Fact Check: This Image Of A Massive Highway Is NOT The Katy Freeway In Texas

Fact Check

  • by: Christiana Dillard
Fact Check: This Image Of A Massive Highway Is NOT The Katy Freeway In Texas Not Katy FWY

Is an image that depicts a highway with some 20 lanes in each direction a photo of the Katy Freeway in Texas? No, that's not true: Although Lead Stories could not locate the origin of the image, it is not the Katy Freeway, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) confirmed.

The claim appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) published on June 22, 2021. The post featured an image of a highway with dozens of lanes, with a caption that read:

The Katy free way in Texas USA

This is what the post looked like on Facebook on June 22, 2021:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Jun 22 22:19:11 2021 UTC)

The Katy Freeway is in Houston and is a part of Interstate 10, which runs across the Southern and Western U.S. Using Google Images, Lead Stories did not find any authentic images of the Katy Freeway that matched this image. According to a fact sheet from the FHWA, the largest section of the Houston portion of Interstate 10 only spans 12 lanes, far fewer than the highway shown in the Facebook post.

In an email to Lead Stories on June 22, 2021, Nancy Singer, a spokeswoman for the FHWA, said:

I'm told it is not the Katy Freeway.

Other social media posts that use the image have claimed that the image depicts the G4 Beijing-Hong Kong-Macau Expressway in China, which experienced a major traffic jam around one of its toll booths in 2015.

Although Lead Stories could not locate the origin of the image, the color correction, season and other elements of the image are visually similar to images of Russian highways.

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  Christiana Dillard

Christiana Dillard is a former news writer for Temple University’s Lew Klein College of Media and Communication. She received her undergraduate degree in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a freelance writer for several organizations including the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, Pitt Magazine, and The Heinz Endowments. When she’s not producing or studying media she’s binging it, watching YouTube videos or any interesting series she can find on streaming services.

Read more about or contact Christiana Dillard

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