• Two I-69 Projects Awarded Funding by NET RMA

July 1, 2018

Future Interstate 69 System projects at Texarkana and Marshall have been awarded financial support by the North East Texas Regional Mobility Authority (NET RMA), an agency created to accelerate development of transportation projects in the 12-county region.

US Highway 59 in Bowie, Cass, Marion, Harrison and Panola Counties is congressionally designated as part of the I-69 system and as sections are completed they will be signed as I-369.

Bowie County is receiving $350,000 to assist in funding a route and feasibility study for an Interstate 369 West Spur that would connect to Interstate 30 west of Texarkana in the vicinity of the TexAmericas Center and the Red River Army Depot.  The study would establish project groups, provide a recommended corridor, identify high-level environmental factors, provide a traffic analysis, determine public support and identify potential revenue sources. The first section US 59 south of I-30 in Texarkana was added to the Interstate Highway System as I-369 in 2013.

Harrison County is receiving $150,000 toward initial projects on the proposed Interstate 369 relief route at Marshall.  I-369 will cross Interstate 20 on the south side of Marshall.  A route study was completed in 2014 identified a consensus route for the future interstate on the east side of Marshall.

US 59 currently runs through the center of Marshall with numerous driveways and cross streets.  A relief route is needed to accommodate a fully-developed future interstate highway that will serve inter-regional traffic, provide safer travel options in the county, keep up with population and traffic growth, and offer options for emergency evacuation routes.  It would also provide new economic development opportunities through access to improved transportation facilities.

Once completed, the 15-mile long I-369 Marshall Relief Route will improve mobility, freight movement efficiency and safety.  Quality controlled-access interstate highways, like Interstate 20 in this area, provide major safety improvements over other roads with fewer fatal crashes than non-freeway roads. 

NET RMA AWARDS PROGRAM

This is the third year that the NET RMA has awarded $500,000 to East Texas counties for transportation related projects.  Funds generated by revenues from Toll 49 in 2017 were allocated to these counties by NET RMA’s Long-Range Planning Committee. County priority project applications were evaluated based upon several key factors: regional significance, local and political support, local financial support, economic development potential, and potential revenue production.

“The mission of the NET RMA is to increase mobility in East Texas. When we can give back to a community that has supported us; that’s when we feel most satisfied,” said Chris Miller, Executive Director of the NET RMA.

“We are thrilled to be at a point where we can consistently give back to the very counties that have supported the Agency over the years,” said current NET RMA Chair Linda Thomas, “This was one
of our goals from the start—to keep revenues local and to reinvest those funds in a meaningful way.”

In each instance, the NET RMA’s funding and support will help accelerate the projects’
development, thus achieving its goal of increasing mobility in the East Texas Region. The proposals were submitted by Bowie County Judge James Carlow and Harrison County Judge Hugh Taylor.

The NET RMA supported the Bowie County intersection project knowing the purpose of the study would enhance the overall goals of the I-69 system by ensuring it directly connects with key economic, military and mobility features of the Texarkana region.

Harrison County’s future I-369 projects will relieve traffic congestion through Marshall, improve safety and mobility, and provide for future traffic and freight needs and support economic development. The agency supported this project knowing that local elected leadership and community leaders performed a study and made the selection of the recommended route.