Interstate 2

I-2 Texas

Overview

Interstate 2 comprises a well traveled freeway across the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas. Overlaying U.S. 83 for 46.8 miles, IH 2 runs east from Palmview through the cities of Mission, McAllen, Pharr, San Juan and Weslaco among others. The designation concludes at IH 69E/U.S. 77 in Harlingen, which angles southeast to Brownsville and the Veterans Bridge to Matamoras, Mexico. Designated as a branch of the IH 69 corridor, IH 2 improves mobility and improves freight traffic to points north with the connections with IH 69C/U.S. 281 north and the continuation of U.S. 83 to Laredo.

The west end of IH 2 is located at the grade separated interchange with Showers Road, west of Palmview. U.S. 83 extends from there along a five lane, at-grade boulevard through Penitas and La Joya. Construction along the north side of the two cities through January 2021 constructs the US 83 Relief Route, a new four lane, controlled access highway. Costing $57.16 million, the project (id: 003902040) constructs 6.7 miles of new roadway for U.S. 83 and future IH 2, from a point one mile east of FM 886, to the freeway end west of Showers Road.

Route Information

  • West End – Palmview, TX
  • East End – Harlingen, TX

  • Mileage – 46.80

  • Cities – Mission, Pharr, Harlingen

  • Junctions – 

Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List

U.S. 83 was rerouted between Mission and Harlingen between 1963 and 1966. This bypass was upgraded to a freeway in 1971-72.

The U.S. 77 freeway southeast from Harlingen to San Benito was constructed at the same time as the U.S. 83 freeway.

US 83 Relief Route construction

Construction for the US 83 Relief Route west of La Joya Lake in Hidalgo County. Photo taken 08/04/19.

$320 million in upgrades are outlined for the directional T interchange joining IH 2 with IH 69C. The design-build project will make improvements to IH 2 from 2nd Street in McAllen to FM 2257 (Stewart Road) in San Juan, and along IH 69C from IH 2 in Pharr to Nolana Loop. Construction will replace the existing direct connectors between the two freeways with two lane flyovers with 4 foot inside shoulders and 10 foot outside shoulders. Work will also reconfigure the IH 2 ramp system at Jackson Avenue, U.S. 83 Business (Center Avenue), U.S. 281 (Cage Boulevard) and FM 1426. Construction is scheduled for 2020 to 2023.

History

The TxDOT application for Interstate 2 was approved by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) at the May 5, 2013 Route Numbering Committee meeting. IH 2 was included with the proposed designations of IH 69C (Central) and IH 69E (East), and signs for all three debuted at ceremonies held in both Pharr and Harlingen on July 15, 2013.1

IH 2 arose out of the plan to join the two branches of IH 69 in the Rio Grande Valley by the Alliance for I-69 Texas and Lower Rio Grande Valley community leaders.2 Signing of the route and IH 69C and IH 69E was made possible by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) legislation passed in 2012.2

Exit numbers and mileposts were added to IH 2 through the Rio Grande Valley by January 2016. They reflect the distance from Laredo, the long range planned west end of IH 2.

Highway Guides

East End   – Harlingen, Texas

US 83 East at US 77

IH 2/US 83 east at IH 69E/US 77 - Harlingen, TX

IH 2/U.S. 83 span SS 54, a Rio Valley Switching Company (RVSC) Railroad line and U.S. 83 Business (BU-83S) just ahead of the separation for IH 69E/U.S. 77 in Harlingen. Photo taken 08/03/19.

IH 2/US 83 east at IH 69E/US 77 - Harlingen, TX

Exit 175 joins the east end of IH 2 with BU-83S to SS 206 (Tyler Avenue) east to Downtown Harlingen. Photo taken 08/03/19.

IH 2/US 83 east at IH 69E/US 77 - Harlingen, TX

The IH 2 mainline defaults onto IH 69E/U.S. 77 south through San Benito. U.S. 83 accompanies the two routes to Brownsville. Photo taken 08/03/19.

IH 2/US 83 east at IH 69E/US 77 - Harlingen, TX

Exit 176 separates from IH 2/U.S. 83 east to IH 69E/U.S. 77 north to Combes, Lyford and Raymondville. Photo taken 08/03/19.

US 77 US 83 North at

IH 69E/US 77-83 north at IH 2 - Harlingen, TX

IH 69E/U.S. 77-83 navigate along an S-curve by Tony Butler Golf Course and Valle Vista Mall to IH 2 at Exit 26B. Photo taken 08/03/19.

IH 69E/US 77-83 north at IH 2 - Harlingen, TX

U.S. 83 splits with IH 69E/U.S. 77 north along a two lane flyover (Exit 26B) to accompany IH 2 west to La Feria, Mercedes and McAllen. Photo taken 08/03/19.

IH 69E/US 77-83 north at IH 2 - Harlingen, TX

Entering the directional T interchange (Exits 26B/C) with IH 2/U.S. 83 west and BU-83S and SS 206 (Tyler Avenue) on IH 69E/U.S. 77 northbound. Photo taken 08/03/19.

US 77 South at US 83

IH 69E/US 77 south at IH 2/US 83 - Harlingen, TX

One mile north of IH 2 west on IH 69E/U.S. 77 south at the FM 2994 (Wilson Road) underpass in Harlingen. Photo taken 08/03/19.

IH 69E/US 77 south at IH 2/US 83 - Harlingen, TX

A 0.995 mile route, SS 54 connects IH 69E at Fairpark Boulevard (Exit 27) with the IH 2/U.S. 83 frontage road system just to the west. Photo taken 08/03/19.

IH 69E/US 77 south at IH 2/US 83 - Harlingen, TX

The flyover (Exit 26B) for IH 2/U.S. 83 west to Pharr, McAllen and Rio Grande City follows from IH 69E/U.S. 77 southbound. Photo taken 08/03/19.

west to

SS 206 west at IH 2/US 83 - Harlingen, TX

Spur 206 follows a one-way couplet along Tyler Avenue east and Harrison Avenue west to Downtown Harlingen. The state highway forms the initial frontage roads for IH 2 below the directional T interchange with IH 69E and U.S. 77-83. Photo taken by Jeff Royston (03/16/16).

SS 206 west at IH 2/US 83 - Harlingen, TX

High speed flyovers connect the IH 69E mainline with IH 2/U.S. 83 leading west to McAllen. Spur 206 travels at-grade below the ramps to connect Harlingen with IH 2 via an on-ramp beyond Dixieland Road. Photo taken by Jeff Royston (03/16/16).

West End – at Showers Road – Palmview, Texas

I-2 US 83 West at Showers Rd

IH 2/US 83 west at Showers Rd - Palmview, TX

IH 2 westbound concludes at Showers Road (Exit 130) outside the city of Palmview. Photo taken 08/04/19.

IH 2/US 83 west at Showers Rd - Palmview, TX

The entrance ramp from Showers Road references only U.S. 83. The US 83 Relief Route will tie into the succeeding stretch from the northwest. Photo taken 08/04/19.

US 83 East at I-2

US 83 east at IH 2 / Showers Rd - Palmview, TX

U.S. 83 Business (BU-83S) branches south from U.S. 83 at Penitas, just west of the freeway beginning of IH 2 at Showers Road. Photo taken 08/04/19.

US 83 east at IH 2 / Showers Rd - Palmview, TX

U.S. 83 east transitions onto IH 2 at the grade separation (Exit 130) with Showers Road. IH 2/U.S. 83 proceed east across the city of Palmview to Mission. Photo taken 08/04/19.

Sources:

  1. “Valley’s highways become one interstate.” ValleyCentral.com (KGBT TV-4), July 9, 2013.
  2. “Another 116 miles added to I-69 system in Texas.” Wharton Journal Spectator, June 5, 2013.
  3. Re: Interstate 2” online posting by JotheC11, AARoads Forum, January 18, 2016.

Page updated August 10, 2019.