I just have returned from Midland, where I discovered yet another major West Texas city that has a highway loop that serves as, well, a loop.
It’s Loop 250 and it circles Midland across Interstate 20.
Lubbock has an honest-to-goodness loop, too. It’s Loop 289 and it circles the Hub City across Interstate 27.
How did those cities accomplish this bit of highway engineering, while Amarillo’s so-called “loop” serves as just another busy street, particularly along its western stretch, from I-40 to Hollywood Road? But, by golly, we hung the Loop 335 label on our so-called “loop” — even though it doesn’t serve as a loop the way it ostensibly was designed to do.
It will be years, if ever, before Loop 335 becomes an actual controlled-access thoroughfare that encircles Amarillo. Transportation officials, last I heard, are trying to figure out a way to extend the loop farther west. More private property will need to be purchased, or condemned.
Of course, there’s been next to zero public discussion on the rest of the 43 miles of Loop 335 that could be developed much as Soncy Road has been developed. Try getting across Soncy around 5:30 in the afternoon. You’ll grow old waiting for a break in the traffic.
Meanwhile, the potential extention of Loop 335 farther west of town looms.
Just one request here: Don’t mess with Cadillac Ranch.