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US 54, the Patriot Freeway
Created and last updated July 15, 2001
Also see: IH-10/US 54 stack
| The US 54 freeway connects to the main vehicular border crossing to Juarez, Mexico, via the short IH-110 freeway, which is the continuation of US 54 south of Interstate 10. North of Interstate 10, the freeway serves the Fort Bliss military reservation. Just north of IH-10, the US 54 freeway is a very wide (10-12) facility, capable of handling much more traffic than exists today. The freeway rapidly drops lanes, and about 4 miles north of IH-10, the freeway is reduced to 4 lanes. There is plenty of space for expansion, if and when traffic develops.
I don't know very much about the history of the US 54 freeway. The interchange at Interstate 10 was completed around 1973. The freeway probably followed in the years afterwards, slowing being built northward through the 1970's, 1980's and 1990's.
There are two major improvement projects planned for US 54 in the near future. Both projects are funded and scheduled for 2003. The freeway main lanes will be extended 4.8 miles northward to FM 2529 from the current terminus just north of Loop 375 in a $25 million project. The second project is an $18 million project at the Fred Wilson intersection described as "Construct Entrance and Exit Ramps". The Fred Wilson interchange is already very complicated for an intersection with a regular street, so I am definitely curious about the plans. For the cost, it must involve a couple direct connectors.
Photos start at Interstate 10 proceed northward
(high resolution 244k) A. This view looks north from one of the overpasses at the interchange with IH-10. This section of US 54 is very wide. Photo taken 31-May-2001.
(high resolution 274k) B. This view looks south from the Trowbridge street overpass. The IH-10 interchange is in the background. As a point of historical interest, this location was once planned as the beginning of the cancelled Trowbridge-Montana freeway. See the 1963 planning map (314 kB). Photo taken 31-May-2001.
(high resolution 184k) C. This view looks north from the Trowbridge street overpass. Photo taken 31-May-2001.
(high resolution 132k) D. This view looks north from the Cassidy street overpass. In the far background, one of the ramps at the Fred Wilson interchange can be seen. Photo taken 31-May-2001.
| (high resolution 124k) E. Driver's view looking north on the northbound feeder road. The Fred Wilson interchange is fairly complex. An $18 million project scheduled for 2003 will add new ramps. Photo taken 31-May-2001.
(high resolution 97k) F. Driver's view looking north near Dyer Street. Photo taken 31-May-2001.
(high resolution 69k) G. Driver's view looking north at Diana Street. Photo taken 31-May-2001.
(high resolution 129k) H. Driver's view at the exit for Loop 375. Photo taken 31-May-2001.
(high resolution 63k) J. The current end of the freeway main lanes just north of Loop 375. The freeway is scheduled to be extended 4.8 miles northward, with work starting in 2003. Photo taken 31-May-2001.