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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-35/US 81 Photos

This page last updated April 26, 2010

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Below are historical photos of the I-35/US 81 freeway.  This includes both I-35 North and South.  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 from south to north.

Click here to return to the historical photo galleries 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.


Map showing original US 81 South expressway
(ca. 1952/SAPL)

 

I-35 South at Theo Ave. looking north
Notice the raised concrete median.
(1961/TxDOT)

 

I-35 South at Theo Ave. looking north
Same location as the previous photo.
(1962/TxDOT)

 

I-35/I-10/US 90 interchange under construction
This photo appears to be looking southwestward.
(1966/TxDOT)

 

I-35/I-10/US 90 interchange under construction
This photo is looking either northwestward or southeastward.
(1966/TxDOT)

 

I-35/I-10/US 90 interchange under construction
This picture is taken from the northeast corner, with I-35 northbound just to our right.  This is the ramp from I-10/US 90 to I-35 northbound.
(1967/SABCUTS)

 

I-35 South at S. Laredo St. looking east
(ca. 1955/TxDOT)

 

I-35 at Guadalupe St. looking north
(1967/SABCUTS)

 

I-35 just south of I-10 West looking south
This is I-35 along the west edge of downtown.  At the top left of the photo is the then-new I-10/I-37 interchange.
(1969/SABCUTS)

 

I-35/US 281 interchange under construction
This photo looks southwestward.  The freeway being built in the center of the picture is US 281 North.  At the top right you can see where I-35 turns southwest.
(ca. 1971/SABCUTS)

 

Fratt Interchange (I-35/Loop 410/Austin Hwy) looking east
I-35 runs left-right across the top of the photo. Loop 410 runs from I-35 to the lower left, and Austin Hwy. is at the lower right.  Notice the crossover in the median of Loop 410 near the center of the picture-- this picture was taken when Loop 410 had not yet been upgraded to a freeway in this area.  Also of interest is the town of Fratt on the right side of the photo, after which this interchange is named.  Today, the town is long gone, replaced by the Interchange Business Park and Cowboys Dancehall.
(1968/SABCUTS)

 

Fratt Interchange looking northwest
I-35 runs left-right across the middle of the photo. In the background is the Longhorn Quarry.
(ca. 1960/TxDOT)

 

I-35 North just north of Loop 410 looking northwest
Again, the Longhorn Quarry is in the background.  Just off the photo to the right is the Weidner Rd. exit.
(ca. 1960/TxDOT)

 

I-35 North at Pat Booker Rd. in Live Oak looking south
(1972/SABCUTS)

 

I-35 at Pat Booker Rd. in Live Oak, looking west
(1972/SABCUTS)

 

I-35 North at Pat Booker Rd. in Live Oak looking south
The road that passes under I-35 is Pat Booker.  At the center of the picture is a cloverleaf ramp that connected to Pat Booker.  In the distance, you can see that the main lanes of I-35 are closed and all traffic is shifted over to what is now the northbound access road.
(ca. 1958/TxDOT)

 

I-35 North at Pat Booker Rd. in Live Oak looking south
Same view as above.  The main lanes are now open.
(ca. 1960/TxDOT)

 

I-35 North at Loop 1604 in Live Oak looking south
Notice the two-lane Loop 1604 and the wide, diamond-shaped right-of-way cleared for what would eventually become the cloverleaf interchange that exists at this location today.  The Forum shopping center currently sits in the wooded area at the bottom of the photo.
(1972/SABCUTS)

 

I-35 North south of Forum Pkwy. looking north
Today's Retama Park sits in the field at the left and the Forum shopping center at the right.  At the top center of the picture is the town of Selma.
(ca. 1960/TxDOT)

 

I-35 North just north of Cibolo Creek looking south
The overpass just ahead passes over Cibolo Creek.  The steeple at the right behind the billboard is the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Selma.  Notice the raised concrete median.
(ca. 1960/TxDOT)

 

I-35 North at Solms Rd. looking north
(1962/TxDOT)





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