Interstate 610 Texas

History
East End
West End

Overview

Known as the Loop or the 610 Loop, Interstate 610 constitutes the inner beltway within the city of Houston. The outer beltway is the Sam Houston Tollway / Beltway 8. The designation depends on the geographical location in the Houston metropolitan area.1 Further out from the city, Grand Parkway (SH 99) represents another beltway around the Houston metropolitan area. The toll road forms a semicircle north from IH 69/U.S. 59 near Sugar Land to Tomball and east to IH 69 north of Humble.

Interstate 610 provides connectivity to metropolitan area freeways radiating out of Houston such as U.S. 90 (Crosby Freeway), U.S. 290 (Northwest Freeway) and SH 288 (South Freeway) among the Interstate connections with IH 10, IH 45 and IH 69/U.S. 59. The 610 Loop is heavily traveled freeway varying between six to eight lanes with multi level systems interchanges at intersecting freeways.

History

Interstate 610 was approved by the Texas State Highway Commission in 1962 and by AASHO on June 30, 1970. Plans in the 1950s assigned Loop 137 along the southern, western, and northern portions of the beltway. The eastern section and the bridge across the Houston Ship Channel were not included in the Loop 137 plans, but they were added to the IH 610 approval in 1962. The entire loop route was completed and open to traffic by 1975.2

Route Information

  • East End – Houston, TX

  • West End – Houston, TX

  • Mileage – 37.97 (37.93*)

  • Cities – Houston, Bellaire, Jacinto City, Galena Park

  • JunctionsI-69 I-10 IH 45

Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Statewide Planning Map

I-610 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)

Highway Guides

East End I-10 US 90 – Houston, Texas

Historic perspective from Interstate 10 east
Entering the four level interchange (Exit 775A) with IH 610 prior to the addition of ramps (Exit 775B) with U.S. 90 (Crosby Freeway). U.S. 90 branches northeast from an unmarked overlap to Liberty. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/09/03).
Exit 775A partitioned for IH 610 north six miles to IH 69/U.S. 59 and south six miles to IH 45. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/09/03).
Historic perspective from Interstate 10 west
Interstate 10 runs along the north side of the Jacinto City line ahead of IH 610 (Exit 775A) and the merge with U.S. 90 (Crosby Freeway). Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/09/03).
Two lanes leave Interstate 10 westbound at Exit 775A for Loop 610. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/09/03).
Historic perspective from Interstate 610 north
Approaching IH 10 on IH 610 prior to construction of the ramps with U.S. 90 (Crosby Freeway) east to Liberty. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/08/03).
A half diamond interchange (Exit 26B) with Market Street to Jacinto City precedes Exit 26AA for IH 10 west to Downtown Houston and east to Beaumont. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/08/03).
Exit 26A departs for IH 10 and U.S. 90 (Crosby Freeway). IH 610 makes a northwesterly turn beyond this exchange to U.S. 90 Business (McCarty Drive). Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/08/03).
A slip ramp was added from the eastbound on-ramp for IH 10 to the departing Crosby Freeway (U.S. 90). Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/08/03).
Historic perspective from Interstate 610 south
Button copy signage at Exit 24, where U.S. 90 formerly combined with IH 610 south to IH 10 west. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/08/03).
Predecessors to the modern arrow per lane (APL) signs founding throughout the Interstate Highway system were used in the Houston area at freeway junctions. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/08/03).
Exit 26A for Interstate 10 departs from IH 610 southbound. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/08/03).

West End I-10 – Houston, Texas

 

Historic perspective from Interstate 10 east
Three miles ahead of IH 10 on IH 610 east before reconstruction of the Katy Freeway. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/10/03).
Two mile guide sign for Interstate 610 (Exit 763). Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/10/03).
Interstate 10 eastbound previously expanded to four lanes leading into the exchange with IH 610 at Exit 763. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/10/03).
Exit 763 eastbound departed from IH 10 east. IH 610 north connects with the east end of U.S. 290 (Northwest Freeway) nearby. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/10/03).
Historic perspective from Interstate 10 west
Westbound Interstate 10 at Exit 764 to Washington Avenue and Westcott Street. IH 610 follows in 1.5 miles. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/10/03).
The Katy Freeway reconstruction expanded westbound IH 10 to four general travel lanes from two with a tolled express lane at the four level interchange with IH 610. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/10/03).
Interstate 10 and U.S. 90 continued westward to the suburbs of Addicks and Katy beyond the three lane ramp for IH 610 at Exit 763. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/10/03).
The former ramp separation from IH 10 west for IH 610 at Exit 763. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/10/03).
Historic perspective from Interstate 610 north
Reconstruction of the exchange joining IH 610 with IH 10 shifted the departure of Exit 11 a half mile further north from the Woodway Drive to Memorial Park. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/10/03).
IH 610 north at the previous departure of Exit 11 for IH 10 east to Downtown Houston and west to San Antonio. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/10/03).
A flyover was constructed above the ramp separation at Exit 11 from Woodway Drive north to IH 610 northbound during the rebuilding of the multi level intercahnge with IH 10. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/10/03).
Historic perspective from Interstate 610 south
Heading south from U.S. 290 toward IH 10 along Loop 610. Interstate 610 was completely reconstructed between the east end of U.S. 290 (Northwest Freeway) and IH 10 (Katy Freeway). The beltway now separates into four roadways between the two interchanges. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/10/03).
Exit 11B departed IH 610 south for Katy Road below the former flyover bringing traffic from U.S. 290 eastbound onto the beltway. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/10/03).
The former gore point for Exit 11A (Interstate 10). A distributor roadway was constructed 1.5 miles south from U.S. 290 to IH 10 at Exit 11. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (04/10/03).

Sources:

  1. Jay Maynard, email: “Two Comments on the I-610 Texas page” September 2, 2003.
  2. “From Anywhere to Everywhere: The Development of the Interstate Highway System in Texas.” Texas Transportation Institute, pages 29 and 38. http://tti.tamu.edu/interstate_anniversary/white_paper/

Page updated March 4, 2019.