• 35 More Miles of I-69 Route Added to Interstate Highway System
The Texas Transportation Commission has checked the final box to add 35 more miles of I-69 to the Interstate Highway System.
The new interstate segment starts at Interstate 610 North in Houston and extends north past Bush Intercontinental Airport and through Humble, Kingwood, Porter, New Caney and Splendora. The north end is just beyond the Montgomery-Liberty County Line.
Interstate 69 in Texas is being created through the upgrade or conversion of existing highways including US 59. New I-69 signage will be going up on the freeway and on connecting highways on the north side of Houston over the coming months.
Designation of this new section as Interstate 69 was previously approved by the Houston-Galveston Area Council, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The highway will be known concurrently as I-69 and US 59.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has been aggressively investing in rebuilding US 59 through Montgomery, Harris and Fort Bend counties during the past 20 years. For example, sections of the 4-lane Eastex Freeway built in the 1950s were replaced with 10 main lanes, HOV lanes,expanded access roads and park-and-ride access.
TWO MORE HOUSTON AREA SECTIONS COMING
The first section of I-69 in Texas -- 6.2 miles located on the west side of Corpus Christi -- was added to the Interstate System last year. Two additional sections of US 59 in the Houston area that have long been at interstate highway standard are currently under review. The next to be added to the Interstate System is likely to be the Southwest Freeway from the I-610 Loop South down through Sugar Land and on to Rosenberg. The final Houston section is expected to be the part of US 59 inside Loop 610. Each designation requires an extensive submittal by the TxDOT and an exhaustive review by the federal FHWA to see that standards are being met.
“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.”
US 77 UPGRADE PROJECT
During their monthly meeting the Transportation Commissioners also moved forward a $60 million project that will upgrade 10 miles of US 77 to interstate highway standard between Corpus Christi and Kingsville in South Texas. Commissioners authorized staff to issue a Request for Proposals to a pre-qualified list of developers for the design-build project.
Four development teams have been shortlisted for selection with a contract to be awarded to one of them later this year. The four groups include:
- - Route 77 Constructors – J.D. Abrams, L.P. and Haas-Anderson Construction, LTD.
- Austin Bridge & Road, L.P - Austin Bridge & Road, L.P.
- Webber, LLC - · Webber, LLC
- Anderson Columbia Co., Inc. - Anderson Columbia Co., Inc.
This project will require new right of way so the current four-lane divided highway can be expanded with overpasses and access roads. It will pass through the town of Bishop where a small section is already complete to freeway standard. The project includes cooperative participation by local governments in Nueces and Kleberg counties. It will connect to mostly completed freeway sections running through Kingsville.
This project is covered by the final environmental clearance issued recently by the FHWA. After a four-year review process the agency issued a Finding of No Significant Impact on upgrading the entire section of US 77 from Corpus Christi to Harlingen. It means that all future projects on this route have environmental approval. Read additional information about the FONSI environmental clearance (here).
U.S. Congressman Blake Farenthold of Corpus Christi said, "Construction of I-69 in Texas creates jobs, creates economic opportunity and increases connectivity. 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