Today in 1952: The Gulf Freeway Was Completed & Open To Travelers

On this day, Texas’ first freeway, the stretch of I-45 from Houston to Galveston better known as the Gulf Freeway, was complete and open for cruising.

The freeway was built in stages beginning in 1946. Two years later, the first section from downtown to Telephone Road was completed bringing forth a crowd of 500 that gathered on the Calhoun Road overpass to celebrate the first freeway dedication. It was also esteemed as “the best money can buy.”

July, 1956. Photo via

By 1954, 90,000 vehicles were travelling on the road a day.

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