TEXAS/SOUTH CENTRAL U.S.
Oct. 1-8 2011
We spent many days in Texas, and we continue southeast on US 83 between Rio Grande City and La Grulla.
US 83 near Penitas. (Ahem.) We're so far south that the billboard advertises a TV station in Mexico. For me, it was a real novelty to see call letters starting with X.
US 83 becomes a freeway. The exit is for Bentsen Palm Drive and TX 364. I remember the time one of my friends in college confused Lloyd Bentsen with George Benson.
US 83 in McAllen, a city of 130,000 that actually has some skyscrapers up ahead like the Chase Texas Tower, the city's tallest.
A frontage road for US 83 in Weslaco.
I'm not sure what waterway we're crossing here, but I suspect the bridge we see is for Biz US 83.
The skyscrapers in the distance represent Harlingen, a city of 65,000.
US 77 is a freeway for a few miles north of Harlingen before petering out into a divided surface road. Isn't the I-69 boondoggle supposed to use this road?
North on US 77 near Norias or Armstrong.
On US 77 near Sarita, this is yet another Border Patrol checkpoint. This is almost 100 miles from the border.
Another view of the Border Patrol station that delayed us.
In the distance (next to the white ball that looks like the tower is blowin' a bubble), you'll see something interesting. It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a big city! And major cities are rich in Roads Scholaring sites! The city looming on the horizon is Corpus Christi. I'm not sure what road we're on, but it could be TX 44.
Another view of Corpus Christi. This is probably from the TX 358 freeway.
I-37 in Corpus Christi. Although I-37 is north-south overall, we're going almost due east here.
I-37 still. Memories of Laurel, MS, huh?
Woo-hoo! I-37 continues in Corpus Christi, and there's nothing like speeding down an urban freeway with the wind at your sails!
We're almost at the end of I-37.
Some of the tallest buildings in Corpus Christi (which has surpassed Cincinnati in population). This is where I-37 brushes up against Winnebago Street.
US 181/TX 35 forms a mostly elevated freeway along Broadway. The Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge is in the background.
Another view approaching the Harbor Bridge. I have no idea what the closed ramp was for.
Boarding the Harbor Bridge. Construction of this span lasted from 1956-59, and it replaced an earlier drawbridge. It may be replaced with an even higher bridge.
Descending the Harbor Bridge at Corpus Christi's North Beach. Corpus Christi Bay is at right. Looks like there's another bridge up ahead. Will we cross it? If poo.
US 181/TX 35 is still a freeway at North Beach.
Yes, we do cross the bridge that loomed in the distance a couple photos back. It's the Nueces Bay Causeway, also part of US 181. The frontage road on the right (known as Causeway Boulevard) looks rather interesting as it loops under the freeway.
Crossing the Nueces Bay Causeway to Portland, TX.
US 181 in Portland.
The TX 35 bridge where Capano Bay flows into Aransas Bay. This is also known as the Lyndon B. Johnson Causeway.
Descending the TX 35 bridge. It opened in 1967 to replace the parallel bridge on the left. The bridge on the left now has a gap and has been made into 2 separate fishing piers. The pier seen here is well over a mile long.
TX 35 crosses the Lavaca Bay Causeway between Port Lavaca and Point Comfort.
A view of Lavaca Bay from the causeway. The causeway opened in the 1960s to replace the bridge at right, which has been converted into fishing piers. However, the old bridge now has 2 gaps, so one of the piers doesn't connect to anything else at either end.
Up, up, up on the Lavaca Bay Causeway.
And down again, with the industries of Point Comfort in the background. One of the piers formed from the old bridge is seen at right.
Something tells me I'm into something Roads Scholarly, as another big city lurks. US 59 uses the Southwest Freeway out of Houston, and this is approaching the Brazos River southwest of town.
I don't know what the interest here was, but this is US 59 in the huge Houston suburb of Sugar Land (which has nothing to do with the band Sugarland). Wikipedia says, "Sugar Land is widely seen as one of the most heavily Republican areas in Greater Houston." Uh-oh.
US 59 enters Stafford, another Houston suburb. Stafford greets us with this Jetsons-like pyramid.
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