Texas State Highway 20

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State Highway 20 marker

State Highway 20
Route information
Maintained by TxDOT
Length78.061 mi[1] (125.627 km)
ExistedApril 2, 1969–present
Major junctions
West end NM 460 / NM 478 in Anthony
  SH 178 in El Paso

I-10 / US 85 / US 180 in El Paso
I-10 / US 180 in El Paso
I-110 / US 54 in El Paso

US 62 in El Paso
East end I-10 in McNary
CountiesEl Paso, Hudspeth
Highway system
SH 19SH 21

State Highway 20 or SH 20 is a 78.1-mile (125.7 km) highway maintained by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) that runs from New Mexico State Road 460 at the state line between Texas and New Mexico at Anthony in El Paso County to Interstate 10 at McNary in Hudspeth County. It largely follows a former alignment of U.S. Route 80. The route passes through the city of El Paso as well as suburban and rural farming communities along the Rio Grande. With the exception of a stretch north of central El Paso where the route crosses north of I-10, the route generally runs in a narrow belt between I-10 and the Rio Grande. The route has connections to every international border crossing [2]with Mexico in the El Paso area and has important intersections with US 54, US 62, US 85, and US 180.

Until the late 1930s, the route designation belonged to a highway in central Texas along the route of present-day US 290. The current route predates the Texas highway system having been a portion of several historic auto trails. The route was included at the creation of the state system as part of SH 1. With the establishment of the U.S. numbered highway system, the route became US 80 and the SH 1 designation was eventually dropped. SH 20 was designated over the route when US 80 was relocated over I-10 before it too was decommissioned in western Texas.


Previous route[edit]

Historic SH 20

On June 21, 1917, the department's Office of State Highway Engineer issued a proposal for the state highway system. The proposal included a Highway 20 originally planned as the Austin-Houston Highway between Austin and Houston by way of Bastrop, Giddings, Brenham, and Hempstead.[3] On July 17, 1917, the planned route was extended from Austin to Brady by way of Burnet, Llano, and Mason.[4][5] On December 17, 1918, SH 20 was rerouted away from Bastrop, with the section from Austin to Bastrop transferred to SH 3A.[6] The section of SH 20 from Hempstead to Houston was cancelled as it was already part of the Gulf Division Branch of SH 2.

Historic SH 20A

On November 19, 1917, an intercounty highway from Austin through Johnson City to Fredericksburg was designated.[7]On January 20, 1919, this was changed to an auxiliary route of Highway 20, Highway 20A.[8][9] The highway routes remained unchanged in a 1922 proposal that rated both routes as "second class" under a three-tier system.[10]

On August 21, 1923, SH 20 in the new highway system was routed over the previously proposed Highway 20A from Fredericksburg to Austin and then over the proposed Highway 20 to Hempstead as a second class highway. The old route to Leander was cancelled, and northwest of there became part of SH 43 when it was extended southwest. In 1924, the state highway department assumed responsibility to maintain all state highways which were previously maintained by the counties. The following year, state lawmakers vest the department with the authority to acquire right of way, survey, plan, and build highways.[11] On August 10, 1925, SH 20 was given a third class extension to Kerrville.[12] On February 20, 1928, SH 20 was given an auxiliary route SH 20A from Fredericksburg to a point on the highway between Kerrville and Junction.[13] All of the highway from Fredericksburg to Hempstead was classified as a "secondary federal highway". The portion between Fredericksburg and Kerrville along with the new auxiliary route were classified as "state highways" eligible for state aid only.[14]

On March 19, 1930 the SH 20 designation was dropped over the Fredericksburg to Kerrville highway (replaced by an extended SH 81) and extended instead over the auxiliary route SH 20A. In 1933 the road was described between Fredericksburg and Hempstead as paved except for the portion in Hays County around Dripping Springs and a short portion west of Elgin that were described as surfaced. The portion west of Fredericksburg toward Junction was graded earth.[15] In 1935, US 290 was routed over SH 20 except for the portion between Austin and Paige where US 290 was routed further south through Bastrop.[16] By 1936, the formerly surfaced portion west of Elgin had been paved, but the Hays County portion remained merely surfaced. West of Fredericksburg, the Gillespie County portion had been surfaced while the Kimble County portion remained as an improved earth road.[17] On September 26, 1939, the SH 20 designation was dropped along all portions of the route running along US 290 as a result of that day's general redescription of the state highway system leaving SH 20 as a greatly shortened route running from Austin to US 290 near Paige. On May 23, 1951, US 290 was relocated away from Bastrop northward along SH 20 which was then decommissioned.[1]

Current route[edit]

Before the state established its highway system, the route of SH 20 was used by many historic auto trails including the Dixie Overland Highway, the Old Spanish Trail, the Lee Highway, the Jefferson Davis National Highway, and the Bankhead Highway.[18]

Historic SH 1

The current SH 20 was originally a part of the former SH 1, a route that from the current eastern terminus of the present route continued on through Van Horn, Odessa, Midland, Abilene, Fort Worth, and Dallas before entering Arkansas at Texarkana. This route was also one of the original routes planned in 1917,[5] and remained largely unchanged until the end of the 1930s.[5][9][10][19][14][15][17]

US 80

In 1927, US 80 was designated over the route of SH 1 from the New Mexico state line at Anthony to Dallas and then proceeding east to the Louisiana state line east of Waskom.[20] The highway carried both the US 80 and SH 1 designations until the 1939 general redescription of the state highway system when SH 1 was decommissioned outside the city of Dallas.[21] In 1944, the full length of US 80 within Texas was designated as the Veterans of World War II Highway.[20] US 80 was relocated over I-10 through El Paso on April 2, 1969, and its former route was then renamed SH 20.[1] US 80 was decommissioned west of Dallas on August 28, 1991.[20]

Route description[edit]

SH 20 begins where NM 460 (Co-signed with NM 478), also called Anthony Dr., reaches the state line between Anthony, New Mexico and Anthony, Texas in the El Paso area's Upper Valley. The route proceeds south through Anthony along Main St. passing Federal Correctional Institution, La Tuna. The route then enters Vinton where it becomes Doniphan Dr. Further south in Canutillo the route intersects Loop 375, El Paso's beltway. After entering the city of El Paso, the route intersects SH 178 which connects the route via NM 136 to the international border with Mexico south of Santa Teresa, New Mexico. Further south, SH 20 turns off of Doniphan Dr. and onto Mesa St. and soon after crosses the I-10 freeway which also carries US 85 and US 180 at this point. The route continues to the southeast passing through the foothills of the Franklin Mountains. The route then passes the University of Texas at El Paso and Sun Bowl Stadium before entering central El Paso.[22]

In central El Paso, the route crosses I-10 and US 180 again and then soon after turns northeast on Texas Ave. where the route crosses Santa Fe St. and Stanton St. leading to the Paso del Norte International Bridge and Good Neighbor International Bridge to Ciudad Juárez. The route then turns east along Alameda Ave. The route then crosses Loop 478 before crossing the unsigned I-110 and US 54 at the Patriot Freeway which leads to the international Bridge of the Americas. The route crosses US 62 at Paisano Dr. before the route turns southeast at Ascarate Park and enters the Lower Valley.[22]

At Zaragoza Rd., which leads to the Ysleta-Zaragoza International Bridge, the route intersects FM 258 and passes Ysleta Mission in the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Native American reservation. The route crosses Loop 375 again before entering Socorro where the route continues along Alameda. Further to the southeast at Clint, SH 20 crosses FM 1110 to San Elizario. In Fabens, where SH 20 is known as Main St., the route crosses FM 76 which leads toward the Fabens-Caseta International Bridge. The route passes through Tornillo as Alameda Ave. again before leaving El Paso County.[22]

In Hudspeth County, the route intersects Spur 148 which passes through central Fort Hancock. A short distance later, the route intersects FM 1088 which connects Fort Hancock to the Fort Hancock – El Porvenir International Bridge. At McNary, the route intersects FM 2217 which continues along the Lower Valley, and then terminates at I-10.[22]

Major intersections[edit]

El PasoAnthony0.00.0 NM 460 north (Anthony Drive)
0.00.0 FM 1905 west (Washington Street)west end of FM 1905 overlap
0.10.16 FM 1905 east (Franklin Street) to I-10east end of FM 1905 overlap
0.60.97 Spur 6 east (Wildcat Drive) to I-10
Vinton2.94.7 To I-10 / Vinton Road (Spur 37) – Vinton, Westway
Canutillo5.99.5 FM 259
6.410.3 Loop 375 east (Talbot Drive) to I-10
El Paso Spur 16
8.513.7 SH 178 (Artcraft Road) to I-10interchange
11.819.0 I-10 / US 85 / US 180 – Las CrucesI-10 exit 11
19.731.7 I-10 (US 180)I-10 exit 19
To Fed. 45 / Mesa Street
22.536.2 Loop 478 (Copia Street)
24.038.6 US 62 (Paisano Drive) to I-10 – Juarez
24.839.9 FM 1505 (Clark Drive)
25.741.4 FM 76 east (Delta Drive)
32.251.8 FM 258 east (Zaragoza Road) to I-10
33.453.8 Loop 375 (Americas Avenue) to I-10Loop 375 exit 47
Clint41.566.8 FM 1110 (Clint) to I-10 – San Elizario Mission
Fabens48.177.4 FM 258 west
48.778.4 FM 76 (Island Rd.) to I-10 / FM 793 – Port of Entry
FM 3380 (M.F. Aguilera Road)
HudspethFort Hancock72.2116.2 Spur 148 to I-10
73.1117.6 FM 1088 south – Port of Entry
77.2124.2 FM 192
78.1125.7 I-10 – El Paso, Sierra BlancaI-10 exit 78
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "State Highway No. 20". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  2. ^ (PDF) https://publicdocs.txdot.gov/minord/MinuteOrderDocLib/003676739.pdf. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ (PDF) https://publicdocs.txdot.gov/minord/MinuteOrderDocLib/003676699.pdf. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ (PDF) https://publicdocs.txdot.gov/minord/MinuteOrderDocLib/003676716.pdf. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ a b c Map Showing Proposed System of State Highways (Map) (June 1917 ed.). ¾"=25 mi. Cartography by John D. Miller. Texas State Highway Department, Office of State Highway Engineer. July 1917. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  6. ^ (PDF) https://publicdocs.txdot.gov/minord/MinuteOrderDocLib/003676784.pdf. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ (PDF) https://publicdocs.txdot.gov/minord/MinuteOrderDocLib/003676739.pdf. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ (PDF) https://publicdocs.txdot.gov/minord/MinuteOrderDocLib/003676785.pdf. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ a b Highway Map, State of Texas (Map) (October 1, 1919 ed.). 1"=25 mi. Texas State Highway Department. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  10. ^ a b Highway Map of the State of Texas (Map) (December 1, 1922 ed.). 1"=20 mi. Texas State Highway Department. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  11. ^ "TxDOT History: 1917–1930". Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  12. ^ (PDF) https://publicdocs.txdot.gov/minord/MinuteOrderDocLib/003676912.pdf. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ (PDF) https://publicdocs.txdot.gov/minord/MinuteOrderDocLib/003676988.pdf. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ a b Official Highway Map of Texas (Map) (1928 ed.). 1⅛"=20 mi. Texas State Highway Commission. Revised to March 1, 1929. Archived from the original on May 10, 2012. Retrieved July 21, 2010. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  15. ^ a b Official Map of the Highway System of Texas (Map) (June 15, 1933 ed.). ⅞"=30 mi. Cartography by R. M. Stene. Texas State Highway Commission. § M16-N24. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  16. ^ Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "U.S. Highway No. 290". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  17. ^ a b Official Map of the Highway System of Texas (Map) (Centennial ed.). 1"=29 mi. Cartography by R. M. Stene. Texas State Highway Commission. Corrected to March 1, 1936. Retrieved July 21, 2010. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  18. ^ Weingroff, Richard F. "U.S. Route 80 The Dixie Overland Highway". Highway History. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved July 22, 2010. External link in |work= (help)
  19. ^ Official Highway Map of Texas (Map) (1926 ed.). 1"=30 mi. Texas State Highway Commission. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  20. ^ a b c Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "U.S. Highway No. 80". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 22, 2010.
  21. ^ Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "State Highway No. 1". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 22, 2010.
  22. ^ a b c d e Google (July 20, 2010). "Map of SH 20" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved July 20, 2010.

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata

Geographic data related to Texas State Highway 20 at OpenStreetMap