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More info on Texas State Highway 255

Texas State Highway 255: Map

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Camino Colombia - Interstate 35 interchange
Camino Colombia Toll Schedule as seen from I-35 South


State Highway 255 or SH 255 is a state-owned toll road that has operated since 2000 as a way to bypass Laredomarker. It stretches from the Colombia Solidarity International Bridgemarker northeast to Interstate 35 at exit 24. It is of interest as one of the few operating toll roads in the United States to have gone through the legal process of foreclosure.

History

The route was originally approved in 1997 as a privately owned toll route for mainly truck traffic to bypass the city of Laredo for traffic congestion. The route was opened as the Camino Colombia Toll Road in October 2000, costing around $90 million.

In August 2001, landowners that were shareholders of the route filed a lawsuit, claiming that profits and traffic usage were less than expected The failure of the route was attributed to the price for truck traffic ($16), the continuation of U.S. government policies banning Mexican trucks from the interior of the United States (which had been expected to be abolished under the North American Free Trade Agreement), and the approval of a new freeway connecting route from the World Trade International Bridgemarker crossing along Loop 20 to Interstate 35.

The toll road was foreclosed on late in 2003, and was auctioned off on the steps of the Webb Countymarker courthouse January 6, 2004. It was purchased by its main creditor, the John Hancock Life Insurance Company, for the minimum $12 million, 1/6 of the construction value. The only other bidder was the Texas Department of Transportation at $11 million. The route was subsequently closed to all traffic. In May 2004, TxDOT purchased the route from John Hancock for a negotiated $20 million, and reopened the route in September, dropping the toll to $2 toll for cars and $2 per additional axle.

Route description

SH 255 begins at the Colombia Solidarity International Bridgemarker on the United States-Mexico border northwest of Laredomarker in Webb Countymarker. It heads northeast from the border as a 4-lane divided highway to an intersection with FM 1472. The highway continues to the northeast as a 4-lane divided highway but merges down to a 2-lane road just west of the toll barrier. SH 255 continues northeast to an intersection at FM 3338 and a diamond interchange with US 83. It continues to the northeast to its eastern terminus at I-35.

Between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., there is no toll collector on duty; traffic using the route between these hours must pay with a route-specific prepaid card. As of June 1, 2009, use of the TxTag electronic toll collection system will be mandatory; EZ TAG (for Houston-area toll roads) and TollTag (for Dallas-area toll roads) are also accepted. The Laredo Trade Tag is not valid for this toll road, unless it is tied to a TxTag account.

Junction list

County Location Mile Junction Notes
Webbmarker United States-Mexico border at the Colombia Solidarity International Bridgemarker
Toll Barrier
Interchange
Interchange


References

  1. [1]



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