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San Antonio Area Roads History
Historical I-37 Photos

This page last updated March 22, 2018


Below are historical photos of Interstate 37. 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 myself and of a former local Highway Department engineer.

Locations are given using the present-day roadway names. The photos are arranged from north to south.
Click on each photo for an enlarged view.

Click here to return to the historical photo galleries page.

Route history

I-37 was one of the last spokes of San Antonio's freeway system to be built. Although it was on the 1956 expressway plan, issues on routing it near Brooks AFB delayed construction until the mid '60s with the first segments from Carolina St. south to US 181 opening in time for HemisFair in 1968. The section adjacent to the HemisFair site downtown was paved and used for parking for the fair. The remainder of the freeway downtown from Carolina to I-35 was completed by 1971.

I-37/I-35/US 281 interchange under construction (ca. 1971)
The freeway being built across the center of the picture is US 281 North.

I-37/I-35/US 281 interchange under construction (1971)
This is looking north along the northbound I-37 overpass just south of I-35, which you can see at the center left. Just beneath this location you can see the future ramp from southbound 281 to northbound I-35. At the top left is the old Pearl brewery.

I-37 at Nolan looking north (1971)
A view of the freeway and interchange at I-35 under construction.

I-37 at Houston St. looking north (1998)

I-37 at Commerce looking north (1971)

I-37 at Cesar Chavez looking southeast (1968)
This photo was just a few days before the opening of HemisFair. To the south, you can see the freeway abruptly ends at Florida St. Notice that north of Cesar Chavez, the I-37 right-of-way is paved to be used as a parking lot for the fair. At the bottom of the photo is what was then the fair's Texas Pavilion, which today is the Institute of Texan Cultures.

I-37 at Cesar Chavez (1971)
After HemisFair, work to complete the freeway through downtown got underway.

I-37 at Cesar Chavez looking northwest (ca. 1985)
(TxDOT/Aerial Photos Weissgarber)

Over Hackberry and Boyer looking west (1961)
This is just north of today's I-37/I-10 interchange before construction of both freeways.

I-37/I-10 interchange under construction (1967)
Looking north at the nearly completed freeway.

Over future I-37/I-10 interchange looking northwest (1961)
Virtually everything in the bottom half of this picture was demolished for the interchange. The long building at the middle-right of the photo is Page Middle School, which today sits on the northeastern corner of the interchange.

I-37/I-10 interchange under construction (1966)
This is probably taken from the northeast corner of the interchange.

I-37/I-10 interchange under construction (1966)
Looking north at the I-37 bridge deck over I-10

I-37/I-10 interchange under construction (1966)

I-37/I-10 interchange (1975)

I-37 over Fair looking north (1966)
This picture shows the overpasses still under construction at Hackberry, Steves, and I-10.

I-37 at Steves looking southeast (1966)
This photo shows the freeway in various stages of construction.

I-37 at Fair looking southeast (1971)

I-37 at Fair looking southwest (1966)
This picture shows the overpasses still under construction at Fair and Hackberry.

I-37 at Southcross looking northwest (1971)

Over S New Braunfels Ave. at Southcross looking northwest (1961)
This is the future path of I-37. Land is being cleared for McCreless Mall at the bottom of the photo.

I-37 at SE Military looking east (ca. 1967)
The freeway and interchange are under construction.

Over Old Corpus Christi Hwy. at Salado Creek looking west-southwest (1961)
The road running through the middle of the photo is S Presa St. which was US 181 at this time. I-37 would be built across the bottom of this photo.

Click here to return to the historical photo galleries page.

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This page and all its contents are Copyright 2019 by Brian Purcell

The information provided on this website is provided on an "as-is" basis without warranties of any kind either express or implied.  The author and his agents make no warranties or representations of any kind concerning any information contained in this website.  This website is provided only as general information.  The author expressly disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based upon the information contained herein or with respect to any errors or omissions in such information.  All opinions expressed are strictly those of the author.  This site is not affiliated in any way with any official agency.