Texas U-turn

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A diagram of a Texas U-turn, also known as a Texas turnaround (this one with the local road over the limited-access highway)

A Texas U-turn, or Texas turnaround, boomerang, or loop around, is a lane allowing cars traveling on one side of a one-way frontage road to U-turn onto the opposite frontage road (typically crossing over or under a freeway or expressway). Typically controlled by yield signs, these allow U-turning traffic to bypass two traffic signals and avoid crossing the local traffic twice.

If the limited-access highway passes over the local road, the bridge (or bridges) must be longer, to span four directions of traffic and two sidewalks below. If the local road passes over the limited-access highway, the bridge must be wider, to carry four directions of traffic and two sidewalks over the highway.


Texas U-turns in the United States:

  • This highway configuration originated (and is particularly common) in the U.S. state of Texas,[1] especially in the Austin, DallasFort Worth, El Paso, Houston, and San Antonio metropolitan areas.
  • A variant is used in Michigan, notably along I-96 and I-696 in suburban Detroit, where frontage roads ("service drives") run parallel with the freeway. However, in this case, U-turning traffic usually goes past the cross street, then makes the turn, then crosses the cross street again. This is effectively the freeway implementation of a Michigan left.
  • In California, Texas U-turns can be found along these four sections of highways:
  • In Bakersfield, California State Route 178 has a Texas U-turn along Niles Street (serving as a westbound frontage road) for the freeway. Westbound traffic can u-turn under the freeway at Union Avenue to transition onto the eastbound frontage road, Monterey Street.[2]
  • On Terminal Island in Long Beach, a Texas U-turn is used for traffic on westbound Ocean Boulevard (before the Terminal Island Freeway, SR 47) wanting to access the eastbound Long Beach International Gateway (northbound I-710). The new Texas U-turn (which opened in July 2019) is part of the project to replace the Gerald Desmond Bridge.[3][4]
  • In downtown Los Angeles, Interstate 10 (Santa Monica Freeway) has a Texas U-turn along East 17th Street (serving as an eastbound frontage road). Exiting eastbound traffic can u-turn under the freeway to access San Pedro Street before Griffith Avenue.[5]
  • In Santa Ana, a Texas U-turn is used for northbound Interstate 5 traffic exiting onto First Street via Mabury Street.[6]

Texas U-turns in other areas of the world:

See also


  1. ^ Section 2.1
  2. ^ 38 Niles St - Bakersfield, California Google Street View. May 2019. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  3. ^ First ‘Texas U-Turn’ in California Opens Tomorrow Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project. Retrieved 30 August 2020
  4. ^ California’s first ‘Texas U-turn’ set to open this weekend as part of the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project Long Beach Press-Telegram. 17 July 2019. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  5. ^ 941 E 17th St - Los Angeles, California Google Street View. April 2019. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  6. ^ Exit 103C from northbound I-5 in Santa Ana, CA Google Maps. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  7. ^ Bronx River Parkway 40°50′10″N 73°52′13″W / 40.8360°N 73.8702°W / 40.8360; -73.8702 – map
  8. ^ "State's first freeway U-turn bridge opens".

Further reading

External links