway to pass under the new I-35 southbound exit to Martin St., the pillars for which you can see in the background, as well as under Martin St. itself before connecting with the new expressway south of there.  You can see the finished roadway in the 1965 and 1975 photos below.
(1956/TxDOT)

 

(1962/TxDOT)

 

(1964/SABCUTS)

 

(ca. 1965/TxDOT)

 

(1975/TxDOT)

 


I-10 inbound just before the Y
This is a rare photo of the original construction project.  Note the pedestrian overpass that was at this location until it was removed as part of the project that rebuilt the interchange in the late 1980s; the pictures above were taken from that overpass.
(ca. 1950/TxDOT)

 

(ca. 1952/TxDOT)

 

In the distance, you can see the ramp to continue on eastbound I-10/southbound I-35 is closed as discussed previously.
(ca. 1955/TxDOT)

 

(1964/TxDOT)

 

(1968/SABCUTS)

 



I-10 approaching I-35
Notice the construction of the Tower of the Americas in the background at the left.
(1967/TxDOT)

 

(1975/TxDOT)

 

(1975/TxDOT)

 

(1976/SABCUTS)

 


I-10 at the Y looking west
This photo was taken from the outbound I-10 overpass over the Santa Rosa Blvd. exit.
(1951/TxDOT)

 

(ca. 1952/TxDOT)

 


I-10 at the Y looking east
This roadway on the left is the Santa Rosa (N. Laredo St.) exit ramp and the bridge is the overpass leading to outbound I-10 from Martin St.  Note that I-35 had not been built yet.
(1951/TxDOT)

 

This is the same overpass as the photo above.  I-35 had been built by this time.
(ca. 1955/TxDOT)

 


Looking west at I-10 at the Y
This photo shows San Pedro Creek, which today is mostly underground at this location.  Today's "Finesilver Curve" would be at the right of this photo.  The bridge in the center of the photo is the same one in the photo above this one but viewed from the other side.
(1951/TxDOT)

 

Under outbound I-10 at the Y looking east
This is a view looking back along San Pedro Creek from beneath the overpass seen in the previous picture.  I-35 is under construction at this time.
(ca. 1955/TxDOT)

 


View of Downtown Y interchange looking northwest along I-10
The cloverleaf ramp at the lower right connected
inbound I-10 traffic to northbound I-35.
(1976/SABCUTS)

 

View of Downtown Y interchange looking east
(1976/SABCUTS)

 

View of the Finesilver Curve (I-35 southbound to I-10 outbound)
(1976/SABCUTS)

 


From the pedestrian bridge over inbound I-10 at the Y looking west
(ca. 1955/TxDOT)

 

Ramp from I-35 northbound to I-10 outbound
This ramp is still in use today with only some minor modifications made during the reconstruction project in the late '80s.
(1957/TxDOT)

 

Looking east over the interchange
At the far left, you can see cars exiting to the cloverleaf ramp to I-35 northbound.
(1967/TxDOT)





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