State Highway 35, or SH 35, is a largely north–south highway in southeastern and southern Texas between Houston, junction of I-45 on the southeast side of the city and Corpus Christi, where it terminates at I-37.
SH 35 takes a generally north–south route from Houston to Angleton, junction SH 288, and then roughly parallels the inlets of the Gulf of Mexico in a roughly northeast-southwest course through a low, flat coastal plain. To the south and west of Palacios it gives vistas of several inlets of the Gulf of Mexico, becoming one of the more scenic routes of southern Texas.
Only in its southernmost part near Corpus Christi is State Highway 35 a freeway, although significant stretches of it are divided highway. It is not to be confused with Interstate 35, which it never meets. It is not the shortest or quickest route between Houston and Corpus Christi, which consists largely of US 59 and US 77.
SH 35 begins at an interchange with Interstate 37 near downtown Corpus Christi concurrent with US 181. The two highways run as a freeway near Corpus Christi Bay before crossing Nueces Bay into the town of Portland. In Portland, US 181 leaves SH 35, traveling towards Sinton. Just outside Gregory, the freeway segment of SH 35 ends. After crossing FM 136, SH 35 begins to run in an east-west direction to Aransas Pass, before turning towards the northeast. In the town of Rockport, SH 35 runs as a divided expressway before returning to its business loop. The highway passes by the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge before entering into Refugio County.
Future of SH 35
In Houston, SH 35 is Telephone Road and Reveille Street from its northern terminus at Interstate 45. An upgrade of the facility (in a slightly different corridor) to freeway standards is planned, tentatively named the Alvin Freeway. As of 2006, only 1.3 miles (approximately 2 km) had been built, under the sign Spur 5 (constructed between 1996–99; officially opened September 1999; designated 1998). However, the mainlanes extend less than half a mile south of Interstate 45 adjacent to the campus of the University of Houston.
The number was previously used for Loop 5, which was designated on September 26, 1939 from US 81 through Kyle to US 81 as a renumbering of SH 2 Loop. On September 28, 1950, the section along Burleson St was cancelled and the rest along Center St became Spur 5. On October 27, 1952, Spur 5 was cancelled and transferred to FM 150 (now RM 150). On June 30, 1958, another route, also called Spur 5, was designated from FM 1406 and SH 124 to Interstate 10. On October 31, 1962, The section of the Spur 5 from FM 1406 to SH 73 became a rerouting of SH 124. On August 4, 1988, Spur 5 was cancelled and mileage was transferred to FM 1663. The current route was designated on October 29, 1998.
An overlap of Highway 35 with the Gulf Freeway was also constructed in the 1980s. This portion extends from Spur 5 to Dowling Street, a distance of about 1.6 miles (2.6 km). This section contains three elevated lanes in each direction (briefly four southbound lanes near the southern terminus). This overlap section is 22 lanes wide, including mainlanes, feeder roads, and a reversible HOV lane.
Once built, the Alvin Freeway is planned to follow a corridor near Mykawa Road from the terminus to Beltway 8 before returning to its normal undivided state.
SH 35 was originally proposed on November 19, 1917 as a route from Paris to Houston. On August 21, 1923, the northern half of the highway had been renumbered as SH 49, with the new northern end now going east to the Louisiana border. On November 14, 1927, it extended to Alvin. On April 10, 1934, it had been extended southwest along cancelled SH 58 and SH 57, ending in Gregory. SH 35 Spur was designated from 35 to the Retrieve Prison Farm. This SH 35 Spur was cancelled on July 15, 1935. On February 21, 1938, a new SH 35 Spur was designated to Danbury, as SH 35 was rerouted to bypass Danbury. On September 26, 1939, the section north of Houston was removed when it was renumbered as U.S. Highway 59 and U.S. Highway 84. SH 35 Spur was renumbered as Spur 28. On October 5, 1972, SH 35 extended to Corpus Christi along US 181. On January 15, 1986, an Angleton bypass opened, with the old route becoming Loop 558. On February 25, 1987, SH 35 was rerouted back over Loop 558, and the bypass became Loop 558 instead (now FM 523). On April 27, 1995, another bypass opened, so that SH 35 no longer goes through Aransas Pass or Rockport. On March 29, 2007, an Old Ocean bypass opened, with the old route becoming Loop 419 (now Spur 419).
SH 35A was a proposed spur route off SH 35 designated on March 18, 1918, with a route splitting off at Livingston, and travelling west to New Waverly. On September 17, 1918, a branch of SH 35 was designated from Livingston via Liberty and Devers to Anahuac. On January 20, 1919, the section of SH 35A south of Coldspring was cancelled, and the section north of Coldspring became the main route. The route from Livingston via Liberty and Devers to Anahuac was renamed SH 35A. On August 21, 1923, the section from Anahuac to Devers was renumbered as SH 61, and the section north of Devers was cancelled. By 1928, the Livingston to Liberty section was restored as SH 132. By 1933, that became a portion of SH 146.
SH 35 has four business routes and one former business route.
Alvin business loop
Business State Highway 35-C (formerly Loop 409) is a business loop that runs through Alvin. The road was bypassed on April 1, 1965 by SH 35 and designated Loop 409. The road was redesignated as Business SH 35-C on June 21, 1990.
West Columbia business loop
Palacios business loop
Business State Highway 35-H (formerly Loop 141) is a business loop that runs through Palacios. The road was bypassed on September 21, 1944 by SH 35 and designated Loop 141. The road was redesignated as Business SH 35-H on June 21, 1990.
Rockport-Aransas Pass business loop
Business State Highway 35-L (formerly Loop 70) is a business loop that runs through Rockport. The road was created in 1939 when SH 35 was rerouted south and east of town. The route was redesignated as Business SH 35-L on June 21, 1990. On April 27, 1995 the route was extended north to SH 35 and FM 3036 and south to SH 35 in Aransas Pass over former SH 35 and was also rerouted in Rockport with the old route redesignated as Loop 70.
Former Aransas Pass business loop
Business State Highway 35-M (formerly Loop 81) was a business loop that ran through Aransas Pass. The route was created in 1939 when SH 35 was rerouted in town. The route was redesignated as Business SH 35-M on June 21, 1990, but was redesignated as Loop 90 on April 27, 1995.
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