End of US highway 181

View a map showing this route.

Photo credits: Robert Brooks; Stephen Taylor; Kevin Trinkle; Mike Wiley; me

Approx. time period North terminus South terminus
1926-1977 San Antonio, TX Corpus Christi, TX
1977-present (near San Antonio, TX) Corpus Christi, TX

Originally, before I-37 was built, US 181 used to extend a few miles further northwest from its current terminus on the outskirts of San Antonio. Heading northbound, just before its terminus, we come to this junction:

Google Maps Street View, 2009

Spur 122 to the right is the original alignment of US 181 along Presa Street and into downtown (you can view photos and maps from there on this page). Today the north end of US 181 is just ahead, at its junction with I-37, just outside the I-410 loop. The photo below shows the last northbound marker:

me, Mar. 2012

It seems a little odd to have a trailblazer here, since this is the merge point with I-37. The photo below was looking south on I-37:

Wiley, 2000

That exit marks the north beginning of US 181 - traffic exits to the right and then crosses the freeway via the overpass visible in the distance. Those signs have since been replaced with Clearview versions:

me, Mar. 2012

If you take that exit, the first southbound confirming marker used to be right on the overpass, but by the time of my visit, that one was gone, and the first one wasn't posted for another mile or so:

me, Mar. 2012


The south end of US 181 is in Corpus Christi TX... also at its junction with I-37. Although there was no "End" sign, the shot below shows where the US 181 designation ends:

Trinkle, July 2005

The shot below is basically at the south end of I-37, and it shows the exit that takes you to the south beginning of US 181:

Trinkle, July 2005

That's Corpus Christi Bay straight ahead. About 15 miles in that direction is Mustang Island, which separates Corpus Bay from the Gulf of Mexico. The photo below shows a 181 sign as you approached its south beginning from the opposite direction:

Wiley, 2000

I think that was heading west from the Bayfront on TX 544. That sign is gone now, replaced with the sign bridge shown in the photo below:

Brooks, July 2010

In both shots, there's a small green sign pointing to the right. That says "Harbor Bridge"; US 181 takes traffic over a strait that connects Corpus Bay to Nueces Bay. The first confirming shield is in the form of a BGS on the bridge approach:

Brooks, July 2010


Before all these freeways and the Harbor Bridge were built, US 181 ended at a different location in Corpus; you can view this page for more info.