Interstate 35E Texas

I-35E Texas
North End
South End


Interstate 35 through the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area separates into east and west branches between rural Hill County and the northern suburbs at the city of Denton IH 35W runs north through Ft. Worth and Tarrant County via Alvarado, Northlake and Argyle.

Interstate 35E extends the exit numbering system of I-35. The rural freeway ventures northward through Ellis County to the seat of Waxahachie before reaching the suburban cities of Red Oak and Glenn Heights by the Dallas County line.

Bee lining northward between Desoto and Lancaster, IH 35E enters the Dallas city limits at the symmetrical stack with Interstate 20. Named the R.L. Thornton Freeway, IH 35E advances through south Dallas to merge with U.S. 67 (Martin D. Love Freeway) at Exit 423. The freeway arcs northeast by the Dallas Zoo to cross the Trinity River and its levee system into the Mixmaster Interchange with Interstate 30.

IH 30 joins Downtown Dallas with Downtown Fort Worth while IH 35E lines the west side of the central business district along the Stemmons Freeway. The Dallas North Tollway branches northward from the freeway as IH 35E turns more westerly along commercialized frontage to split with Texas 183 (John W. Carpenter Freeway).

Interstate 35E (Stemmons Freeway) traverses the industrial north side of Dallas to Interstate 635 (Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway) and the city of Farmers Branch. Warehouses and distribution centers continue to spread west and east of the Stemmons Freeway through Carrollton and the Denton County line.

Unlike IH 35W, IH 35E travels through built up areas for the remainder of course north through Denton County. The freeway passes through Lewisville and a commercial area anchored by Vista Ridge Mall before passing west of Downtown at Exit 452. Suburbia remains omnipresent along the route to Lewisville Lake, Hickory Creek, Lake Dallas and Corinth. IH 35E reaches the Denton city limits at Exit 461 and recombines with IH 35W at Exit 467.


The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) mandated that all suffixed Interstate highways be renumbered to eliminate confusion. Similar to the Interstate 35E and 35W branch split in Minnesota, the reason IH 35E and 35W remain in Texas is that neither Dallas nor Fort Worth wanted to relinquish the routing of Interstate 35.

Route Information

  • North End – Denton, TX

  • South End – Hillsboro, TX

  • Mileage – 96.95

  • Cities – Waxahachie, Red Oak, Lancaster, DeSoto, Dallas, Farmers Branch, Carrollton, Lewisville, Corinth, Denton

  • JunctionsI-20 I-30 I-635

Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List

The Stemmons Freeway ran northwest from Downtown Dallas to SH 114 by 1963. The R.L. Thompson Freeway extended IH 35E south to Clarendon Drive near the Dallas Zoo as well. The gap between Northwest Highway and IH 635 was completed in August 1963.

Interstate 35E replaced U.S. 77 throughout Dallas and the route is generally unsigned along the freeway. U.S. 67 is equally not posted along IH 35E and IH 30 leading east. U.S. 80 was truncated west of Dallas by 1993.

The R.L Thornton Freeway was initially approved by the Dallas City County in September 1953 from Downtown to Oak Cliff (Marsalis Avenue). Construction on the new alignment for U.S. 67 kicked off in 1955, with it opening as Interstate 35E on May 11, 1959. This included building the Mixmaster Interchange with IH 30.

Further work built Interstate 35E (R.L. Thornton Freeway) in stages from Oak Cliff south to Red Oak as follows: between Marsalis Avenue and Clarendon Drive on January 31, 1962, from Clarendon Drive south to Keist Boulevard on July 6, 1965 and from Keist Boulevard to Laureland Road (Exit 420) on September 21, 1965. These sections of I-35E tied into 1964 opened freeway southward to Bear Creek Road at Desoto and Lancaster. Portions further south in Ellis County were open prior in 1961.1

Origins of the Stemmons Freeway date back to February 1952, when the Dallas County Commissioner Court directed the County Engineer to move forward on an alignment selection for an expressway called Highline-Riverview Road. Further north efforts were underway to expand U.S. 77 (Harry Hines Boulevard) to a four-lane roadway between Northwest Highway and the Denton County line. This stretch would tie into the April 1955 completed freeway between Lewisville and Lake County.1

The alignment of IH 35E would shift west from Harry Hines Boulevard in an effort to reduce costs. This took the future expressway away from built up areas to vacant land next to the Trinity River. TxDOT approved this alignment change in October 1954 and work was well underway by January 1958 on the Stemmons Freeway. The first six miles, between Oak Lawn Avenue near Downtown and the wye interchange (Exit 435) at Hines Park, opened to traffic in December 5, 1959.1

Additional sections of the Stemmons Freeway opened south from Oak Lawn Avenue to the R.L. Thornton Freeway in 1959, from Hines Park north to Northwest Highway in January 1961 and from Northwest Highway to IH 635 on August 15, 1963. Portions of Interstate 35E beyond IH 635 were completed as follows: between IH 635 and the Denton County line on December 14, 1957, through Lewisville as a replacement for U.S. 77 on April 22, 1955, and as an upgrade to freeway standards of the 1953-built four-lane U.S. 77 through Corinth in 1961. The northernmost section at Denton, including IH 35 north of IH 35W, was finished on June 23, 1959.1

North End I-35 – Denton, Texas

I-35 South at I-35E I-35W

IH 35 south at IH 35E/W - Denton, TX

The formerly rural stretch of IH 35 leading south from U.S. 380 to the split with IH 35E/W in Denton was expanded to six lanes in 2016/17. Photo taken 09/04/09.

IH 35 south at IH 35E/W - Denton, TX

Widening of IH 35E in Denton coincided with development of Rayzor Ranch Market Place and Town Center along the eastern frontage. Photo taken 09/04/09.

IH 35 south at IH 35E/W - Denton, TX

Exit 468 leaves IH 35 southbound for FM 151 (Airport Road), a 2.04 mile spur west from the IH 35E frontage road to Denton Enterprise Airport (DTO). Photo taken 09/04/09.

IH 35 south at IH 35E/W - Denton, TX

Construction added a third southbound lane for IH 35E to Dallas. The ramp for IH 35W to Fort Worth (Exit 467) remains with a single lane. Photo taken 09/04/09.

I-35E I-35W North End Throwback

Button copy signs for the IH 35E/W separation from IH 35 southbound in January 1996.

South End I-35 – near Hillsboro, Texas

I-35E South at I-35 I-35W

IH 35E south at IH 35/35W - 2007

IH 35E converges with IH 35W two miles southwest of Carl’s Corner. Photo taken 09/28/07.

IH 35E south at IH 35/35W - 2007

IH 35W leads north from IH 35 and IH 35W to Hillsboro Municipal Airport (INJ), Itasca, and Grandview. Photo taken 09/28/07.

I-35 North at I-35E I-35W

IH 35 north at IH 35E/W - Hillsboro, TX

U.S. 77 overlaps with Interstate 35 north from Waco 36 miles to Exit 370 at Hillsboro. IH 35E/W split at the ensuing exchange. Photo taken 09/04/09.

IH 35 north at IH 35E/W - Hillsboro, TX

IH 35E and IH 35W separate at an unnumbered three wye interchange. Photo taken 09/04/09.


  • Slotboom, Oscar (2014). Dallas Freeways. Dallas-Fort Worth Freeways, Texas-Sized Ambition, Retrieved from

Page updated July 2, 2015.