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Interstate 27

 

Morning sunshine showcases the high, rolling plains of the Texas Panhandle. Connecting Amarillo with Lubbock, southbound Interstate 27 passes through farms and ranches on its way southeast from Plainview to Hale Center. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/21/06).

Routing

Remaining within Texas for its entire length, Interstate 27 connects the cities of Lubbock and Amarillo in the panhandle. It does not connect two freeways; instead, it ends in Lubbock at Texas Loop 289 before continuing any further south.

High Priority Corridor

Interstate 27 is part of High Priority Corridor 38: Ports to Plains Corridor.

Parallel/Historic U.S. Routes

The freeway follows U.S. 87 for its entire length, with U.S. 87 cosigned for a portion of the way.

Future Aspirations

There have been rumors that Interstate 27 may someday be extended from Lubbock south to Interstate 20 in the vicinity of Midland-Odessa and possibly further south to San Angelo and ultimately to Interstate 10 and a border crossing with Mexico. Interstate 27 is located on the Port-to-Plains High Priority Corridor 38, and any future aspirations of extending Interstate 27 are contingent upon the results of the Ports-to-Plains feasibility study.

History

In Texas, Interstate 27 is not an original Interstate highway, but it was approved by the Federal Highway Administration on December 12, 1968. Approval by the Texas State Highway Commission followed in 1975. The last segment of Interstate 27 (from 19th Street to 54th Street in Lubbock) was completed and opened to traffic on September 3, 1992.1 2

Highway Guides

Southern Terminus - Texas Loop 289 and 82nd Street Interchange Complex - Lubbock, Texas
Perspective from Interstate 27 south
Two miles north of the southern terminus, southbound Interstate 27 and U.S. 87 follow a depressed, six-lane freeway corridor south of downtown Lubbock. Business U.S. 87, which parallels the freeway along Avenue A, will merge into Interstate 27/U.S. 87 after Exit 1C, 50th Street and just north of Exits 1B-A, Junction U.S. 84/Slaton Highway, Business U.S. 87/Avenue A, and Loop 289, just prior to the southern terminus at Exit 1, 82nd Street. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Exit 1C is the connection to 50th Street from southbound Interstate 27 and U.S. 87. The next exit is Exit 1B, the slip ramp from the freeway to the frontage road for the connection to Loop 289 east (via a cloverleaf loop ramp). Exit 1A is the direct connection to Loop 289 west. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Southbound Interstate 27/U.S. 87 reaches Exit 1B. This slip ramp connects to the Interstate 27 frontage road. Follow the frontage road south to the five-way volleyball intersection between U.S. 84 east/west, Business U.S. 87 north, and Interstate 27/U.S. 87 frontage road north/south. Through traffic on U.S. 84 does not stop through this interchange, since it has its own set of frontage roads. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Southbound Interstate 27/U.S. 87 approaches Exit 1A, Junction Loop 289 west. The tallest ramp in the background is the flyover carrying through traffic on U.S. 84 over the Interstate highway. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
After passing under the U.S. 84 overpass, the right two lanes become exit only for Exit 1A, Junction Loop 289. The left three lanes continue south through the Loop 289 interchange and prepare to downgrade from freeway standards to expressway standards. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Southbound Interstate 27/U.S. 87 reach Exit 1A, Junction Loop 289 west. The pull though sign is notable for two reasons: first, U.S. 87 is mentioned to the left of Interstate 27, which betrays the fact that the Interstate highway nearly ends, and second, this is the final sign on southbound that shows an Interstate 27 shield. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
As southbound Interstate 27/U.S. 87 passes under Loop 289, this sign advises of the final interchange on Interstate 27: Exit 1, 82nd Street. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Southbound Interstate 27/U.S. 87 reaches Exit 1, 82nd Street. This marks the southern terminus of Interstate 27. There is no END shield; however, the zero milepost for Interstate 27 is located between this exit sign and the gore point signage. This is about a half-mile south of Loop 289. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
As the freeway crosses over 82nd Street, this is the first southbound U.S. 87 reassurance shield after the southern terminus of Interstate 27. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Perspective from Interstate 27 north
The first advance signage for the conversion of the U.S. 87 expressway into the Interstate 27/U.S. 87 freeway is this sign, which is the first guide sign for Exit 1, Junction U.S. 84, Business U.S. 87, and Loop 289. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
After the preceding sign is the exit for 98th Street, which is not numbered. U.S. 87 continues north via the freeway toward Lubbock. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Northbound U.S. 87 approaches Exit 1, which is the frontage road that connects U.S. 87 to 82nd Street, Loop 289, U.S. 84, and Business U.S. 87. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Use Exit 1 to U.S. 84 northwest to Littlefield and southeast to Slaton. Through Lubbock, U.S. 84 generally runs north south along Avenue Q, but it enters the urban area from the southeast and leaves to the northwest. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
In addition, use the frontage road at Exit 1 to connect to Business U.S. 87/Avenue A north to downtown Lubbock. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Now reaching the off ramp to 82nd Street, Loop 289, U.S. 84, and Business U.S. 87/Avenue A, this sign bridge carries the first Interstate 27 and U.S. 87 north signage. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Shortly thereafter is the zero milepost, which signifies the beginning of northbound Interstate 27. Interstate 27 and U.S. 87 remain cosigned through Lubbock, and they generally parallel each other all the way to Amarillo (although they split between Exits 63 and 77 and again between Exits 88 and 110. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Perspective from Loop 289 west
Coming onto westbound Loop 289 from the south Loop 289 frontage road east of the U.S. 84/East Slaton Road underpass, a warning sign advises through traffic carrying hazardous cargo to use Interstate 27 north or U.S. 87 south, avoiding ancillary state routes (especially for travelers southbound to Interstate 20 or Interstate 10). Note the use of the state name on the Interstate 27 shield. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Continuing west, Loop 289 approaches its junction with Interstate 27. This interchange is facilitated through the use of frontage roads. While the Loop 289 frontage roads offer a cloverleaf interchange with the Interstate 27/U.S. 87 frontage roads, only two flyover ramps offer direct connections from the Loop 289 freeway to the Interstate 27/U.S. 87 freeway. One of these is the connection from eastbound Loop 289 to northbound Interstate 27/U.S. 87; the other is from southbound Interstate 27/U.S. 87 to westbound Loop 289. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Westbound Loop 289 reaches the slip ramp from the mainline freeway to the frontage road. Traffic departing for U.S. 87 south and Business U.S. 87 north should use this exit. Connections to Interstate 27 north are facilitated by either this exit or via the next exit, which offers the flyover connection. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Now on the frontage road, the lanes prepare to split. The right two lanes transition onto northbound Interstate 27 and U.S. 87, while the left lane continues as the frontage road with a connection to southbound U.S. 87. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Continuing west on the frontage road, the next exit is the loop ramp connecting Loop 289 west with U.S. 87 south to Tahoka, Lamesa, Big Spring (Junction Interstate 20), Sterling City, San Angelo, Eden, Brasy, Mason, Fredricksburg, Comfort (Junction Interstate 10), and San Antonio. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Perspective from Loop 289 west
After the University Avenue interchange, eastbound Loop 289 approaches the junction with Interstate 27 and U.S. 87. The first ramp connects to the Loop 289 Frontage Road, which in turn offers a connection to U.S. 87 south. The second ramp is a flyover that offers a direct connection from Loop 289 east to Interstate 27/U.S. 87 north. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Eastbound Loop 289 reaches the slip ramp from the mainline freeway to the frontage road, which offers the connection to southbound U.S. 87. The next exit is the ramp to northbound Interstate 27 and U.S. 87. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Immediately thereafter, eastbound Loop 289 reaches the flyover ramp that connects to Interstate 27/U.S. 87 north to downtown Lubbock, Plainview, Tulia, Canyon, and Amarillo. Interstate 27 is a fairly short freeway route that takes about two hours to leave Lubbock and arrive at Amarillo. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Now on the frontage road that parallels eastbound Loop 289 through the Interstate 27 interchange, this loop ramp connects with northbound Interstate 27. As noted earlier, the connection to Interstate 27 via the flyover ramp from eastbound Loop 289 is faster and more direct (but it is not documented here). Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Northern Terminus - Interstate 40 - Amarillo, Texas
Perspective from Interstate 27 north
This mileage sign on northbound Interstate 27 and U.S. 60-87 provides the distance to the next three exits: Exit 122, Junction Farm to Market Road 1541/Washington Street and 34th Avenue; Exit 123A, 26th Avenue; and Exit 123B, Junction Interstate 40 and U.S. 287. Interstate 27 ends at Interstate 40. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Northbound Interstate 27, eastbound U.S. 60, and northbound U.S. 87 reach Exit 123A, 26th Avenue. The next exit is Exit 123B, Junction Interstate 40 and U.S. 287 in Amarillo, one-half mile. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
The right lane becomes exit only for Interstate 40 and U.S. 287 south; U.S. 287 north will merge onto northbound U.S. 60-87. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Northbound Interstate 27, eastbound U.S. 60, and northbound U.S. 87 reach Exit 123B, Junction Interstate 40 and U.S. 287 in Amarillo. U.S. 87 and U.S. 287 continue north from this point into downtown Amarillo. Photo taken by Robert lee (06/17/06).
This is the former overhead sign that was located along northbound Interstate 27 at the ramp to Interstate 40. Note that this sign contained control cities separated by direction (Tucumcari for westbound Interstate 40, Oklahoma City for eastbound Interstate 40, and Fort Worth for southeastbound U.S. 287); the new sign is much simpler. Photo taken by Jeff Royston, 12/00.
Once on the transition ramp, the left lane connects to Interstate 40 west to Albuquerque (not Tucumcari, which was used on the older signs) and the right lane connects to Interstate 40 east to Oklahoma City and U.S. 287 southeast to Fort Worth. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
After traffic for Interstate 40 departs, we return to northbound U.S. 60-87. The U.S. highways prepare to shift from a freeway alignment to city streets in a half-mile. Northbound traffic will use either Fillmore or Buchanan Streets, while southbound traffic uses either Taylor or Pierce Streets. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
The northern end of Interstate 27 is posted with this sign. It is rare to see an END shield posted in Texas. Eastbound U.S. 60 and northbound U.S. 87 continue north into downtown Amarillo. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Continuing north, the remnant freeway splits into two surface streets: U.S. 87 north follows Fillmore Street, while U.S. 60 east and U.S. 287 north follow Buchanan Street. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Shortly thereafter, the routes divide. This view is taken from the transition ramp incoming from Interstate 40/U.S. 287, with the mainline seen to the left. U.S. 87/Fillmore Street exits to the left from the mainline, while U.S. 60-287 exits to the right. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Perspective from U.S. 60-87/Pierce Street south
An overhead sign for the junction with Interstate 27 and Interstate 40 is posted one-half mile north of the interchange in downtown Amarillo along southbound U.S. 60-87 on one-way Pierce Street. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Leaving the center city/downtown area of Amarillo, an overhead sign advises of lane allocations for Interstate 27/U.S. 60-87 south (left lane) and Interstate 40 and U.S. 287 south (right lane). Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
A second overhead sign indicates that Interstate 40 serves the control cities of Oklahoma City (east) and Albuquerque (west). In addition, U.S. 287 splits away from U.S. 60-87 at this interchange, and it resumes its course southeast toward Fort Worth and ultimately Beaumont/Port Arthur. "Merging traffic from the right" refers to incoming from southbound U.S. 287/Taylor Street. All three routes merge for a brief segment before again separating. See the "perspective from U.S. 87-287 south/U.S. 60 west" to see how the ramps connect to Interstate 27 and Interstate 40. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Perspective from U.S. 287/Taylor Street south
In addition to U.S. 60-87/Pierce Street, traffic converging at the Interstate 27-40 interchange also includes southbound U.S. 287/Taylor Street. U.S. 287 also has a junction sign indicating the coming interchange with Interstate 27 and Interstate 40, one-half mile. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
A few blocks further south, U.S. 287 diverges from Taylor Street. The left three lanes all curve to the southeast to merge with U.S. 60-87/Pierce Street. Keep in mind that only two blocks separate Taylor Street from Pierce Street. To continue along U.S. 287, stay in the right lane once on the ramp. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
All traffic to Interstate 27 and U.S. 60-87 must merge left, while U.S. 287 and Interstate 40 traffic should use the right lanes. The lane configuration is shown in the next photobox. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Perspective from U.S. 87-287 south and U.S. 60 west
Now departing downtown Amarillo, the freeway begins at the point where Taylor Street and Pierce Street converge. Use the right three lanes to connect to Interstate 40 east/U.S. 287 south and Interstate 40 west. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
U.S. 287 splits off the freeway to join Interstate 40 at this point. The right two lanes connect to Interstate 40 west to New Mexico. The left two lanes continue as U.S. 60-87 as well as nascent Interstate 27, which begins its journey south toward Lubbock. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Perspective from Interstate 27/U.S. 87 south and U.S. 60 west
This is the first reassurance shield for southbound Interstate 27, westbound U.S. 60, and southbound U.S. 87 after the interchange with Interstate 40 and U.S. 287 in Amarillo. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Perspective from Interstate 40 east
Eastbound Interstate 40 reaches Exit 68B, Georgia Street/Crockett Street. The next exit is Exit 69B, Washington Street, followed by Exit 70, Junction Interstate 27 and U.S. 60-87-287. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Shortly thereafter, eastbound Interstate 40 reaches Exit 69B, Washington Street south to Farm to Market Road 1541. Use this exit to Amarillo College and the Museum of Art. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
The next exit is Exit 70, Junction Interstate 27 and U.S. 60-87-287. The right lane becomes exit only for this major interchange, which was upgraded in the early 2000s. Use Interstate 27/U.S. 87 south to Lubbock, U.S. 60 southwest to Hereford, and U.S. 60-87-287 north to downtown Amarillo. From Amarillo, U.S. 60 angles north east to Panhandle, Pampa, and Canadian, while U.S. 87-287 travels north to Dumas before separating. U.S. 87-287 remain separated between Dumas and Denver, Colorado. U.S. 87 angles northwest to Clayton, New Mexico, then turns north to follow the Interstate 25 corridor, while U.S. 287 follows the Ports to Plains Corridor north to Interstate 70 near Limon, then merges with Interstate 70 northwest to Denver. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Eastbound Interstate 40 reaches Exit 70, Junction Interstate 27 and U.S. 60-87-287. This marks the northern terminus of Interstate 27, which takes about two hours travel time to reach Lubbock. U.S. 287 south merges with Interstate 40 east; they will diverge about eight miles east of here, at Exit 78 near Washburn. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Now on the transition ramp, the first exit offers the connection to southbound Interstate 27/U.S. 87 and westbound U.S. 60. From there, the ramp turns north to join U.S. 60 east and U.S. 87-287 north into downtown Amarillo. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Perspective from Interstate 40 west/U.S. 287 north
Now looking at the interchange from westbound Interstate 40 and northbound U.S. 287, Exit 70 offers the connection to southbound Interstate 27/U.S. 87 to Plainview and Lubbock and westbound U.S. 60 to Hereford. This exit also connects to U.S. 60-87-287 north to downtown Amarillo. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
The right two lanes offer a connection to Interstate 27 and U.S. 60-87-287. Interstate 40 continues west toward Tucumcari and Albuquerque in New Mexico. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Now on the transition ramp, the left lane connects to Intestate 27/U.S. 87 south and U.S. 60 west, while the right lane merges onto northbound U.S. 60-87-287 into downtown Amarillo. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/17/06).
Perspective Looking South toward Interstate 27/40 Interchange
John R Detwiler offers these January 2001 webcam shots looking southward of the northern terminus. Interstate 40 crosses the picture across the middle of the picture, while Interstate 27 starts at the interchange and goes south away from the vantage point of the camera. Interstate 40 now crosses over Interstate 27 as part of an interchange reconstruction that swaps the "stacking" from the original arrangement, Interstate 27 over Interstate 40. Photo taken by John Detwiler (01/01).
Another vantage point of the same interchange, while snow covered the ground. Photo taken by John Detwiler (01/01).

Sources:

  1. From Anywhere to Everywhere: The Development of the Interstate Highway System in Texas by Penny Beaumont, Rhonda Brinkmann, David Ellis, Chris Pourteau, and Brandon V. Webb, Texas Transportation Institute, page 29.
  2. Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System: Previous Interstate Facts of the Day by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Page Updated July 16, 2006.

 
Mileage

State Texas
Mileage 124.13
Cities Lubbock, Canyon, Tulia, Amarillo
Junctions Interstate 40
Source: October 31, 2002 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
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