Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U. S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast. Houston is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth largest in the U. S. while San Antonio is the second-most populous in the state and seventh largest in the U. S. Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and fifth largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country, respectively. Other major cities include Austin, the second-most populous state capital in the U. S. and El Paso. Texas is nicknamed "The Lone Star State" to signify its former status as an independent republic, as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from Mexico; the "Lone Star" can be found on the Texan state seal.
The origin of Texas's name is from the word taysha. Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse landscapes common to both the U. S. Southern and Southwestern regions. Although Texas is popularly associated with the U. S. southwestern deserts, less than 10% of Texas's land area is desert. Most of the population centers are in areas of former prairies, grasslands and the coastline. Traveling from east to west, one can observe terrain that ranges from coastal swamps and piney woods, to rolling plains and rugged hills, the desert and mountains of the Big Bend; the term "six flags over Texas" refers to several nations. Spain was the first European country to claim the area of Texas. France held a short-lived colony. Mexico controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas won its independence, becoming an independent Republic. In 1845, Texas joined the union as the 28th state; the state's annexation set off a chain of events that led to the Mexican–American War in 1846.
A slave state before the American Civil War, Texas declared its secession from the U. S. in early 1861, joined the Confederate States of America on March 2nd of the same year. After the Civil War and the restoration of its representation in the federal government, Texas entered a long period of economic stagnation. Four major industries shaped the Texas economy prior to World War II: cattle and bison, cotton and oil. Before and after the U. S. Civil War the cattle industry, which Texas came to dominate, was a major economic driver for the state, thus creating the traditional image of the Texas cowboy. In the 19th century cotton and lumber grew to be major industries as the cattle industry became less lucrative, it was though, the discovery of major petroleum deposits that initiated an economic boom which became the driving force behind the economy for much of the 20th century. With strong investments in universities, Texas developed a diversified economy and high tech industry in the mid-20th century.
As of 2015, it is second on the list of the most Fortune 500 companies with 54. With a growing base of industry, the state leads in many industries, including agriculture, energy and electronics, biomedical sciences. Texas has led the U. S. in state export revenue since 2002, has the second-highest gross state product. If Texas were a sovereign state, it would be the 10th largest economy in the world; the name Texas, based on the Caddo word táyshaʼ "friend", was applied, in the spelling Tejas or Texas, by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves the Hasinai Confederacy, the final -s representing the Spanish plural. The Mission San Francisco de los Tejas was completed near the Hasinai village of Nabedaches in May 1690, in what is now Houston County, East Texas. During Spanish colonial rule, in the 18th century, the area was known as Nuevo Reino de Filipinas "New Kingdom of the Philippines", or as provincia de los Tejas "province of the Tejas" also provincia de Texas, "province of Texas", it was incorporated as provincia de Texas into the Mexican Empire in 1821, declared a republic in 1836.
The Royal Spanish Academy recognizes both spellings and Texas, as Spanish-language forms of the name of the U. S. State of Texas; the English pronunciation with /ks/ is unetymological, based in the value of the letter x in historical Spanish orthography. Alternative etymologies of the name advanced in the late 19th century connected the Spanish teja "rooftile", the plural tejas being used to designate indigenous Pueblo settlements. A 1760s map by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin shows a village named Teijas on Trinity River, close to the site of modern Crockett. Texas is the second-largest U. S. state, with an area of 268,820 square miles. Though 10% larger than France and twice as large as Germany or Japan, it ranks only 27th worldwide amongst country subdivisions by size. If it were an independent country, Texas would be the 40th largest behind Zambia. Texas is in the south central part of the United States of America. Three of its borders are defined by rivers; the Rio Grande forms a natural border with the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas to the south.
The Red River forms a natural border with Arkansas to the north. The Sabine River forms a natural border with Louisiana to the east; the Texas Panhandle has an eastern border with Oklahoma at 100° W, a northern border with Oklahoma at 36°30' N and a western
William Douglas Noël, known as Bill Noël, was an independent oilman, banker, rancher and civic leader in Odessa, Texas. Noël was born in the son of Earnest Noël and the former Inez Turnpaugh. Orphaned at the age of six, he was reared by an aunt and an uncle. In 1931, Noël graduated from high school in Fort Worth. In 1935, he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Thereafter, he worked as a roustabout for Gulf Oil Company. In 1936, he moved to the Permian Basin of West Texas to work as a chemist in the Gulf Oil Wickett refinery, his extensive endeavors in all phases of oil production soon transformed the Odessa economy into a major petrochemical complex. Noël became involved in banking and ranching throughout Texas. With Earl G. Rodman, Sr. Noël in 1956 co-founded the American Bank of Commerce in Odessa. In time, he acquired major interest in banks in Big Spring, Fort Worth, San Angelo, San Antonio. In 1973, when three Noël-Rodman banks merged, Noël became a director of Texas Commerce Bancshares of Houston.
In 1940, Noël moved to McCamey, now known as the "Wind Energy Capital of Texas," located in Upton County. There he joined M. H. McWhirter of Monahans and J. B. Tubb of Crane County to establish the Trebol Oil Company. Noël worked long hours for Trebol. Trebol drilled fifty-two consecutive producing wells before it struck a dry hole. Noël was so consumed with pursuits of the business that he claimed to have been unaware that he had become a millionaire until several years after the accumulation of his early fortune. In 1946, Noël and Earl Rodman formed a partnership with the purchase of a refinery, which they named the Odessa Natural Gasoline Company. In 1957, Noël and Rodman founded West Texas Gathering Company, which resold natural gas to residential customer of two other companies; the partners further drilled discovery wells in two fields in Upton County. In 1975, Noël purchased Fort Terrett Ranch in Sutton County near Texas. On this ranch, Noël grew Texas pecans as a commercial food source in an orchard of 120 acres.
He owned orchards in Upton and Comanche counties. In 1963, Noël was named "Outstanding Citizen" of Odessa; that same year he was elected to the Hall of Fame of the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum in Odessa's sister city of Midland. In 1985, UT named Noël a distinguished alumnus. Noël worked to establish the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, which opened in Odessa with a thousand students in 1973. In 1974, Noël and his wife, the former Ellen Witwer, with an initial outlay of $245,525, endowed the Ellen and Bill Noël Scholarship Fund at UTPB. Noël wanted to assist the children of his employees attending UTPB and to boost enrollment on the fledgling campus. In an interview, Noël acknowledged that his opportunity to attend college had been essential to his own success:'I've always felt like, something that needed to be repaid." The Noëls endowed the position of the Ellen and Bill Noël Distinguished Professor for Energy Research held by Dr. Mike Robinson; the couple underwrote scholarships at the community college, Odessa College, contributed to the establishment of the Globe Theatre of the Great Southwest, patterned after William Shakespeare's Globe Theater and located on the Odessa College campus.
Bill and Ellen Noël had two daughters. Lissa N. Wagner of Midland and Sherwood Noel McGuigan of Durango and six grandchildren; the couple was Presbyterian. Noël died of cancer in Odessa at the age of seventy-two, his wife died in her Odessa home twenty years later. On May 24, 1937, Noël married Ellen Witwer, a native of Tulsa, a graduate of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Early in her career, she taught school while the couple lived in Texas. In time, she became a philanthropist in her own right. In 1993, Mrs. Noël contributed $1 million to establish the UTPB "Support for Excellence Fund,", invested in the university's long-term account. A veteran supporter of the arts, she is the namesake of the Ellen Noël Art Museum of the Permian Basin, located adjacent to the Presidential Museum and Leadership Library, she co-sponsored the creation of the Noël Heritage Plaza in downtown Odessa. She was active in the Midland/Odessa Symphony & Chorale, the Permian Playhouse, the White-Pool House Museum, the Parker Ranch House on the UTPB campus, Mrs. Noël contributed funds for the Ellen and Bill Noël Therapy Center at High Sky Children's Ranch in Midland.
She was one of the first woman directors of the Salvation Army in Odessa. UTPB's Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center is an $81M state-of-the-art music and theater complex, next to the UTPB Center for Energy and Economic Diversification, is located midway between Odessa and Midland, it opened on November 2011 with a Gala Concert featuring Rod Stewart. Upon her death, Mrs. Noël donated to UTPB their estate, "Noël Oaks" at 2540 Palo Verde Drive in Odessa. Though the large Noël home had been intended for use as the president's residence, rising maintenance costs prompted the university to place the house on the market in June 2009 at an asking price of $2.1 million. When sold, proceeds were to be diverted to the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center, according to UTPB president David Watts. Upon Mrs. Noël's death, the Odessa American wrote in an editorial in her honor: She was the epitome of grace and good taste, she was a tireless community leader and the most philanthropic citizen and arts patron to call Odessa home....
Drive around Odessa and just take a look at all the things that benefited from the generosity of both Noëls. Theaters, the Sal
The Edwards Plateau is a region of west-central Texas, bounded by the Balcones Fault to the south and east, the Llano Uplift and the Llano Estacado to the north, the Pecos River and Chihuahuan Desert to the west. San Angelo, San Antonio and Del Rio outline the area; the eastern portion of the plateau is known as the Texas Hill Country. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the following 41 counties comprise the Edwards Plateau: The bedrock consists of limestone, with elevations ranging between 100 and 3000 ft. Caves are numerous; the landscape of the plateau is savanna scattered with trees. It lacks deep soil suitable for farming, though the soil is fertile mollisols and some cotton, grain sorghum, oats are grown. For the most part, the thin soil and rough terrain areas are grazing regions, with cattle and Angora goats predominant. Several rivers cross the region, which flow to the south and east through the Texas Hill Country toward the Gulf of Mexico; the area is well drained.
Rainfall varies from 15 to 33 inches per year, on average, from northwest to southeast, the area has a moderate temperature and a reasonably long growing season. Trees of the savanna include juniper and oak species scattered over grasses, a vegetation type shaped by droughts and regular fires; some pecan trees are found near the rivers. The Balcones Fault is associated with the Edwards Plateau formation; this fault line is an ecological demarcation for the range definition of a number of species. Caves of the Edwards Plateau are important habitats for a great deal of wildlife; the area is home to some of the largest colonies of bats in the world, including millions of Mexican free-tailed bats. The largest colony of these inhabits Bracken Cave near San Antonio, while the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin is the summer home for over half a million and is the largest bat colony anywhere in an urban area; the Edwards Plateau is home to at least 14 endemic freshwater fishes, including two subterranean species of catfish and 13 fish species considered to be spring-associated.
Mechanisms for spring association of fishes is not understood, but thought to mediated by water temperature. The large numbers of reptiles and birds include breeding populations of the Texan endemic golden-cheeked warbler. Nearly all the natural habitat of the plateau has been converted to ranchland, farmland, or urban areas, such as Austin and San Antonio, with only about 2% remaining in scattered fragments to the east of the plateau. Further alteration to the savanna has incurred though the encroachment of shrubs now that grassland fires are controlled. Small areas of intact habitat remain around Austin, where areas are protected, such as the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. Another important area for wildlife is Fort Hood military base. Earliest human settlement of this area was by Native Americans. First it was used and wandered about by Jumano and Coahuiltecan groups the Apacheria extended into the Southern Plains by the forerunners of the Lipan and Mescalero Apaches. After the expulsion of the Apachean groups from the Plains by the Comanche, this area was dominated by the Penateka band of the Southern Comanche.
Texas Hill Country Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge Colorado River Mount Bonnell List of ecoregions in the United States Johnson, E. H.. "Edwards Plateau". TSHA Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. "Plateaus and Canyonlands". Texas Beyond History. University of Texas at Austin. Texas counties map showing the ecoregion
Paleo-Indians, Paleoindians or Paleoamericans is a classification term given by scholars to the first peoples who entered, subsequently inhabited, the Americas during the final glacial episodes of the late Pleistocene period. The prefix "paleo-" comes from the Greek adjective palaios, meaning "old" or "ancient"; the term "Paleo-Indians" applies to the lithic period in the Western Hemisphere and is distinct from the term "Paleolithic". Traditional theories suggest that big-animal hunters crossed the Bering Strait from North Asia into the Americas over a land-and-ice bridge; this bridge existed from 45,000–12,000 BCE. Small isolated groups of hunter-gatherers migrated alongside herds of large herbivores far into Alaska. From c. 16,500 – c. 13,500 BCE, ice-free corridors developed along the Pacific coast and valleys of North America. This allowed animals, followed by humans; the people used primitive boats along the coastline. The precise dates and routes of the peopling of the New World remain subjects of ongoing debate.
Stone tools projectile points and scrapers, are the primary evidence of the earliest human activity in the Americas. Archaeologists and anthropologists use surviving crafted lithic flaked tools to classify cultural periods. Scientific evidence links Indigenous Americans to eastern Siberian populations. Indigenous peoples of the Americas have been linked to Siberian populations by linguistic factors, the distribution of blood types, in genetic composition as reflected by molecular data, such as DNA. There is evidence for at least two separate migrations. From 8000–7000 BCE the climate stabilized, leading to a rise in population and lithic technology advances, resulting in more sedentary lifestyle; the specifics of Paleo-Indian migration to and throughout the Americas, including the exact dates and routes traveled, are subject to ongoing research and discussion. The traditional theory has been that these early migrants moved into Beringia between eastern Siberia and present-day Alaska 17,000 years ago, when sea levels were lowered due to the Quaternary glaciation.
These people are believed to have followed herds of now-extinct pleistocene megafauna along ice-free corridors that stretched between the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets. Another route proposed is that, either on foot or using primitive boats, they migrated down the Pacific coast to South America. Evidence of the latter would since have been covered by a sea level rise of hundreds of meters following the last ice age. Archaeologists contend that Paleo-Indians migrated out of Beringia, ranging from c. 40,000 – c. 16,500 years ago. This time range promises to continue as such for years to come; the few agreements achieved to date are the origin from Central Asia, with widespread habitation of the Americas during the end of the last glacial period, or more what is known as the late glacial maximum, around 16,000–13,000 years before present. However, alternative theories about the origins of Paleoindians exist, including migration from Europe. Sites in Alaska are where some of the earliest evidence has been found of Paleo-Indians, followed by archaeological sites in northern British Columbia, western Alberta and the Old Crow Flats region in the Yukon.
The Paleo-Indian would flourish all over the Americas. These peoples were spread over a wide geographical area. However, all the individual groups shared a common style of stone tool production, making knapping styles and progress identifiable; this early Paleo-Indian period lithic reduction tool adaptations have been found across the Americas, utilized by mobile bands consisting of 20 to 60 members of an extended family. Food would have been plentiful during the few warm months of the year. Lakes and rivers were teeming with many species of fish and aquatic mammals. Nuts and edible roots could be found in the forests and marshes; the fall would have been a busy time because foodstuffs would have to be stored and clothing made ready for the winter. During the winter, coastal fishing groups trap fresh food and furs. Late ice age climatic changes caused plant communities and animal populations to change. Groups moved from place to place as preferred resources were depleted and new supplies were sought.
Small bands utilized hunting and gathering during the spring and summer months broke into smaller direct family groups for the fall and winter. Family groups moved every 3–6 days traveling up to 360 km a year. Diets were sustaining and rich in protein due to successful hunting. Clothing was made from a variety of animal hides that were used for shelter construction. During much of the Early and Middle Paleo-Indian periods, inland bands are thought to have subsisted through hunting now-extinct megafauna. Large Pleistocene mammals were the giant beaver, steppe wisent, musk ox, woolly mammoths and ancient reindeer; the Clovis culture, appearing around 11,500 BCE, undoubtedly did not rely on megafauna for subsistence. Instead, they employed a mixed foraging strategy that included smaller terrestrial game, aquatic animals, a variety of flora. Paleo-Indian groups carried a variety of tools; these included efficient fluted style spear points, as well as microblades used for butchering and hide processing.
Projectile points and hammerstones made from many sources are found traded or moved to new locations. Stone tools were traded and/or left behind fro
The Comanche are a Native American nation from the Great Plains whose historic territory consisted of most of present-day northwestern Texas and adjacent areas in eastern New Mexico, southeastern Colorado, southwestern Kansas, western Oklahoma, northern Chihuahua. The Comanche people are federally recognized as the Comanche Nation, headquartered in Lawton, Oklahoma; the Comanche were the dominant tribe on the southern Great Plains in the 19th centuries. They are characterized as "Lords of the Plains" and, reflecting their prominence, they presided over a large area called Comancheria which a modern historian has characterized as the "Comanche Empire." Comanche power was based on bison, horses and raiding. They hunted the bison of the Great Plains for food and skins, they took captives from weaker tribes during warfare, using them as slaves or selling them to the Spanish and Mexican settlers. They took thousands of captives from the Spanish and American settlers and incorporated them into Comanche society.
Decimated by European diseases and encroachment by Americans on Comancheria, the Comanche were defeated by the United States army in 1875 and confined to a reservation in Oklahoma. In the 21st century, the Comanche Nation has 17,000 members, around 7,000 of whom reside in tribal jurisdictional area around Lawton, Fort Sill, the surrounding areas of southwestern Oklahoma; the Comanche Homecoming Annual Dance is held annually in Oklahoma, in mid-July. The Comanche language is a Numic language of the Uto-Aztecan family, sometimes classified as a Shoshoni dialect. Only about 1% of Comanches speak their language today; the name "Comanche" is from the Ute name for them, kɨmantsi, but known to the French as Padoucas, an adaption of their Sioux name, among themselves as Nʉmʉnʉ. The Comanche Nation is headquartered in Oklahoma, their tribal jurisdictional area is located in Caddo, Cotton, Jefferson, Kiowa and Tillman Counties. Membership of the tribe requires a 1/8 blood quantum; the tribe issues tribal vehicle tags.
They have their own Department of Higher Education awarding scholarships and financial aid for members' college educations. Additionally, they operate the Comanche Nation College in Lawton, they own four casinos. The casinos are Comanche Nation Casino in Lawton. In 2002, the tribe founded a two-year tribal college in Lawton, it has since closed. Each July, Comanches from across the United States gather to celebrate their heritage and culture in Walters at the annual Comanche Homecoming powwow; the Comanche Nation Fair is held every September. The Comanche Little Ponies host two annual dances—one over New Year's and one in May; the Comanche emerged as a distinct group shortly before 1700, when they broke off from the Shoshone people living along the upper Platte River in Wyoming. In 1680, the Comanche acquired horses from the Pueblo Indians after the Pueblo Revolt, they separated from the Shoshone after this, as the horses allowed them greater mobility in their search for better hunting grounds. The horse was a key element in the emergence of a distinctive Comanche culture.
It was of such strategic importance that some scholars suggested that the Comanche broke away from the Shoshone and moved southward to search for additional sources of horses among the settlers of New Spain to the south The Comanche may have been the first group of Plains natives to incorporate the horse into their culture and may have introduced the animal to the other Plains peoples. From Natchitoches in Spanish Louisiana, Athanase de Mézières reported in 1770 that the Comanches were "so skilful in horsemanship that they have no equal, so daring that they never ask for or grant truces, in possession of such a territory that... they only just fall short of possessing all of the conveniences of the earth, have no need to covet the trade pursued by the rest of the Indians."Their original migration took them to the southern Great Plains, into a sweep of territory extending from the Arkansas River to central Texas. They reached present-day New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle by 1700, forcing the Lipan Apache people southward, defeating them in a nine-day battle along the Rio del Fierro in 1723.
The river may be the location mentioned by Athanase de Mézières in 1772, containing "a mass of metal which the Indians say is hard, thick and composed of iron", which they "venerate...as an extraordinary manifestation of nature", the Comanche's calling it Ta-pic-ta-carre, Po-i-wisht-carre, or Po-a-cat-le-pi-le-carre, the general area containing a "large number of meteoric masses". By 1777, the Lipan Apache had retreated to the Mescalero Apache to Coahuila. During that time, their population increased because of the abundance of buffalo, an influx of Shoshone migrants, their adoption of significant numbers of women and children taken captive from rival groups; the Comanche never formed a single cohesive tribal unit, but were divided into a dozen autonomous groups, called bands. These groups shared the same language and culture, fought each other, they were estimate
The Tonkawa are a Native American tribe indigenous to present-day Texas. They once spoke the now-extinct Tonkawa language, a language isolate. Today, many descendants are enrolled in the federally recognized Tonkawa Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma. In the 16th century, the Tonkawa tribe had around 1,879 members with their numbers diminishing to around 1,600 by the late 17th century due to fatalities from new infectious diseases and conflict with other tribes, most notably the Apache. By 1921, only 34 tribal members remained, their numbers have since recovered to close to 700 in the early 21st century. Most live in Oklahoma; the Tonkawa's autonym is Tickanwa•tic. The name Tonkawa is derived from the Waco tribal word, meaning "they all stay together"; the Tonkawa tribe operates a number of businesses which have an annual economic impact of over $10,860,657. Along with several smoke shops, the tribe runs 3 different casinos: Tonkawa Indian Casino and Tonkawa Gasino located in Tonkawa and the Native Lights Casino in Newkirk, Oklahoma.
The annual Tonkawa Powwow is held on the last weekend in June to commemorate the end of the tribe's own Trail of Tears when the tribe was forcefully removed and relocated from its traditional lands to present-day Oklahoma. Scholars once thought. Recent research, has shown that the tribe inhabited northwestern Oklahoma in 1601. By 1700, the stronger and more aggressive Apache had pushed the Tonkawa south to the Red River which forms the border between current-day Oklahoma and Texas. In the 1740s, some Tonkawa were involved with the Yojuanes and others as settlers in the San Gabriel Missions of Texas along the San Gabriel River. In 1758, the Tonkawa along with allied Bidais, Wichitas and Yojuanes went to attack the Lipan Apache in the vicinity of Mission Santa Cruz de San Sabá, which they destroyed; the tribe continued their southern migration into Texas and northern Mexico, where they allied with the Lipan Apache. In 1824, the Tonkawa entered into a treaty with Stephen F. Austin to protect Anglo-American immigrants against the Comanche.
At the time, Austin was an agent recruiting immigrants to settle in the Mexican state of Coahuila y Texas. In 1840 at the Battle of Plum Creek and again in 1858 at the Battle of Little Robe Creek, the Tonkawa fought alongside the Texas Rangers against the Comanche; the Tonkawas visited the capital city of Austin during the days of the Republic of Texas and during early statehood. In 1859, the United States escorted the Tonkawa and a number of other Texas Indian tribes to a new home at the Wichita Agency in Indian Territory, placed them under the protection of nearby Fort Cobb; when the American Civil War started, the troops at the fort received orders to march to Fort Leavenworth, leaving the Indians at the Wichita Agency unprotected. In response to years of animosity, a number of pro-Union tribes, including the Delawares and Penateka Comanches, attacked the Tonkawas as they tried to escape; the fight, known as the Tonkawa Massacre killed nearly half of the remaining Tonkawas, leaving them with little more than 100 people.
The tribe returned to Texas where they remained for the rest of the Civil War. In October, 1884, the United States removed them, once again, to the new Oakland Agency in northern Indian Territory, where they remain to this day; this journey involved going to Cisco, where they boarded a railroad train that took them to Stroud in Indian Territory, where they spent the winter at the Sac and Fox Agency. The Tonkawas travelled 100 miles to the Ponca Agency, arrived at nearby Fort Oakland on June 30, 1885. On October 21, 1891, the tribe signed an agreement with the Cherokee Commission to accept individual allotments of land; the Tonkawa Tribe of Oklahoma incorporated in 1938. The Tonkawa were made up of various groups, many of which are no longer known by name; these groups are counted as Tonkawa: Eurycea tonkawae Jeffrey D. Carlisle: Tonkawa Indians from the Handbook of Texas Online
Interstate 10 in Texas
Interstate 10 is the major east–west Interstate Highway in the Southern United States. In the U. S. state of Texas, it runs east from Anthony, at the border with New Mexico, through El Paso, San Antonio and Houston to the border with Louisiana in Orange, Texas. At just under 880 miles, the Texas segment of I-10, maintained by the Texas Department of Transportation, is the longest continuous untolled freeway in North America, operated by a single authority, it is the longest stretch of highway with a single designation within a single state. Mile marker 880 and its corresponding exit number in Orange, are the highest numbered mile marker and exit on any freeway in North America. After widening was completed in 2008, a portion of the highway west of Houston is now believed to be the widest in the world, at 26 lanes. There is a wider section in China on the G4 Beijing–Hong Kong–Macau Expressway. More than a third of I-10's entire length is located in Texas alone. El Paso, near the Texas–New Mexico state line, is 785 miles from the western terminus of I-10 in Santa Monica, making it closer to Los Angeles than it is to Orange, Texas, 857 miles away at the Texas–Louisiana state line.
Orange is only 789 miles from the eastern terminus of I-10 in Jacksonville, Florida. I-10 replaced and runs concurrently with U. S. Highway 85 from the New Mexico border up until the two diverge at mile marker 13; the two highways parallel each other for several miles until US 85 continues to head south to the border with Mexico and I-10 turns east towards Downtown El Paso. Prior to the Interstate Highway system, US 85 ran concurrent with US 80 from the New Mexico border until the two diverged in Downtown El Paso; when I-10 was constructed in downtown El Paso, several blocks were demolished, a sub-grade trench was built for the freeway. A series of overpasses now carry the preexisting north-south surface streets over the east-west stretch of I-10 through downtown. I-10 replaced US 80 through El Paso and to the southeast and east to the present day junction of I-10 and I-20. US 80 along this route has been removed from the highway system in favor of I-10. At the junction with I-20, I-10 replaced US 290 eastward to the present day junction of I-10 and US 290 southeast of Junction.
This section of US 290 was deleted from the highway system. From this point to near Comfort, I-10 replaced State Highway 27. SH 27 still exists along this stretch paralleling I-10 to the south. From Comfort southeast to San Antonio, I-10 directly replaced US 87. I-10 follows the alignment of US 87 on the northwest side of San Antonio into downtown. A new alignment was built to the south of downtown for the freeway since it was impossible to upgrade the surface streets in downtown that US 87 and US 90 followed prior to the Interstate Highway System. Southeast of downtown, I-10 curves back to the northeast to connect with the pre-interstate alignment of US 90. Construction of portions of I-10 were well underway and completed prior to the commissioning of the highway in 1959; the section from Culebra Road to Woodlawn Avenue opened as the first freeway in San Antonio in 1949, but was signed as US 87. Expansion and construction continued in the 1950s, but the bulk of the construction occurred in the 1960s after the interstate was commissioned.
The current alignment was completed by 1968. Rapid growth in San Antonio has resulted in the original highway becoming inadequate, resulting in the highway being in perpetual construction and expansion. In the 1980s the portion just northwest of downtown was reconstructed to add a double deck feature to expand the freeway to five lanes in each direction. In 1990, the interstate had only two lanes in each direction from Loop 1604 to where the double-deck freeway begins near downtown. Recent construction has expanded the freeway to five lanes in each direction from just outside the I-410 loop all the way into downtown; the I-10/I-410 interchange was reconstructed into a four-level stack interchange. When constructed during the 1960s, the I-10 Katy from Houston, known as the Katy Freeway, was built with six to eight lanes wide barring side lanes, being modest by Houston standards because existing traffic demand to the farming area of West Houston was low; as the population and economic activity increased in the area vehicular traffic increased, reaching an annual average daily traffic of 238,000 vehicles just west of the West Loop in 2001.
In 2000 increased traffic levels and congestion led to plans being approved for widening of the freeway to 16 lanes with a capacity for 200,000 cars per day. An old railway running along the north side of the freeway was demolished in 2002 in preparation for construction which began in 2004; the interior two lanes in each direction between SH 6 and west I-610, the Katy Freeway Managed Lanes or Katy Tollway, were built as high-occupancy toll lanes and are managed by the Harris County Toll Road Authority. The section just west of SH 6 to the Fort Bend–Harris county line opened in late June 2006. Two intersections were rebuilt, toll booths were added, together with landscaping as part of Houston's Highway Beautification Project. Most of the section between Beltway 8 and SH 6 had been laid by September 2006 and work was completed in October 2008. Tolls on the managed lanes vary by axle count and time of day. High occupancy vehicles may travel for free at certain times. Severe flooding of the Sabine River occurred in March 2016.
Days of continuous heavy rains, coupled with the controversial opening of the Toledo Bend Dam and the release of 207,000 to 208,000 cubic feet per second into the river, caused th