U.S. Route 96

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U.S. Highway 96

US 96 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by TxDOT
Length133.746 mi[1] (215.243 km)
ExistedSeptember 26, 1939 (1939-09-26)[1]–present
Major junctions
South end US 69 / US 287 / SH 87 in Port Arthur
Major intersections
North end

Future I-69 / Future I-369 / US 59 / US 84 in Tenaha
CountryUnited States
CountiesJefferson, Hardin, Jasper, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby
Highway system
US 95US US 97
SH 95TX SH 96

U.S. Highway 96 (US 96) is a north–south United States Numbered Highway that runs for about 117.11 miles (188.47 km) entirely in the U.S state of Texas. Its number is a violation of the standard numbering convention, as even-numbered two-digit highways are east–west routes by rule. As of 2004, the highway's southern terminus (as well as those of US 287 and US 69) is in Port Arthur at an intersection with State Highway 87 (SH 87). Its northern terminus is in Tenaha at an intersection with US 59 (Future Interstate 69 [I-69])/(Future I-369) and US 84 (Future I-69).

U.S. Highway 96 is designated by the State of Texas as a major hurricane evacuation route, with the local county governments facilitating the evacuation of citizens along U.S. Highway 96 from Coastal Region counties, including but not limited to, Harris County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Chambers County, Jefferson County, Orange County, Hardin County, Jasper County, Newton County and Tyler County.

U.S. Highway 96 has been utilized many times in the past for hurricane evacuations, with the most recent being Hurricane Rita in 2005, Hurricane Gustav in 2008, Hurricane Ike in 2008, and Hurricane Laura in 2020. During Hurricane Katrina in 2005, U.S. Highway 96 was also utilized to route evacuees from Louisiana, who had fled west out of the hurricane's path. This designated hurricane evacuation route is utilized to evacuate citizens to the north into North and Northeast Texas, Northwest Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma, out of the range of a hurricane's deadly winds, tornadoes, flooding and storm surge.

U.S. Highway 96 also serves as a major Strategic Military Highway, connecting Fort Polk in Leesville, Louisiana and the Red River Army Depot near Texarkana, Texas to the Port of Beaumont in Beaumont, Texas. This Strategic Military Highway is utilized regularly by the Department of Defense for transporting military personnel, materials, equipment and vehicles to and from the Port of Beaumont in support of military deployments and operations overseas, as well as the national defense mission here in the United States.

Additionally, U.S. Highway 96 is a major highway utilized for transporting citizens, goods and services to and from four Texas ports, including Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange, as well as Intersecting Interstate 10, which connects U.S. Highway 96 to the Port of Houston.

Plans to upgrade the existing connecting route of U.S. Highway 190 to Interstate 14 and U.S. Highway 59 to Interstate 69 will increase the connectivity of U.S. Highway 96 for strategic military transport, commercial and travel purposes, connecting this artery to three major Interstate Highway Corridors, including I-10, I-14 and I-69/U.S. 59.

U.S. Highway 96 is also the primary transportation route from the Texas Coastal Region to access Lake Sam Rayburn and Lake B.A. Steinhagen, the Neches and Angelina Rivers, the Angelina National Forest, the Masterson State Forest (Established 1985) in Buna, Texas and the Daughters of the American Revolution State Forest (Established 1929) in Cairo Springs, Texas.

Route description

US 96 begins at SH 87 in Port Arthur, at a southern terminus it also shares with US 69 and US 287. The three highways head in a northwest direction toward Beaumont. In Beaumont, the three highways briefly merge with Interstate 10 (I-10), but then split from that freeway continuing northwest. In Lumberton, US 96 separates from US 287 and US 69, and heads northeast towards Silsbee. In Silsbee, US 96 splits with US 96F, (A special route of US 96 that serves downtown Silsbee.) while being routed on a bypass freeway. After Silsbee, US 96 heads northeast to Buna, then north to Kirksville and Jasper. After Jasper. US 96 comes near the Sam Rayburn Reservoir near Pineland. US 96 eventually comes to its northern terminus near Tenaha at a junction with US 59 (Future I-69)/(Future I-369) and US 84 (Future I-69).


In 1927 US 96 was originally routed: Beginning at Rosenburg via Wharton, Victoria, Beeville, Skidmore, Alice, Falfurrias, San Juan to Brownsville.[2]

In 1933, the present route of US 96 was originally proposed to be part of US 71. Under this plan, discussed at a meeting of the United States Good Roads Association in Beaumont, US 71 was to be diverted out of Louisiana altogether and instead re-routed from the Texarkana area southward through East Texas.[3]

In 1935, US 96 was rerouted to Laredo instead of Brownsville. 03/01/1935 - Beginning at Rosenburg, Wharton, Victoria, Beeville, Skidmore, Mathis, Alice, Laredo.[4] This is the current route of US 59.

In the 1935, US 59 was initially routed from Teneha to Port Arthur following the basic route of the current US 96.[5] US 96 began in Rosenburg (Near Houston) and roughly followed the current route of US 59 to Alice then on to Brownsville and later was rerouted to Laredo.[6]

Minute Order 016701, dated 09/26/1939 radically re-aligned US 96 to travel a route formerly used by US 59: From Tenaha via Center, San Augustine, Jasper, Buna, Voth, and Beaumont to Port Arthur. (Shelby, San Augustine, Sabine, Jasper, Hardin, and Jefferson Counties) [2] This renumbered US 59 and 96 beginning in Teneha to roughly their current paths. SH 35 from Teneha to Houston had become US 59. The entirety of the pre-1939 US 96 had been changed to US 59 and US 59 South of Teneha had been renumbered to US 96.[7]

Major intersections

JeffersonPort Arthur SH 87 (Gulfway Drive)Southern end of US 69 / US 287 concurrency
SH 73 – Winnie, GrovesInterchange
60th Street / Jimmy Johnson Boulevardinterchange; south end of freeway, access to The Medical Center of Southeast Texas
Port ArthurNederland line FM 365 – Port Neches, Fannett
Nederland Avenue
NederlandJack Brooks Regional Airport
Beauxart Garden Road / Spurlock Road
Central Gardens FM 3514
Jefferson County Prison Complexno direct northbound exit
Beaumont SH 347 – Nederlandno southbound entrance
Spur 380 (M.L. King Parkway) – Lamar University
Spur 93 (Avenue A) / Highland Avenue
Spur 93 (Avenue A) / Florida Avenue / Erie Street
4th Street
SH 124 (Fannett Road) – Fannett, Winnie

I-10 west – Houston
south end of I-10 overlap; US 96 south follows exit 849
Washington BoulevardI-10 exit 850
US 90 – Liberty, NomeI-10 exit 851, Access to Memorial Hermann Baptist Beaumont Hospital
Laurel AvenueSouthbound exit and northbound entrance; I-10 exit 852A
Calder Avenue / Harrison AvenueI-10 exit 852B; no direct southbound exit (signed at Delaware Street)

I-10 east – Lake Charles, Lafayette
north end of I-10 overlap; US 96 north follows exit 853A
Delaware Street
11th StreetSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
Lucas Drive
Dowlen Road
SH 105 – Sour Lake, Conroe
Chinn LaneNo southbound exit
Old Voth Road / RFD RoadNo northbound exit
Tram Road
HardinRose Hill AcresCooks Lake Road
Keith Road
FM 3513 / Mitchell RoadNo direct southbound exit (signed at Keith Road)
Lumberton US 69 / US 287 – Kountze, Lufkin, Crockettinterchange; north end of US 69 / US 287 overlap

FM 421 west to US 69 – Sour Lake

Bus. US 96 north to FM 92 north – Fred
Interchange; no northbound entrance

SH 327 west – Kountze

Bus. US 96 south to FM 418 west – Kountze

FM 105 south / FM 2246 east – Vidor, Mauriceville

Bus. US 96 north to FM 253 east

SH 62 south / FM 1004 north to Bus. US 96 – Mauriceville, Kirbyville
Call Junction
FM 1004 south – Buna
south end of FM 1004 overlap

FM 1004 north – Trout Creek
north end of FM 1004 overlap
FM 82 to FM 1013 – Airport, Trout Creek
FM 1013 (Main Street) – Spurger, Call, Trout Creek

FM 363 east to SH 87 – Bon Wier, Bleakwood

FM 2245 east – Roganville

FM 1005 south – Magnolia Springs
Jasper US 190 / SH 63 – Woodville, Leesville, Newton, DeRidder, Airport, Martin Dies Jr. State Park

FM 2799 west (W Houston Street)

FM 776 east (Milam Street) to SH 63

FM 2800 west
To Jasper County Courthouse
RE 255 – Sam Rayburn Dam, Colmesneil, Toledo Bend Dam, Hornbeck
FM 1007 to RE 255 – Colmesneil

Loop 149 north – Brookeland, Mill Creek Park
Loop 149 south – Browndell, Mill Creek Park

FM 201 east

Spur 414 south – Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FM 1 north to FM 83 – Bronson, Hemphill
FM 83 – Broaddus, Hemphill
FM 2866 south

SH 184 east – Hemphill, Patricia Huffman Smith NASA Museum
San Augustine SH 103 – Lufkin, Milam, ManyInterchange

FM 1751 south – Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FM 2213 north – San Augustine
San Augustine SH 147 – Broaddus, Zavalla, Shelbyville, El Camino Real Tourist Center (Mission Dolores)

FM 1277 south – Broaddus

SH 21 to SH 103 – Nacogdoches, Milam, Many

FM 711 north

FM 3451 east

FM 1279 east – Bland Lake
FM 2140 north – Neuville

FM 417 east – Shelbyville, Neuville

Loop 500 to SH 7 / SH 87 south – Nacogdoches, Shelbyville, Hemphill

SH 7 (Nacogdoches Street / San Augustine Street) / SH 87 south – Nacogdoches, Hemphill, Logansport

FM 138 west – Arcadia, Garrison

SH 87 north (Moffett Drive / Tenaha Street) – Timpson

FM 2026 west – Timpson

Loop 500 to SH 7 / SH 87 south – Logansport, Shelbyville, Hemphill
Loop 157 north – Timpson, Carthage

I-369 north / I-69 / US 59 / US 84 – Timpson, Nacogdoches, Rusk, Carthage, Marshall, Mansfield
interchange, I-69 will follow US 59 South to Houston, and US 84 east to Mansfield. I-369 will follow US 59 north to Texarkana. Interchange currently open for US 59/US 84 traffic.
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Business routes

Buna business highway

Business plate.svg

Business U.S. Highway 96

Length1.334 mi[8] (2.147 km)
Texas Loop 68.svg
Texas Spur 68.svg

Business U.S. Highway 96-E (US 96 Bus.) is a 1.3-mile long (2.1 km) spur of US 96 in the Jasper County census designated place of Buna. The highway was designated on September 25, 1939 as Texas State Highway Loop 68, going from US 59 through Buna to US 59. On January 18, 1955, Loop 68 became Texas State Highway Spur 68, and the route was moved to the current route. On June 21, 1990, the designation was changed to Business US 96-E, and a concurrency with SH 62 was added. [8] It begins southwest of the community at US 96 and travels northeast paralleling a railroad. Except for one small industry, the highway travels past residential areas before it ends at SH 62 in the center of Buna.[9] A left turn onto SH 62 can be made to access US 96 again.

Silsbee business highway

Business plate.svg

Business U.S. Highway 96

Length5.223 mi[10] (8.406 km)

Business U.S. Highway 96-F (US 96 Bus.) is a five-mile-long (8.0 km) business loop of US 96 serving the Hardin County city of Silsbee. The highway begins at an interchange with US 96 south of the city and travels north to the city limits as a four-lane undivided road. Upon reaching the Silsbee city limits, the name of the road also becomes 5th Street. In the center of the city, US 96 Bus. reaches Avenue N which carries SH 327. At Avenue G, US 96 Bus. turns right while FM 92 continues north through the city. FM 418's eastern terminus occurs at a stop-controlled T intersection east of the city center. At the highway's northern intersection with US 96, US 96 Bus. briefly runs on two frontage roads on either side of US 96 before it terminates at right-in/right-out intersections with the divided US 96.[11]

Texas Loop 498.svg

The route was originally designated on Texas State Highway Loop 498 on November 30, 1978. The route was changed to Business US 96-F on June 21, 1990.

Texas Spur 498.svg

The number was originally used for Texas State Highway Spur 498, designated on April 29, 1971 from SH 146 to Spur 501 in LaPorte via Wharton Weems Blvd. This was cancelled on July 28, 1977 and mileage was transferred to rerouted Loop 410 (not to be confused with I-410), whose alignment on Fairmont Parkway was cancelled and given to the city of LaPorte. Loop 410 was marked as Business SH 146, and became Business SH 146-D on June 21, 1990. Note that the sections of Business SH 146-D on Broadway Street and Main Street were cancelled on March 26, 2009 and given to the city of LaPorte.


  1. ^ a b Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "U.S. Highway No. 96". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "U. S. Highway No. 0096".
  3. ^ "Road Route Change Attempt Protested". The Times-Picayune. New Orleans. October 13, 1933. p. 27.
  4. ^ 03/01/1935 - Beginning at Rosenburg, Wharton, Victoria, Beeville, Skidmore, Mathis, Alice, Laredo.
  5. ^ "U. S. Highway No. 0059".
  6. ^ http://dallasfreeways.com/dfwfreeways/old-highway-maps/1936-official-south-high.jpg All articles with bare URLs for citations[bare URL image file]
  7. ^ http://dallasfreeways.com/dfwfreeways/old-highway-maps/1942_humble_se_texas_large.jpg All articles with bare URLs for citations[bare URL image file]
  8. ^ a b Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "Business U.S. Highway No. 96-E". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  9. ^ Google (June 16, 2015). "US 96 Bus. - Buna" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  10. ^ Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "Business U.S. Highway No. 96-F". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  11. ^ Google (June 16, 2015). "US 96 Bus. - Buna" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved June 16, 2015.

External links