Interstate 35 (I-35) runs for 407 miles through Texas, going through such cities as San Antonio, Austin, Waco and Dallas. I-35 has been nicknamed the “spine of Texas” since at least the 1980s.
Wikipedia: Interstate 35 in Texas
Interstate 35 (abbreviated I-35 or IH-35) in Texas is a major north–south Interstate Highway running from Laredo near the United States-Mexico border to the Red River north of Gainesville where it crosses into Oklahoma. Along its route, it passes through the cities of San Antonio, Austin, and Waco before it splits into two auxiliary routes just north of Hillsboro. Interstate 35E heads northeast where it passes through Dallas. Interstate 35W turns northwest to run through Fort Worth. The two branches meet up in Denton to again form Interstate 35, where it continues to the Oklahoma border. The exit numbers for Interstate 35E maintain the sequence of exit numbers from the southern segment of Interstate 35, and the northern segment of Interstate 35 follows on from the sequence of exit numbers from Interstate 35E. Interstate 35W maintains its own sequence of exit numbers.
In Texas, Interstate 35 runs for just over 407 miles (655 km), which does not include either the 85-mile (137-km) segment of Interstate 35W or the 97-mile (156-km) segment of Interstate 35E. Texas contains more miles of the overall length of Interstate 35 than any other state, almost one-third of the entire length.
17 July 1986, Del Rio (TX) News-Herald, “Salado, Texas, famed for food and history” by Fred Tarpley (Harte-Hanks News Service), pg. 7A, cols. 1-2:
As vacationing Texans reach the halfway point between Dallas and San Antonio on Interstate 35, they can share a dining tradition that started in the 1850s.
For many Texasn, trips down the spine of Texas are planned carefully for travel time to coincide with lunch or dinner at the Stagecoach Inn.
Volume 329, Issues 7831-7835
They cluster along Interstate 35, the economic spine of Texas— biotechnology around San Antonio, computer industries around Austin. Austin’s computer boom (even troubled ibm is expanding there) has contributed in turn to a boom in construction and housing.
Google News Archive
6 April 2004, Victoria (TX) Advocate, “I have seen the future, and it’s got wrinkles” by Scott Burns, pg. 4B, col. 5:
Professor Bradshaw observed that while the counties along “the spine” of Texas—Interstate 35—tended to be growing and young, many of the adjacent, agrarian counties were aging and shrinking.
Google News Archive
28 August 2005, Victoria (TX) Advocate, “Homes are heavily mortgaged in times of extreme prices” by Scott Burns, pg. 3C, col. 2:
By the time it was over, the spine of Texas, Interstate 35, was littered with manufactured home repos from Dallas to San Antonio.
Historic Temple: An Illustrated History
By Patricia K. Benoit
San Antonio, TX: Historical Pub. Network
With the completion of Interstate 35, nicknamed “the spine of Texas,” Temple emerged as a major transportation center.
Nothing like 2Hr flight from PHX 2 DFW, lose 2hrs w/time change, driving straight thru spine of Texas on 35, headed 2 cover Baylor-Nebraska
5:07 AM - 21 Mar 2014
Temple (TX) Daily Telegram
Backroads: The history of ‘the spine of Texas’
Posted: Sunday, July 27, 2014 10:21 pm
BY PATRICIA BENOIT | TELEGRAM STAFF
Drivers’ complaints in 1949 sound familiar today: Sometimes it takes 40 minutes to drive a few miles between Temple and Belton.
Driving is a bummer nowadays, but other unprintable words described traffic 65 years ago. Interstate 35 — nicknamed “the spine of Texas” — took decades of planning and negotiating. And now, driving is still perilous as contractors widen the section through Temple.