Interstate 820 Texas


Part of the Fort Worth beltway, Interstate 820 (Jim Wright Freeway) wraps around the west, north, and east sides of the city. The southern portion of the beltway consists of Interstate 20. Also, U.S. 287 ties into the Interstate briefly along the southeast quadrant of the beltway. When originally conceived, Interstate 820 was planned to be routed over the entire beltway. However, this plan was based on the idea that Interstate 20 would run along the path currently occupied by Interstate 30 via the now-defunct Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike. Once Interstate 20 was rerouted to a new alignment south of the city centers of Dallas and Fort Worth, Interstate 820 was truncated to include only 270 degrees of the beltway.


Interstate 820 around Fort Worth was initially planned as a complete (360 degree) beltway, back when Interstate 20 was planned to follow the Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike. The initial route utilized SH 183 along Southwest Boulevard north to U.S. 377. This changed in 1962.1 Once Interstate 30 was relocated to the turnpike in 1978, Interstate 820 was truncated to cover three of the four "sides" of the beltway.2

This map inset from the 1969 Texas Official State Map (Fort Worth inset) shows that Interstate 820 was originally contemplated as a 360-degree beltway around Fort Worth (except that the northwestern quadrant was unconstructed at this time). Note the short section of Texas Loop 820, which is today part of Texas 183; the freeway loop extends further west now than it did in 1969. At the time, Interstate 20 was proposed to follow the Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike rather than its current alignment across the southern tier of both urban areas. Today, Interstate 820 only includes the western, northern, and eastern legs of the beltway; the southern leg is designated solely as Interstate 20.

By 1986, the belt route of Interstate 820 was completed, and it was fully signed all the way around the 360-degree loop as shown by this scan of the 1986 Official Texas State Map. By the 1990s, Interstate 820 was eliminated from the overlap with Interstate 20 on the southern leg.

Highway Guides

Western Terminus - Interstate 20 - Benbrook, Texas
Perspective from Interstate 20 west
One half mile ahead of the IH 20 westbound partition with IH 820 north. Three lanes join the beltway north toward White Settlement while IH 20 reduces to two for rural departure from the Fort Worth metropolitan area. Photo taken by Justin Cozart (08/02).
U.S. 377 crosses paths with IH 20 just south of the IH 820 western terminus. A c/d roadway runs along the westbound lanes of IH 20, providing access to both freeways from U.S. 377. Abilene lies 138 miles from this point. Photo taken by Justin Cozart (08/02).
Perspective from Interstate 20 east
Interstate 20 east enters the semi directional T interchange with IH 820 north at Exit 428. IH 20 overtakes the beltway east through Benbrook. Photo taken by Robert Lee (06/02/06).
Historic Western Terminus - Overhill Road - Fort Worth, Texas
Perspective from Interstate 20 west
Approaching the split with SH 183 (Southwest Boulevard) on Interstate 20 westbound. Both of these routes were originally Interstate 820, with SH 183 representing the original alignment for the Fort Worth loop. Photo taken by Justin Cozart (08/17/03).
SH 183 (Southwest Boulevard) north at Vickery Boulevard. The freeway transitions into an at-grade arterial just ahead. Photo taken by Justin Cozart (08/17/03).
An on-ramp from Vickery Boulevard merges onto SH 183 north at the freeway end. The signalized intersection with Overhill Road is next. Photo taken by Justin Cozart (08/17/03).
Eastern Terminus - Interstate 20 - Kennedale, Texas
Perspective from Interstate 20 west & U.S. 287 north
Heading west from Arlington, U.S. 287 north briefly combines with IH 20 west to IH 820 north. The freeway passes just south of Lake Arlington and north of Kennedale on this stretch. Photo taken by Justin Cozart (08/17/03).
Exit 442B departs IH 20 west for IH 820 & U.S. 287 north. IH 820 travels west of Lake Arlington through east Fort Worth to Richland Hills. U.S. 287 branches northwest form nearby along the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freeway en route to Downtown Fort Worth. Photo taken by Justin Cozart (08/17/03).


  1. Justin Cozart, email: "I-820 pre-1962 western end." August 17, 2003.
  2. From Anywhere to Everywhere: The Development of the Interstate Highway System in Texas, Texas Transportation Institute, page 34.

Page Updated January 13, 2007.