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 is a part of IH 20. U.S. 287 combines with IH 820 along the southeast quadrant of the beltway. SH 121 and SH 183 overlap with IH 820 between Richland Hills and Hurst to the northeast. Tolled Express Lanes accompany the leg of IH 820 between IH 35W and SH 121 as well.
Interstate 820 was one of the proposed routes approved by the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) on November 10, 1958 for the Texas urban Interstate numerology. Following what was labeled as Loop 217 on planning maps, IH 820 wrapped around the east side of Fort Worth from IH 35W, and continued west along Loop 217 to Southwestern Boulevard. A proposed extension linked IH 820 with IH 20 / F.A.I. 2. The northwestern quadrant was omitted.
IH 20 was initially proposed to follow the Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike, leaving IH 820 to continue around the south side of Fort Worth. The initial route utilized SH 183 along Southwest Boulevard north to U.S. 377. This changed in 1962.1
IH 20 was eventually rerouted to a new alignment across south Fort Worth, Arlington, Grand Prairie and south Dallas. This included an overlap with IH 820. When IH 30 was relocated to the Turnpike in 1978, IH 820 was truncated to cover three of the four sides of the beltway.2
Fort Worth – 1969 Texas Official State Map
Interstate 820 incorporated a section of State Loop 820, which is today part of SH 183. The freeway loop was eventually extended further west.
The completed belt route of Interstate 820 – 1986 Official Texas State Map