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.
- West End – Palmview, TX
East End – Harlingen, TX
Mileage – 46.80
Cities – Mission, Pharr, Harlingen
Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
The U.S. 77 freeway southeast from Harlingen to San Benito was constructed at the same time as the U.S. 83 freeway.
$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.
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.
East End – Harlingen, Texas
West End – at Showers Road – Palmview, Texas
West at Showers Rd
- “Valley’s highways become one interstate.” ValleyCentral.com (KGBT TV-4), July 9, 2013.
- “Another 116 miles added to I-69 system in Texas.” Wharton Journal Spectator, June 5, 2013.
- “Re: Interstate 2” online posting by JotheC11, AARoads Forum, January 18, 2016.
Page updated August 10, 2019.