Traversing the high, rolling plains of the Texas Panhandle, IH 27 is an intrastate route connecting the cities of Lubbock and Amarillo. Bisecting Lubbock between State Loop 289, a limited access beltway, IH 27 extends the U.S. 87 freeway north from Lubbock County to Downtown, where it curves eastward along side Mac Kenzie State Park. A three level interchange joins IH 27 with Loop 289 on the north side of the city as the freeway departs for Lubbuck International Airport (LBB) and the town of New Deal.
Leading away from Hub City, IH 27/U.S. 87 reach the city of Abernathy on the Hale County line. There the freeway briefly transitions to an urban design, dipping below the Main Street overpass east of the city center. Continuing, IH 27 shifts one mile west before bee lining northward to the city of Hale Center. Once at the city center, the freeway again navigates through an urban section, dropping below grade at Cleveland Avenue. IH 27 through both Abernathy and Hale Center are subject to closure due to flooding during heavy thunderstorms.
Beyond Hale Center, IH 27/U.S. 87 angle northeast across agricultural areas to Furguson, where a Business Loop separates eastward to the city of Plainview. The freeway mainline circumvents the west side of the city to Columbia Street, where Business Loop IH 27 returns. Northward from there, IH 27 travels a rural route by Kress, Tulia and Happy, where U.S. 87 branches west to Canyon.
U.S. 87 combines with U.S. 60 at Canyon along an expressway leading north to IH 27. Construction of IH 27 directly overlaid the original four lane highway for U.S. 60/87 heading toward Amarillo. Within Amarillo, the freeway turns easterly ahead of the Potter County line before curving back north to conclude at IH 40, opposite U.S. 287 and the dual couplets of U.S. 60/87 through Downtown.
High Priority Corridor
Interstate 27 is part of High Priority Corridor 38: Ports to Plains Corridor.
Parallel U.S. Routes
Interstate 27 follows U.S. 87 for its entire length, with separations between Exits 63 and 77 and again between Exits 88 and 110. U.S. 60 overlaps with IH 27 from Canyon north to Amarillo, while U.S. 84 parallels it through Lubbock.
Long standing concepts allude that Interstate 27 may someday extend south from Lubbock to IH 20 in the vicinity of Midland-Odessa, and possibly further to San Angelo, IH 10 and a border crossing with Mexico. A feasibility study for the Port-to-Plains High Priority Corridor was conducted in 2000, though upgrades were mostly done to U.S. 87 in place of building new stretches of freeway.
The Ports to Plains Alliance sought a new feasibility study for extending Interstate 27 south in 2015. Having gained the support of San Angelo Mayor Dwain Morrison, the potential study required endorsement from the county before the Texas Department of Transportation would move forward with it.1 Referencing the lack of a connection to the Interstate system and potential economic growth and stability, subsequent actions by San Angelo city county on March 19, 2019 endorsed the IH 27 extension. Projected costs at the time to upgrade the 500 mile long Port to Plains Corridor south from Lubbock to Laredo topped $5.2 billion. This includes potential cost savings by coupling the leg between Midland-Odessa and San Angelo with the IH 14 corridor.2
North End – Amarillo, TX
South End – Lubbock, TX
Mileage – 124.13
Branches – 0
Cities – Lubbock, Canyon, Tulia, Amarillo
- Junctions –
Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
Many portions of IH 27 were designated directly over previously four-laned sections of U.S. 87.
Outside Lubbock, the last portion of Interstate 27 open to traffic was the easterly bypass of U.S. 87 between Happy and Canyon.
Interstate 27 was not an original Interstate highway. It was approved by the Federal Highway Administration on December 12, 1968. Approval by the Texas State Highway Commission followed on February 1, 1969.3 The last segment of Interstate 27 (from 19th Street to 54th Street in Lubbock) opened to traffic on September 3, 1992.4,5
The turbine interchange where IH 27 and IH 40 meet south of Downtown Amarillo was reconfigured during a $33 million, three-year project completed in 2001.
The exchange joining IH 27/U.S. 60-87 with IH 40/U.S. 287 in Amarillo originally lacked a direct ramp from IH 40 east to IH 27 south. Construction started in January 2017 built a new flyover replacing the previous ramp configuration using the frontage road system. The direct connector opened temporarily in September 2018, and permanently on November 15, 2018. Associated work through Spring 2019 widened the IH 27 bridge across SE 26th Avenue.6
North End – Amarillo, Texas
North West at
IH 27 directly replaced the alignments of U.S. 60/87 along Canyon Drive north and 36th Street east through south Amarillo. Turning toward IH 40, the freeway briefly shifts away from the historic U.S. highways (36th and Fillmore Streets) between Harrison Street and the 26th Avenue off-ramp (Exit 123A). Photo taken 04/24/17.
East South at
An auxiliary lane opens along IH 40 east from Washington Street to IH 27 and U.S. 60-87-287 at Exit 70. U.S. 60 angles northeast from Hereford to combine with U.S. 87 and IH 27 north from Canyon. Beyond the overlap with U.S. 87-287 through Downtown Amarillo, U.S. 60 ventures northeast to Panhandle, Pampa and Canadian. Photo taken 05/05/12.
Exit 70 parts ways with IH 40 east at the Tyler Street underpass. IH 27 south reaches the Lubbuck city limits in 115 miles. U.S. 87/287 north overlap from Amarillo to Dumas. 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. Photo taken 05/05/12.
West North at
South End / 82nd Street – Lubbock, Texas
- “San Angelo Leaders Approve TxDOT I-27 Interstate Feasibility Study.” SanAngeloLive.com. July 31, 2015.
- “City council endorses interstate extension through San Angelo.” San Angelo Standard-Times (TX), March 21, 2019.
- Interstate Highway No. 27. Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Highway Designation File.
- “From Anywhere to Everywhere: The Development of the Interstate Highway System in Texas.”
http://tti.tamu.edu/interstate_anniversary/white_paper/by Penny Beaumont, Rhonda Brinkmann, David Ellis, Chris Pourteau, and Brandon V. Webb, Texas Transportation Institute, page 29.
- Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System: Previous Interstate Facts of the Day by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
- “Direct connector between I-27 south and I-40 east permanently opens.” KVII-TV7 (Amarillo, TX), November 16, 2018.
Page updated August 20, 2019.