• I-69's Role as Major Freight Corridor Stressed in Washington

Community leaders from along the I-69 route in Texas met with members of Congress and federal officials during an annual Washington, D.C., fly-in event in September and highlighted the need to sustain the momentum behind the I-69 initiative. 

The Alliance for I-69 Texas delegation participated in a roundtable meeting of the multi-state I-69 Congressional Caucus. During that session Congressman Peter DeFazio of Oregon,chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, stressed that federal highwy funding is inadequate and the nation must do better.

DeFazio pointed to the need to expand definitions and funding for freight corridors. He noted that truckers resist paying tolls but are agreeable to an increase in gasoline and diesel taxes. He believes that President Trump supports increased funding for highways but that the president is getting resistance from his advisors.

Congressman Henry Cuellar of Laredo called I-69 a vital trade route and a national asset that is very important to the pending NAFTA replacement agreement. He believes the USMCA will be approved by the Congress. Congressman Brian Babin of Woodville pointed out that development of I-69 in Texas is vital to commerce moving in and out of all of the Texas seaports.

Representatives from each state on the I-69 national route provided Members of Congress with updates, including the following:

More than 1,100 miles of existing highways (US 59, US 77, US 281, US 84 and SH 44) will eventually be upgraded to make up the I-69 System in Texas.  A total of 160.8 miles of I-69 have been added to the Interstate Highway System along with 46 miles added as the I-2 connector between I-69E and I-69C in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Another 99 miles have been constructed to or are under construction to meet interstate standards and designation.
Two segments in South Texas totaling approximately 5.8 miles are complete and are expected to soon be added to the Interstate Highway System. 
Construction projects are under contract in Hidalgo, Willacy, Kenedy, Nueces, Webb, Victoria, Wharton, Fort Bend, Harris, Liberty and Nacogdoches Counties.
Texas has an active funding program for projects on the I-69 route.  The state’s latest Unified Transportation Program (UTP) version includes $2.9 billion for I-69/I-45 rebuild projects near Downtown Houston and $2.8 billion for I-69 projects and studies on the rest of the I-69 Texas System.

The I-69 route in Louisiana extends approximately 120 miles from the Arkansas line south to I-20 and I-49 and then southwest to the Sabine River. 75 miles are environmentally cleared.
The state is focusing development efforts on the Red River Bridge segment and the connection between the Port of Caddo-Bossier and north-south I-49.

The 184-mile I-69 route in southern Arkansas has been environmentally cleared with a preferred alignment identified. Construction is underway on an 8.6-mile segment of future I-69 on the southeast side of Monticello.  Funding has been allocated for an additional 17-mile segment from east of Monticello eastward to US 65.   The I-69 system in Arkansas includes a 40-mile Interstate 530 connector between Monticello and Pine Bluff with 29 miles completed.

The I-69 system in Mississippi covers 178 miles. A 15-mile section of I-69 in northwest Mississippi was opened to traffic in 2006.  I-69 runs concurrently on I-55 north from Hernando to Memphis.
Work is complete on Interstate 269, a part of the I-69 system circling the southeast side of Memphis.
The 113-mile Mississippi Delta section from north of Tunica heading south to the proposed Great River Bridge crossing into Arkansas has been environmentally cleared.

All Tennessee sections of the I-269 loop around Memphis are complete and open to traffic.  A total of 104 miles of the main I-69 route remain to be built north of Memphis.
Current I-69 planning and construction is focused on a 20-mile section near Union City with 7 miles under construction.
The state’s Improve Act dedicates funds to transportation.  A total of 42.7 miles of listed I-69 projects are included in the Improve Act. 

The I-69 route in Kentucky runs from Fulton on the Tennessee state line north to the Ohio River at Henderson.
The 128 miles from Mayfield to Henderson are complete and have been added to the Interstate Highway System. 
Work has started to complete upgrades on the 19 miles of existing parkway between Fulton and Mayfield.
A preferred alternative has been identified for the location of a new Ohio River Bridge between Henderson and Evansville, Indiana.  It follows a new alignment and covers 11 miles.
BridgeLink, a combined advocacy group of community leaders from Kentucky and Indiana, is working to support planning for the $1.4 billion bridge system. 

Interstate 69 from Indianapolis to the Michigan State Line has been complete for decades. I-69 south from Indianapolis to Evansville will add another 142 miles to the I-69 System when complete.
Indiana has increased fuel taxes and registration fees to provide increased state funding for transportation projects including completion of I-69.
Indiana’s Governor recently accelerated the completion date of the final section of I-69 connecting to Indianapolis.  The scheduled completion is now 2024.
Kentucky and Indiana have signed an MOU to build an I-69 Ohio River Bridge.  The preferred location has been identified and completion of the EIS is expected in 2020.

All sections are complete. To improve efficiency at the I-69 border crossing with Canada a $165 million expansion of the Blue Water Bridge Plaza supporting truck freight is planned. 
Michigan is urging inclusion of 125 miles of I-69 from Port Huron to Lansing in the national Primary Highway Freight System.


September 19, 2019


Longview News-Journal Report on I-69 Annual DC Fly-in

Oct. 1, 2019

Interstate 69 project gets 'positive' reception in Washington, D.C. [Read Story Here]

US Senator John Cornyn of Texas

Congressman Henry Cuellar leads an I-69 Congressional Caucus discussion of how to continue progress on I-69 development


DOWNLOADABLE Files from 2019 DC Fly-in

I-69 DC Fly-in 2019 Schedule

I-69 Multi-State Slide Presentation (23 MB)

Multi-State Update Folder ( Prints 11x17)

Multi-State Update (Prints Letter)

National Freight Network Map (2 MB)

Texas Freight Network Maps (3.5 MB)

1960-1990 Interstate Maps (0.6 MB)

Texas DC Handout 2019 (1.3 MB)

I-69 Texas Project Status by Congressional District (6.6 MB)