SH 21 relief route - Madisonville
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SH 21 relief route - Madisonville

SH 21 through downtown Madisonville is a heavily congested primary connection between I-45 and SH 90. The current SH 21 roadway provides few widening options to accommodate local and through traffic. In 2014, TxDOT conducted a feasibility study to determine the effectiveness of a relief route from SH 21 west of Madisonville to I-45 as a means of relieving congestion and increasing mobility.

The purpose of the SH 21 relief route is to connect regional traffic in the Madisonville area, which will relieve SH 21 (Main Street) and surrounding roadways from through traffic between I-45, SH 75, SH 90, and SH 21.

The proposed relief route is expected to:

  • Address traffic growth: Traffic through Madisonville is expected to increase from 13,000 to 18,500 vehicles per day by 2035.
  • Improve regional I-45 connectivity: A relief route would increase regional mobility, moving traffic efficiently to and from I-45.
  • Improve local circulation: Reducing the amount of through traffic in the downtown Madisonville area would enhance mobility within the surrounding area.
  • Improve safety: The relief route is expected to reduce crash rates on SH 21, SH 90, and SH 75. There were more than 200 crashes in the past five years along these roadways including one fatality.
  • Preserve local infrastructure: Traffic reduction (especially trucks) would maintain the integrity of the existing roadway and reduce the long-term cost of maintenance.


The 2014 Feasibility Study showed that a relief route connecting SH 21 from the west of IH 45 would improve local and regional mobility. It would accomplish this by reducing the amount of non-local traffic through town by providing a more direct and quicker route to IH 45. This would result in improved traffic flow and safety as local traffic would see a reduction in congestion, delays, accidents, and structural impacts to the roadway network.

On May 27, 2014, the preliminary alternatives were presented at a community workgroup. Representatives from Madison County, the City of Madisonville, and the Madison Independent School District identified recommended alternatives.

At an open house on July 22, 2014, the public viewed and provided comments on the primary alternatives.

On March 7, 2017, the community was able to comment on alternatives for a relief route around Madisonville.

On December 4, 2017, TxDOT hosted an open house public meeting for the public to review and comment on the preferred alternative.

Based on input from local stakeholders, TxDOT determined that it would be prudent to consider the possible future need for a full loop around Madisonville. Therefore, TxDOT evaluated the feasibility of such a project.

Where we are now

Through a series of public meetings and evaluations, a preferred alternative for the southern half of the loop has been refined and is being further designed. The proposed project would provide two 12-foot wide travel lanes in each direction separated by a grassy median. The travel lanes would be bounded by 4-foot wide inside and 10-foot wide outside shoulders. The proposed Right of Way on the relief route of SH 21 would be between 250 and 500 feet wide. The roadway would be a high-speed facility with limited access but not completely access controlled as there would be no frontage roads. A limited number of minor roads and driveways would connect to one side of the proposed roadway, but primary access to the facility would be via grade-separated interchanges at major crossroads. There would be grade separations at the crossings of SH 90, SH 75, IH 45, and Pee Dee Lane. Entrance and exit ramps would provide access to SH 90 and SH 75. A new relief route bridge would be built over IH 45. New ramps along IH 45 would provide access to and from the relief route.

The project is funded to go to construction in Fall 2024.

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