Katy Freeway, the widest road in the U.S.A.

katy freeway texas
Katy Freeway, Texas

In Texas, everything is bigger. The tendency of the United States’ largest state to be extravagant extends to transportation. Contrary to popular belief, greater does not always equal better, and even less so when it comes to efficiency.

As a result, the state merely claims to have the world’s widest motorway. The Katy Freeway, a section of Interstate 10 that begins in the Katy suburb west of Houston, has 26 lanes of traffic.

Where is Katy Highway located?

In fact, the Katy Freeway is one of the world’s widest freeways, located in Houston, Texas, in the United States’ southern region. In 2008, the route was extended to a total of 26 lanes.

If this road is one of the widest, you can also discover our article about the longest roads here.

The path has been paved. It’s located west of Houston on I-10, with an annual average daily traffic of about 219,000 automobiles. The route connects Katy’s western suburbs to the city center. Also, Interstate 10 stretches for 23 miles (37 km) from its connection with Interstate 610 to Katy, Texas (where the highway gets its name).

You can locate the Katy Freeway on the map below:


Enlarge the map

Facts about the Katy Freeway near Houston:

In 2008, a $2.8 billion road extension project was announced. The Katy Freeway was completed in 2011. This section was then divided into six standard traffic lanes, four access lanes, and three lanes reserved for heavy vehicles and transportation vehicles operating during peak hours.

The goal of these expansions was to reduce highway congestion and hence improve traffic flow.

However, as the famous adage goes, it’s not the size that matters. Despite the increase in the number of open lanes, traffic has continued to deteriorate. In fact, the commute times increasing by 30 percent on average in the morning and 55 percent in the afternoon.

Indeed, according to urbanists, these results are the result of induced demand, which refers to the idea that increasing the capacity of a route encourages more people to drive, which is in direct opposition to the original goal.

A video of the journey on the Katy Freeway in Texas:

You can see how this road is crazy. For example, you just have to watch this YouTube video as it shows a part of the road:

So, the highway was constructed in the 1960s and has 26 lanes (12 main lanes, 8 lanes of access roads, and 6 managed lanes). The West Loop now has 28 lanes at the intersection of Hempstead Road, thanks to the completion of the West Loop Freeway north of the West Loop.

Picture credit: DjibLive on Facebook.com / By Aliciak3yz – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40222519


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