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I-35 San Antonio Area Freeway System
Interstate 35 North (North PanAm Freeway)

This page last updated November 14, 2020

I-35 North highlight map This page covers Interstate 35 north of downtown San Antonio from the I-10 West interchange to FM 482 in Schertz. For information on I-35 continuing north, see the San Antonio-Austin Corridor page. For details on I-35 south of downtown, see the I-35 South page.

Length: 20 miles


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On this page

Overview
 
Roadway
details
Line
schematic
(Not yet available)
Lanes Access
roads
         
Exits
 
Speed
limits
Special features
& notes
Traffic Media
gallery
         
   
  Construction
projects
Future
plans
History
 
 
         

Overview

This freeway serves the northeast corridor and provides access to Joint Base San Antonio Fort Sam Houston and Randolph, Brooke Army Medical Center, the AT&T Center and Freeman Coliseum, Splashtown water park, the headquarters for Rackspace and Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union, Retama Park racetrack, the Forum and Live Oak Town Center shopping centers, a significant portion of the region's warehouse space, and the suburban cities of Kirby, Windcrest, Live Oak, Converse, Universal City, Selma, and Schertz. The route is entirely urban and suburban and the majority of the adjacent land use consists of warehouse, light industry, and heavy commercial development. This route is also the southern continuation of the San Antonio-Austin Corridor, is part of the so-called "NAFTA Superhighway", and is on one leg of the Pan American Highway.


There are two interchanges with Loop 410 along this corridor. Loop 410 North intersects with I-35 north of Walzem and has traditionally been referred to as the "Fratt Interchange". Loop 410 South intersects south of Rittiman at the "410 South Cutoff". Loop 410 is concurrent (multiplexed) with I-35 in between.

Roadway details

LANES
  • 10 lanes double-decked (6 lanes on the upper levels; 4 lanes on the lower level) from I-10 West to I-37/US 281.
  • 6 lanes from I-37/US 281 to Rittiman Rd.
  • 8 lanes from Rittiman Rd. to Loop 410 NE.
  • 6 lanes through Loop 410 NE interchange.
  • 8 lanes from Loop 410 NE to Pat Booker Rd.
  • 6 lanes from Pat Booker Rd. to Forum Pkwy.
  • 8 lanes from Forum Pkwy. to FM 3009.
  • 6 lanes from FM 3009 to FM 482.

I-35 lanes map
 

   
ACCESS ROADS
  • No traditional access roads from I-10 West to I-37/US 281. However, Elmira St. functions as a southbound access road and Quincy St. functions as a northbound access road.
  • Continuous access roads along most of route north of downtown with the following exceptions:
    • Northbound access road through-traffic requires a left turn at Binz-Engleman Rd.
    • Northbound access road does not continue through the Loop 1604 interchange.
    • Southbound access road through-traffic requires two left turns at Loop 1604.

I-35 access roads map
 

   
EXITS
 
Click here for a list of I-35 North exits.
 
SPEED LIMITS
  • 60 mph from I-10 West to Loop 410 North (Fratt Interchange.)
  • 65 mph from Loop 410 North to Forum Pkwy.
  • 70 mph from Forum Pkwy to FM 482.

I-35 speed limit map
 

   
SPECIAL FEATURES & NOTES
  • Double-decked freeway northbound and southbound between I-10 West and I-37/US 281.
  • TransGuide coverage along entire route.
  • VIA Metropolitan Transit Randolph Park & Ride located adjacent to Fratt Interchange.
  • Carpool parking ("Park & Pool") lots at following locations:
    • Shin Oak Dr. (southbound side)
    • Olympia Pkwy. (southbound side)
    • Evans Rd. (under freeway)
  • Four miles of Loop 410 concurrent (multiplexed) from 410 South Cutoff to Fratt Interchange.
    • US 81 was concurrent (multiplexed) over I-35 in Bexar County before it was decommissioned south of Ft. Worth in 1991.

I-35 special features map
 

   
TRAFFIC
Heavy to extremely heavy along entire route. 

Regular morning peak-period congestion can be found southbound from FM 3009 to Loop 410 NE. Afternoon peak period congestion occurs northbound approaching I-37/US 281 and from Rittiman Rd. to Evans Rd.

Over the past decade, traffic counts have increased substantially on the northern half of the corridor.
 

Traffic volume legend

I-35 traffic map
 

   
AVERAGE ANNUAL DAILY TRAFFIC
LOCATION 1999 2009 2014 2017 2018 2019 '09-'19
% CHG
N of FM 225275,00094,000118,612120,233116,347117,327+24.82%
N of Wiederstein Rd.99,000121,605121,936124,608126,373+27.65%
S of FM 3009117,000151,154153,820151,180148,484+26.91%
Bexar/Guadalupe line109,000130,000156,035172,800170,445171,758+32.12%
S of Loop 1604110,000141,000173,718165,061181,394183,775+30.34%
N of O'Connor Rd.148,000173,000186,469197,824227,900232,237+34.24%
S of Thousand Oaks169,000191,000206,269218,058221,474235,528+23.31%
N of Walzem Rd.166,000199,000168,425191,564191,984202,221+1.62%
S of Walzem Rd.169,000181,000159,160210,091211,109212,846+17.59%
S of Rittiman Rd.175,000193,000157,942179,075179,348204,463+5.94%
N of Binz-Engleman Rd.112,000118,00094,551124,529124,791124,240+5.29%
N of Salado Creek141,000137,000116,786142,003142,005143,756+4.93%
W of New Braunfels Ave.164,000152,000132,744166,941167,107175,710+15.60%
N of McCullough Ave.190,000186,000165,292196,505197,111196,852+5.83%


Media gallery

Click here for photos and video of this freeway.


Construction projects

No current projects in this corridor.


Future plans

A Major Investment Study (MIS) of the corridor conducted in 1996 by TxDOT and the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) recommended the addition of barrier-separated express, truck, and/or HOV lanes to this freeway. In addition, a "Basic Improvements Package" was also recommended including signal improvements, better signage, ramp modifications, expansion of the TransGuide system, addition of pedestrian facilities and bicycle routes, improved bus service, and operational improvements to both Loop 410 interchanges and the Loop 1604 interchange. The signal, signage, and TransGuide improvements were completed. The express/truck/HOV lanes had been proposed as a toll project but now will be built as non-toll lanes (see below.) 

In October 2011, the city of San Antonio received federal funding as part of a program to assist communities impacted by military base expansions. The project selected for funding was the conversion of the southbound I-35 left exit to Loop 410 to a right-hand exit. That project began in 2014 in conjunction with an expansion of I-35 between Loop 410 NE and Loop 410 South and was completed in mid 2018.

In late 2011, TxDOT and the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority began work on a new long-range plan for the I-35 corridor from downtown to FM 1103 including Loop 410 near Kirby. Public meetings to solicit input were held in November 2011 and again during 2012. The resulting project called for the addition of four elevated tolled/managed lanes (i.e. two in each direction.) In the wake of new funding from the legislature and a deprecation of tolling, this project was modified in mid 2018 to drop the tolling component and instead add four elevated express lanes (i.e. two in each direction) and two elevated HOV lanes (i.e. one in each direction.) The project will likely be done in two phases with the first phase, from Walters to the county line, possibly starting construction in 2021. A fully-directional "stack" interchange at Loop 1604 was previously proposed as part of the Loop 1604 managed lanes project, but now connectors to the new elevated lanes from Loop 1604 are planned as part of the I-35 project.

I-35 For more information on the planned I-35 Northeast Expansion (NEX), see the I-35 Northeast Expansion Project page.

History

The first sections to be built were simply called "US 81 Expressway" and later the "Northeast Expressway." The designation as I-35 was authorized on October 1, 1959. It is currently named the "PanAm Freeway" because it is a segment of the Pan American Highway. US 81 was decommissioned south of Fort Worth in 1991.

Most of the section north of Judson Rd. was part of the original route of US 81 and its predecessor SH 2. The short section of Old Austin Rd. at Loop 1604 was bypassed by the current route in 1934 as part of the Arneson Plan to improve state highways in Bexar County. The section between the two Loop 410 interchanges was originally built as a two-lane road as part of Loop 13 in 1953. Finally, the section between Walters and Salado Creek was originally part of the earliest route for SH 3 and US 90 to Seguin.

  • Late 1930s: The section from Broadway to I-10 (and on to Nogalitos St.) was included as part of the original three-legged expressway plan for San Antonio designed to provide bypass routes around downtown for through traffic on the various US highways. The United States' entrance into World War II delayed these plans until after the war.
  • 1954: The segment from Martin St. to Broadway was completed.
  • 1955: The first iteration of the Pat Booker Rd. interchange was completed and the rest of the pre-existing section of US 81 from Toepperwein Rd. to the county line was upgraded to a "semi-expressway" (divided highway with access roads but no overpasses at intersections.)
  • 1957: The segment from the Fratt Interchange to Toepperwein Rd. was opened and the "Downtown Y" interchange was completed.
  • 1958: Fratt Interchange (I-35/Loop 410 North) completed.
  • 1960: Work to upgrade the segment from Toepperwein Rd. to the county line to Interstate standards was completed.
  • December 1961: The segment from AT&T Center Pkwy. to Rittiman Rd. was opened.
  • May 1962: The section from Broadway to AT&T Center Pkwy. opened.
  • October 1962: Work to upgrade the section between Rittiman Rd. and the Fratt Interchange to a freeway was completed. This section had already existed since around 1952 as a two-lane road that was part of Loop 13. This completion made I-35 in Bexar County the first Interstate to be fully completed in a metro county in Texas.
  • 1967: The ramps connecting I-35 North to and from I-10 West in the "Downtown Y" interchange were completed. Prior to this, there were only direct connections between I-35 South and I-10 West. Traffic headed to and from I-35 North had to exit and use the access roads.
  • 1972: I-37/US 281 interchange completed.
  • 1980-1986: The section from Loop 410 North (Fratt Interchange) to Toepperwein was expanded from four to eight lanes and the section from Toepperwein Rd. to Forum Pkwy. expanded from four to six lanes. The Loop 1604 cloverleaf was built, and the Pat Booker and Fratt interchanges were rebuilt. The Fratt Interchange project was the largest single highway project undertaken by the state up to that time.
  • 1983-1993: The section from I-10 West to I-37/US 281 was rebuilt and double-decked. This was the last section of the massive "Downtown Y" project to be completed when it opened in 1993.
  • 1993: The section from Loop 1604 to FM 3009 was widened from four to six lanes.
  • 1995: TransGuide coverage was added to the section from I-10 West to New Braunfels Ave. as part of the original TransGuide project.
  • 1999: The segment between FM 3009 and FM 482 was widened from four to six lanes in 1999. George Beach Ave. overpass built.
  • Early 2000: TransGuide coverage added to the section from New Braunfels Ave. to Walzem Rd.
  • August 2000: TransGuide coverage extended from Walzem Rd. to Starlight Terrace.
  • April 2003: TransGuide coverage added from Starlight Terrace to the county line.
  • 2008: TransGuide coverage extended from the county line to Austin.
  • 2010: Walters St. overpass rebuilt.
  • 2014: The section from Loop 1604 to FM 3009 was widened to eight lanes along with interchange improvements at Loop 1604 and an additional southbound lane from Loop 1604 to Judson.
  • 2018: The section between Loop 410 North and the Loop 410 South Cutoff was widened from six to eight lanes and the Loop 410 South Cutoff interchange was reconfigured. New Braunfels Ave. overpass rebuilt.


I-35 at Broadway looking southwest in 1960
In the foreground, you can see construction of I-35 underway to the east of Broadway.
(Photo courtesy of TxDOT)




I-35 at Pat Booker Rd. interchange looking southeast ca. 1957
In the distance, you can see traffic is shifted to the left access road as the freeway south of here was still under construction (but very close to completion) at this time.
(Photo courtesy of TxDOT)




Snippet of ca. 1955 plan for US 81 (I-35) and Loop 13 (Loop 410) interchange
This proposal seemingly favored traffic headed from the northeast to the west and vice-versa. However, the plans were changed to a design more similar to today's interchange before it was constructed. Note the community of Fratt shown at the lower right side.
(Document courtesy of TxDOT)





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