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End of US highway 59

View a map showing this route.

Additional research and/or photo credits: Karin and Martin Karner; Jeff Morrison; Alex Nitzman; Steve Riner; Stephen Taylor

Approx. time period North terminus South terminus
1934-1939 Pembina, ND Port Arthur, TX
1939-1955(?) Pembina, ND Laredo, TX
1955(?)-present (near Lancaster, MN) Laredo, TX

There was an earlier US 59 that was at least proposed by Minnesota, if not actually signposted, but it was never approved by AASHO. At any rate, it lasted only for about one year; you can read about its endpoints here. Roughly the same time it disappeared (1934), today's US 59 was commissioned, and it's been around ever since. My 1947 map shows it heading northwest from Lancaster MN, joining US 75 near Humboldt. But instead of continuing with US 75 to the Canada border at Noyes MN, US 59 split off at St. Vincent and crossed over to Pembina ND. US 59 may have ended right in Pembina at its junction with US 81, or else it continued with US 81 up to the border crossing. This would've been the old crossing, which was located just to the east of the current I-29/US 81 port of entry (you can view photos and get more info on this page).

In about 1955, the north end of US 59 was changed to the route it still follows today: it heads due north out of Lancaster about 9 miles, to terminate at the Canada border:

Morrison, May 2007

The road continues ahead as Manitoba hwy. 59, to Winnipeg and beyond. Heading the opposite direction, the photo below shows the first southbound US 59 marker:

Morrison, May 2007

Originally, from Tenaha TX, US 59 followed what is now US 96 down to its south end at Port Arthur TX. You can view photos of that terminus on this page.

In 1939 the US 59 designation was truncated at Tenaha and rerouted south and west along essentially the same path it currently follows to Beeville. However, today's US 59 between there and Laredo hadn't yet been built, so US 59 traffic was routed on what is now TX hwy. 359 via Skidmore, Mathis, Alice, San Diego, and Hebbronville to get to Laredo. More information on the historic terminus there can be found on this page.

In about 1955, today's US 59 between Beeville and Laredo was opened to traffic, so US 59 now comes into town from the northeast. The photo below shows what used to be the last US 59 sign, on westbound Saunders Street:

Taylor, 2000 (gone as of 2014)

The overpass in the distance is I-35/US 83, and the US 59 designation ended at that interchange... but first, Saunders crosses Zacata Creek. Throughout Laredo, the street grid is offset on opposite sides of this creek, so Saunders jogs slightly to the north and becomes Lafayette Street just before it reaches I-35:

Karners, Dec. 2014

The frontage road on this side (the east side) of the freeway is San Dario Avenue. Technically, US 59 ended at the intersection on the far side of the freeway (Santa Ursula Avenue, the next signal), because that frontage road provides access to southbound I-35/US 83. There's no good reason why the US 59 designation shouldn't have continued just one more block past there, to San Bernardo Avenue, which was the original US 81/US 83 through the city, and which now carries Bus. 35 and Bus. 83. In fact, that junction is signed as if Lafayette is on the state highway system...

Google Maps Street View, Dec. 2012

...and for San Bernardo traffic, Lafayette was signed as if it was the south beginning of US 59:

Google Maps Street View, Dec. 2012

That was from southbound San Bernardo; an identical sign was posted for northbound traffic. The 1961 TXDoT map of Laredo shows that US 59 extended straight ahead (south on San Bernardo, co-signed with US 81 and US 83). But US 59 was probably truncated when US 81-83 traffic was moved to the freeway, so US 59 began to the left for about 50 years. Signage on southbound Santa Ursula looked the same as southbound San Bernardo:

Karners, Dec. 2014

Turning that direction (east on Lafayette), the first confirming marker was posted just on the other side of the I-35 overpass:

Karners, Dec. 2014

Heading north on I-35, the shot below shows the signage for the beginning of US 59:

Taylor, 2000 (unchanged as of Oct. 2007)

That off-ramp leads to San Dario (the frontage road), and at the stoplight at Lafayette the sign tree below used to be posted:

Taylor, 2000 (gone as of 2014)

Note that back then, US 59 was signed as an east-west highway. I'm not sure where signage changed to north-south: I figured maybe Houston, and someone else suggested Beeville. At any rate, by 2004 signs along the entire route had been changed to north-south, including those in Laredo. I imagine this could be confusing to some drivers, since US 59 does start out by heading due east.

At their Spring 2014 meeting, AASHTO approved Texas' request to reroute US 59 around the north segment of Loop 20, to a new terminus at the World Trade International Bridge. They also approved the request to re-designate old US 59 as Business 59. It appears TXDoT changed signage to that effect approx. one year later. The shot below is looking west on Saunders at its junction with the Bob Bullock Loop:

Google Maps Street View, Aug. 2015

Originally Bob Bullock was signed only as Loop 20, but in 2015 the US 59 designation was added to the northern portion of the loop, and former mainline 59 (ahead on Saunders) was re-signed as Business 59. US 59 now follows the Loop to the north, which then turns west again to Laredo's newest international port of entry:

Google Maps Street View, Dec. 2012

The monument in the background is a stylized globe, and it includes the words "World Trade Bridge".