July 26, 2012
AUSTIN - Progress continues in the development of Interstate 69 in Texas. Today the Texas Transportation Commission gave approval to designating a segment of Interstate 69, concurrent with US 59, from north of the Liberty County line to Interstate 610 North in Houston, a total distance of approximately 35 miles.
The action falls in line with that of the Houston-Galveston Area Council, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the Federal Highway Administration, all which also earlier approved the designation of this segment as Interstate 69.
"Construction of I-69 in Texas creates jobs, creates economic opportunity and increases connectivity, "said U.S. Congressman Blake Farenthold (TX-27). "Development in the Eagle Ford Shale, a growing population, and vibrant economy coupled with expansion of the Panama Canal, and trade with Mexico all highlight the need for transportation improvements like I-69 in Texas, "
Also, the Texas Transportation Commission recently approved $150 million for several I-69 upgrade projects - $60 million to re-design and construct the roadway to interstate standards between Driscoll and the north side of Kingsville.
"The continual progress made on this project moves us closer to the development of this national transportation corridor," said Ted Houghton, Texas Transportation Commission Chairman. "The partnerships forged between local, state, and federal officials all along this corridor are helping to move this project along at a brisk pace."
The commission also gave approval to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to issue a Request for Proposals to a pre-qualified list of developers, to upgrade a segment of U.S. 77 to interstate standards between Kingsville and Driscoll, as part of the development plan for I-69.
Four groups of developers have been shortlisted for selection of a contract to be awarded this fall executing Design-Build and Capital Maintenance Agreements for the U.S. 77 Upgrade.
The four groups include:
Additionally, The Federal Highway Administration earlier this month approved the environmental clearance for the U.S. 77 project between Corpus Christi and Harlingen with a "Finding of No Significant Impact," meaning any and all future corridor projects have environmental approval.
The Texas portion of I-69 represents more than half the overall length of the national interstate - 1,100 miles of the 1,800-mile route - traversing the country.