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Historic Photos of the Dallas-Fort Worth Area

Last updated 1-March-2002, created 25-December-2000
Crash and Burn (added 1-March-2002)
Source: TxDOT archive library and Texas Highways Magazine
See three of Dallas' most memorable Freeway Openings.

Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike Construction, 1955-1956, and Toll Booth Removal 1978 (photos added 9-June-2001)
Source: Texas Turnpike Authority Annual Reports
Late 1955 Handley Road Overpass (122 kB)
Late 1955 First piers for Trinity River Bridge (182 kB)
Late 1955 Through rural landscape in Tarrant County (91 kB)
Late 1956 Paving in progress, high resolution (187 kB)
Paving in progress, medium resolution (84 kB)
1957 Turnpike terminus at the Dallas Mixmaster, nearing completion (292 kB) (added 9-June-2001)
Construction on the Dallas Mixmaster had not begun.
1957 Turnpike terminus at the Dallas Mixmaster, nearing completion (393 kB)
This view looks north over the Turnpike Dallas terminus.
1957 Aerial view, looking west at State Highway 360 in Arlington (360 kB)
This photo was taken shortly before the opening in 1957. In the foreground is Watson road, which later became the State Highway 360 freeway. The structure in the foreground still exists today. In late 2002, plans for a major stack interchange at this location were unveiled. It will probably be a long time (between 2010 and 2020) before the stack interchange is built.
December 1957 Texas Highways Magazine "Dallas - Fort Worth Turnpike"     Page 1 (404K) 2 (395K) 3 (368K)
(added 9-June-2001)
This article describes the new tollway, which opened on August 27, 1957.
January 3, 1978 Removal of Toll Booths (162 kB) (added 9-May-2001)

Dallas Mixmaster (I-30/I-35E) (updated 9-May-2001)
Source: Texas Turnpike Authority Annual Reports, TxDOT archives, and Texas Highways Magazine
1960 Plans for Mixmaster, high resolution (610 kB)
Plans for Mixmaster, medium resolution (119 kB)
In 1960, the freeway on the south side of downtown was designated as Interstate 20. (Today, it is Interstate 30.) Construction on Interstate 20 had not yet begun. This image from the 1960 Turnpike Authority annual report shows the planned route of the freeway.
1963(?) Construction in Progress (218 kB)
This undated photo appears to be from 1963, midway through construction.
1965 Nearing completion, high resolution (359 kB)
Nearing completion, high resolution (359 kB)
In 1965, Interstate 20 (now Interstate 30) was nearly complete. In the background, the mixmaster with I-35E also appears to be complete.
June 1966 Texas Highways Magazine "A Vital Link for Dallas"     Page 1 (155K) 2 (464K) 3 (355K) (added 9-May-2001)
This article features the dedication of IH-20 on the south side of downtown Dallas on April 28, 1966.

Interstate 30 (formerly Interstate 20), just East of Downtown Dallas
Source: TxDOT archive library
Before Interstate 20 was opened on the south perimeter of Dallas in the mid 1970's, this facility passing just south of downtown Dallas was designated as Interstate 20. Today, it is Interstate 30.
Undated (1963?) Aerial view of construction of the elevated structure east of downtown Dallas (257 kB)
This view looks east, just east of the IH30 - IH45/US75 interchange. This elevated structure was widened and re-decked in the mid-1990's.
Undated (1963?) Ground Level view of construction of the elevated structure east of downtown Dallas (174 kB)
Undated (1963?) Bridge construction on IH-30 with downtown Dallas in the background (148 kB)

US 80 (formerly Interstate 20), east Dallas
Source: TxDOT archive library
February 1959 Aerial view of construction at Shiloh Road (435 kB)

Interstate 35E North, the Stemmons freeway (Updated 20-March-2001)
Source: TxDOT archive library
Circa 1960 Aerial view of IH-35E with downtown in the background. (168 kB)
Notice the lack of a median barrier, and notice the tremendous amount of skyscraper construction in progress. The smokestack structures were demolished in 1999-2000 for the new American Airlines Center arena.
September 17, 1960 On the west side of downtown Dallas (267 kB)
September 17, 1960 Aerial view at 183 intersection (246 kB)
This view looks southeast over the point where 183 and IH-35 merge. IH-35E is complete, 183 is under construction.
October 6, 1960 IH-35E at Belt Line in Carrolton (215 kB)
The roadway is very narrow on the bridge. And look at that exit ramp, which is practically a right-turn on a city street. This section has been widened to six lanes.
October 6, 1960 IH-35E Aerial looking north from Belt Line (274 kB)
February 1959 Aerial view looking south from south of 121 (279 kB)

Interstate 35E South, the R.L. Thornton freeway (added 9-June-2001)
Source: TxDOT archive library
November 1959 Aerial view of freeway end at Marsalis Avenue (283 kB)
As of 1959, right-of-way clearance had not yet begun in this area about 3 miles south of downtown. Obviously, the neighborhood in the path of the freeway was adversely impacted. Note that this photo is labeled as the Stemmons Freeway, but is called the Thornton Freeway today.

US 75 North, Central Expressway (Photos added 9-June-2001)
Source: TxDOT archive library
Central Expressway was Dallas first freeway, completed around 1950. Unfortunately, design standards at that time were very poor. This facility persisted in its original state until the massive reconstruction that began in the early 1990's and was complete in November, 1999. See the impressive new Central Expressway.
1953 Just after completion (120 kB)
This undated photo appear to be just after the freeway opening around 1950. There was no median barrier, and the grass in the narrow median looks like it has just been seeded or sodded, suggesting that construction was just completed.
July 1958 Aerial view just north of downtown Dallas (129 kB)
Even in 1958, there were traffic buildups on Central.
Undated, circa late 1950's Looking north at the Loop 12 overpass (64 kB) (added 9-June-2001)
February 1959 Aerial view at Walnut Hill (222 kB)
This remarkable view looks south over pasture that would soon become a major shopping mall and office complex. The cloverleaf interchange in the background is Loop 12.
February 1959 Aerial view at Walnut Hill, looking southeast (261 kB) (added 9-June-2001)
There was a golf course at the southeast corner of US 75 and Walnut Hill. According to old maps, this was the Glen Lakes Country Club, which appears on maps up to the late 1970's. There was a large stock pond at the southwest corner.
February 1959 At Forest Lane (233 kB)
This view looks south over the Forest Lane intersection, which is about 1 mile south of today's IH-635.
  Looking south at Belt Line (273 kB) (added 9-June-2001)
February 1959 Looking northwest At Parker Road in Plano (197 kB)
February 1959 Looking northeast over Allen, TX (265 kB) (added 9-June-2001)
I'm sure the folks in Allen, TX, in 1959 never thought they could be swallowed by the DFW metroplex. As recently as the early to mid-1990's, the area around Allen was still largely rural and agricultural. Well, suburbia has arrived in Allen, TX.
February 1959 121 at McKinney, TX (178 kB)
This view looks south over the intersection with SH121. US 75 was not yet constructed north of 121.
June 1962 Typical view north of downtown (129 kB)
This ground-level view looking south shows a typical section of Central Expressway. The roadway looked like this until the early 1990's.
1981 Typical view of freeway (164 kB)
Notice the on-ramp and it's almost total lack of a merging lane. Would you believe that TxDOT actually metered these ramps, forcing motorists to stop on these suicide ramps when traffic on the freeway was flowing at full speed? When I lived along Central Expressway in the late 1980's, I totally ignored the ramp meters.
May 1988 Original Freeway at Walnut Hill (264 kB) in color
Photo courtesy of the Texas Transportation Institute
3-April-1993 Construction of ramp to Coit Road (282 kB)
This shows construction of cast-in-place contrete on the ramp, with falsework in place. Cast-in-place concrete is highly unusual on Texas highways.
November 1998 Construction south of Mockingbird
Low resolution (282 kB) High resolution (1363 kB)
This photo was taken one year before the completion of the entire Central Expressway project (which occurred in November, 1999). This shows the facility substantially complete, with the new northbound main lanes under construction.

Texas 183 (updated 9-May-2001)
Source: TxDOT archive library
October 6, 1960 Looking northwest along 114 (228 kB)
114 would later be extended to the right. 183 veers off to the left. The future Texas Stadium would be built in the center of this photo. Note that this photo shows what is now the intersection of 183 and 114. The photo is labelled as the intersection of 183 and Loop 12; a texasfreeway.com reader reports that "at the time this was the intersection of 183 and Loop 12. Loop 12 followed what is now Spur 482 (Storey Lane) before Walton Walker was completed up to I-35E."
October 6, 1960 Aerial view looking west (337 kB)
Texas Stadium would be built on the land on the immediate right in 1971. This section of the freeway was the subject of a recent major investment study which recommended expanding the freeway to a 4-3-4 configuration.
October 6, 1960 Aerial view looking west at construction near Trinity River (added 9-May-2001) (236 kB)
This image shows that the freeway was complete west of the Trinity River, but still under construction east of the Trinity River.

Interstate 635 (added 9-May-2001)
Source: Texas Highways Magazine
January 1969 Texas Highways Magazine "A Laser Opening" (Opening ceremony for a 10-mile section of IH-635) (247K)
I love this photo. Look at the flames coming up from the burning ribbon as the laser scorches it!
February 1970 Texas Highways Magazine "The Sky's the Limit" (High Mast Illumination) (324K)
This article features one of the first installations of high mast illumination in Texas at the IH-635/IH-35E interchange. Today, TxDOT uses high mast illumination along the length of freeways, not just at interchanges. Houston is the leader in high mast illumination, probably in the United States, and possibly worldwide.

Interstate 635, Stack Construction at IH-30 and US-80 (formerly IH-20)
Source: TxDOT archive library
These two stacks are practically identical in design. At the time of the construction, what is now US80 was designated as IH-20. Today, IH-20 skirts the south side of Dallas. For completed views taken in 2000, see the IH-20/IH-635 photo gallery.
January 6, 1969 Construction of the 4-level stack at IH-30 and IH-635 (161 kB)
January 6, 1969 Piers for the 4-level stack at IH-30 and IH-635 (146 kB)
January 6, 1969 Ramps for the 4-level stack at IH-635 and US80 (75 kB)
January 6, 1969 Ramps for the 4-level stack at IH-635 and US80 (155 kB)
January 6, 1969 Central "double T" support beam for interchange, IH-635/US80 (65 kB)

Dallas North Tollway
Source: Texas Turnpike Authority Annual Reports
1966 Construction photos
High resolution (450 kB), Medium resolution (108 kB)
1966 Construction photos
1968 IH635/Tollway interchange
High resolution (436 kB), Medium resolution (93 kB)
1984 Construction of feeder roads at IH-635 interchange (198 kB)
1986 Completed improvements at IH-635 interchange (167 kB)
1986 Tollway construction at Arapahoe (117 kB)

Fort Worth Mixmaster (I-30/I-35W)
Source: Texas Turnpike Authority Annual Reports; TxDOT archives
1957 Plans for downtown Fort Worth freeway network
High resolution (609 kB), Medium resolution (175 kB), Low resolution (81 kB)
This image from the 1957 Turnpike Authority annual report shows the planned freeway network in downtown Fort Worth. The interchange with the Dallas/Fort Worth Turnpike (I-30) and I-35W appears to be complete. Total reconstruction of this interchange will be completed in 2001. The interchange shown in this photo will then be demolished in 2001.
July 1958 Aerial view of IH-30 / IH-35W stack interchange (198 kB)
This view looks southward over the interchange, with was the first stack in the Metroplex. All traces of this stack will be gone when the reconstruction is completed in 2001.

Downtown Fort Worth, US 287
Source: TxDOT archive library
These photos were labelled "10/3". Was this October 3 (year not stated), or October 1963? I don't know. If you can pinpoint the date of these photos, please email me at freeway@texasfreeway.com.
Undated (1963?) Aerial view of US 287 crossing IH-35 on the northeast side of downtown Fort Worth (165 kB)
Undated (1963?) Aerial view of construction of the terminus of US287 (224 kB)
Undated (1963?) Ground level view of construction (154 kB)

Fort Worth IH-35W (photos added 9-May-2001)
Source: TxDOT archive library
December 1956 US 81 (predecessor to IH-35) 5 miles south of Fort Worth (102 kB) (added 8-May-2001)
This view shows a typical 1950's 4-lane freeway without a center barrier
Undated (mid 1950's?) Railroad crossing with US 81 sign (102 kB) (added 8-May-2001)
Looking north along US 81 in Fort Worth from south of Berry Street. Berry Street is about 3 miles south of downtown.
Undated (mid 1950's?) US 81 railroad crossing (128 kB) (added 8-May-2001)
This is a view of the same railroad crossing as above, but looking south from Berry Street.
Undated (mid 1950's?) Looking north on near Berry Street (128 kB)
Undated (1963?) Aerial view of IH-35W looking south, with the 183 intersection in the foreground. (165 kB)
At the time of this photo, IH-35W stopped just north of 183.
July 1958 Aerial view of IH-35W looking north, just south of IH-30 (DFW Turnpike) (212 kB)
The new mixmaster interchange is shifted southward from the original interchange, and this section of roadway now is part of the new interchange. See a September 2000 contruction view.
October 1963 Aerial view of freeway under construction, north of downtown (271 kB)
Looking north from north of 183/28th street.

Interstate 30 in Fort Worth (photos added 9-May-2001)
Source: TxDOT archive library
Interstate 30 was formerly signed as Interstate 20 until the completion of today's Interstate 20 on the southern perimeter of the Metroplex. These photos show the original configuration of IH-30 through central Fort Worth. The freeway has been reconstructed to have a minimum of 8 lanes for most of its length. The elevated section through downtown was relocated; the new freeway opened in late 2000. See the Fort Worth mixmaster construction.
Undated (mid 1950's?) West of downtown, near Hulen exit, looking west (102 kB) (added 9-May-2001)
This photo, lablled as "Fort Worth Expressway," appears to be IH-30 looking west in the vicinity of Hulen Steet. The roadway is just about complete, lacking only pavement markings and the center curb separator.
Undated (1958?) West of downtown, at Hulen exit, looking east (92 kB)
This view shows the original 4-lane freeway without a center barrier.
July 1958 Aerial view looking east towards downtown (284 kB)
The new alignment of IH-30 opened in late 2000 breaks away from the old alignment where the freeway curves to the left. To see a photo taken about 2 months before the freeway opened, click here.
July 1958 Aerial view looking west over west Fort Worth (271 kB)

IH820 / US183 / TX 121 Interchange, northeast Fort Worth
Source: TxDOT archive library
A major reconstruction and expansion of this interchange will be completed in 2001. See the 121 photo gallery for a schematic of the new interchange and construction photos.
Undated (1963?) Aerial view of construction in initial phase (233 kB)
This view looks north along IH820. A massive expansion of this interchange was completed in 2001.
Undated (1963?) Aerial view of IH-820, looking south at the 121 split (203 kB)
The 121 freeway towards downtown had not yet begun construction as of the data of this photo.

183/IH-820 (formerly Loop 217), southwest Fort Worth (updated 9-June-2001)
Source: TxDOT archive library
Most of Loop 217 became interstate 820. However, a part of it became as 183 (including the section shown in the Vickery view).
July 1958 Aerial view looking west at IH-35 (250 kB)
This view shows that the freeway stopped at IH-35. The cloverleaf interchange is long gone, replaced by a stack.
August 1958 Aerial view of nearly complete freeway (282 kB)
This is the intersection at Westcreek and (what is now) IH-820.
1958 Aerial view (207 kB)
This view looks south from the intersection with Vickery Lane.
1958 Aerial view at Vickery (313 kB) (added 9-June-2001)
Another view of Vickery Lane and the Texas Pacific Railroad.

IH-820 East Fort Worth (section added 9-June-2001)
Source: TxDOT archive library
October 1963 View of just completed freeway (121 kB)
A 10.6 mile section of IH-820 east from just south of 121/183 to IH-820 was opened in September, 1963.
October 1963 Looking north at the DFW turnpike interchange (241 kB)
October 1963 Looking north-northeast over the intersection of the Poly Freeway (US 287) (260 kB)
December 1963 Texas Highways Magazine "Fort Worth Dedicates New Section of I.H. 820" (368K)

Fort Worth City Streets (added 9-May-2001)
Undated View of 7th Street, Looking west (157 kB)
Someone in Fort Worth was able to identify the location of this photo as 7th Street, looking west, just outside downtown. The large building in the background is Montgomery Wards.

 
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