SH 358 was first constructed in 1941 between Ayers Street (SH 286) and NAS Corpus Christi, as a way to provide fast access to the base during World War II. Named Lexington Boulevard, the road was extended west to SH 9 (Leopard Street) in 1950, with the leg from SH 286 to SH 9 signed as FM 823. Development occurred rapidly along the corridor during the 1950s, and with increasing traffic and a high fatality rate, improvements were needed.
Lexington Boulevard was designated an expressway corridor in 1955, and additional right of way purchased to bring the corridor to a 250 foot width. The road received two additional lanes in 1960 from Ayers Street (SH 286) to Flour Bluff, and in 1963 from Ayers Street to Leopard Street (SH 9). These lanes were separated from the existing road by a large median, which was designed to hold the future freeway lanes. SH 358 was renamed Padre Island Drive in 1966, partially to show the final destination of Padre Island but also to eliminate the negative reputation Lexington Boulevard had received.
- 1969 - Construction began between Richter Street (just east of Ayers Street/SH 286) and Airline Road. Construction of the SH 286/358 interchange is already under way as part of the Crosstown Expressway contract.
- 1970 - SH 286/358 interchange opens in phases between July and October. Temporary ramps are built from the completed mainline lanes at the interchange to Richter Road and the existing non-freeway lanes of SH 358.
- 1971 - Interchange between IH 37 and SH 358 opens.
- 1972 - Freeway opens August 18 between Ayers Street and Airline Road. Total construction cost is $8.7 million.
- 1973 - Construction begins between Hampshire Road (north of Leopard Street between IH 37 and Leopard Street) and SH 44 (Agnes Street).
- 1976 - Freeway lanes open between Hampshire Road and SH 44 in March.
- 1980 - SH 44/SH 358 freeway interchange opens February 5. Completion of SH 358 freeway is delayed as funding priorities shift to completing the first section of SH 44 freeway between SH 358 and Agnes Street.
- 1985 - Construction begins on extension of freeway lanes from Airline Road to Waldron Road.
- 1987 - Construction begins on freeway lanes between SH 44 and SH 286.
- 1988 - Construction begins on freeway lanes between Waldron Road and Laguna Shores Road and PR 22/SH 358 interchange. Freeway lanes complete between Airline Road and Waldron Road.
- 1991 - Freeway completed.
The busiest section of SH 358, between SH 286 (Crosstown Expressway) and PR 22, is known locally as "SPID", an abbreviation for South Padre Island Drive. This section is congested and extremely narrow due to the 250 foot right of way. Engineers in 1970 predicted that the freeway would be unable to handle demand, and wanted a 400 foot right of way, but were unable to obtain it due to rapid commercial development. The intersection of Staples Street and SPID is known as the shopping mecca of Corpus Christi due to the proximity of stores and large shopping centers.
Texas State Highway 358 Guides
|SH 357 (Rodd Field Road) concludes an 11.06 mile route at SH 358 (S Padre Island Drive) in Corpus Christi. Photo taken 07/11/05.|
07/11/05 by Kevin Trinkle
Page Updated 07-25-2019.