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Abandoned "Old North Belt" in Houston, Texas

Photos by Martin G. Blaise
Disclaimer: this page is in no way part of or represents the opinion of the Texas Department of Transportation. It is strictly for entertainment and none of my comments should be used as facts.

Background history - State of Texas Highway Loop #8 (Beltway 8)

Back in the "early days" only a few sections of North Belt, West Belt, South Belt and East Belt existed. It was not until 1969 that any portions of freeway main lanes were built.

The two original North Belt overpasses at Aldine-Westfield Road and Hardy Street built in 1969 still exist, although revamped several times. The two original ramps from North Belt (also built in 1969) connected north to then-called Drummet Blvd (now JFK Blvd.). These ramps were replaced (sadly to me) by new ramps in either the late 80s or early 9s.

It appears that part of the original North Belt was not constructed with freeway lanes in mind, but as a divided street. North Belt later had a new alignment as Beltway 8. The new roadways cut the old North Belt in half. However, part of old road is still used for local subdivisions. It is called, appropriately enough, Old North Belt. Some maps refer to it as E. North Belt.

Near construction of the Beltway 8 interchange and US 59 the Eastex Freeway, are some short abandoned sections of the old alignment. There are two feeder roads that take Beltway 8 traffic on bridges over a railroad track. Traffic seems to always be heavy here and the main lanes should alleviate some of the traffic backups. The main lanes will cross the railroad tracks and then go over Old Humble Road before the freeway ends.

Old North Belt crosses Old Humble Road and then goes up to the current feeder roads near Mesa Drive. It picks up again no the north side of the freeway and then turns back south again and ends at the service road. These pictures show what is left of Old North Belt. If anyone has any information about when the alignment was changed or if this segment was originally scheduled to be made into a freeway

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