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U.S. Highway 180 West - Parker County

02/13/09 photos taken by Justin Cozart.

U.S. 180 West
US 180 begins its westbound trek east of Weatherford at IH 20. The ramp from the interstate transitions onto a divided highway, leftover from the pre-interstate days, that connected Fort Worth with points west. Photo taken 02/13/09.
A US 180 westbound reassurance marker in the small town of Hudson Oaks. TxDot often omits directional banners, as can be seen here. Photo taken 02/13/09.
US 180 heads west away from IH 20 as a divided highway, with a 55 mph speed limit and a few traffic lights. Photo taken 02/13/09.
Several miles west of IH 20, US 180 enters the town of Weatherford. Weatherford has about 25,000 people today and is a fast-growing exurban area connected to the DFW Metroplex. Photo taken 02/13/09.
US 180 meets FM 730 on the east side of town. Photo taken 02/13/09.

FM 730 is a fairly long secondary state highway, at about 60 miles in length. It runs north from US 180 here to Azle and other western exurban areas. Photos taken 02/13/09.
US 180 is still about 3 miles from the center of Weatherford here, as the city has annexed a lot of surrounding area. Mineral Wells, the next large town, makes an appearance here on a mileage sign. Photos taken 02/13/09.

A US 180 westbound reassurance marker in Weatherford. The town bills itself as the peach capital of Texas, and is famous for a peach festival each year. Photo taken 02/13/09.
The Parker County courthouse comes into view here as US 180 travels over a set of railroad tracks. FM 2252 runs south from here to meet IH 20 southeast of town. Photo taken 02/13/09.
One block west of Texas Farm to Market Road 2252's north end at Elm Street on U.S. 180 (Fort Worth Highway) west in Weatherford. Photo taken 02/13/09.
The Parker County courthouse sits on a square, arranged in a quasi-roundabout manner, in the center of Weatherford. The first courthouse was built here in 1856 and updated in 1858 with a more formidable structure. The clock tower was installed in 1897. The courthouse site celebrates an early Texas law that courthouses must be within 5 miles of the geographic center of the county. Parker County took that law to heart and even marks the exact spot on the floor of the building. Photos taken 02/13/09.
US 180 meets FM 51 and SH 171 here. FM 51 is over 100 miles long and runs southwest from IH 35 in Gainesville and meets SH 114, US 380, US 180, and US 67 along its route. Photo taken 02/13/09.
The courthouse square in Weatherford also marks the northern end of SH 171, which runs south to IH 20 to IH 35 and Mexia, about 110 miles away. Photo taken 02/13/09.
West of the square, overhead signs mark the split with Spur 312 and US 180. These overhead signs are likely leftover from when this route was US 80. In 1991, US 80 was decommissioned west of Dallas and this section through Weatherford became an eastern extension of US 180. Thus, this spot marks the original eastern end for US 180. Photo taken 02/13/09.
US 180 westbound at Spur 312. The spur road, originally US 80, runs southwest to IH 20 and thus to Abilene. The control point of Abilene, instead of "to IH 20" is likely leftover from its US 80 days. Photo taken 02/13/09.
US 180 leaves Weatherford westbound as a divided highway with light traffic. Photos taken 02/13/09.
The eastern edge of the Palo Pinto hills come into view here. The hills are the eroded edge of the great plains. They mark the line where the central plains of the US merge into the gulf coastal plain. Photos taken 02/13/09.
US 180 meets and has a brief multiplex here with FM 113. The road also enters the small town of Cool here. Photos taken 02/13/09.
FM 113 continues southward here in the town of Cool. Cool did not seem to exist before 1960, and exists as a small bedroom and farming community. The origin of the name is a mystery to the author. Photo taken 02/13/09.
US 180 westbound through Cool. Photo taken 02/13/09.
US 180 takes on an almost expressway-like quality to it as it nears Mineral Wells. There are numerous rock cuts and hills with a center divider. The overpass is part of a state trail system here, which connects to the Mineral Wells State Park, just to the north of the road. Photos taken 02/13/09.

US 180 westbound before Park Road 71. The Texas state highway system uses park roads as connectors from state or national parks to the larger highway network. Photo taken 02/13/09.
Park Road 71 runs north from here, for less than a mile, to the Mineral Wells State Park. Photo taken 02/13/09.
While still in Parker County, US 180 enters the town of Mineral Wells, the largest town in Palo Pinto County. Mineral Wells was laid out in 1881, and in 1885 became a famous health resort due to its foul-tasting mineral well water which was thought to be a cure for rheumatism. By 1920, the town had over 400 mineral water wells. Photo taken 02/13/09.
Mineral Wells' eastern side is a blur of traffic lights and big box stores. Pictured here is the U.S. 180 westbound intersection with Washington Road. The Palo Pinto County is just west of here. Photo taken 02/13/09.

Page Updated February 26, 2009.