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Interstate 14

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It seems that Congress has given the green light to I-14 to expand beyond Texas. Whether the states build it, that's up for grabs without more federal money, but the official designation is there now.

Mississippi all but abandoned I-69, so I have similar expectations for this. There are a few things I could see that would provide more incentive to build this than I-69 though. For one, most of US 84 is extremely rural, so upgrading to a freeway could be done relatively easy. MDOT has already bypassed most of the towns along US 84 with expressway. There's already a 82 mile freeway from the junction with I-59 in Laurel to US 80 in Cuba, AL. Closer proximity to population centers (Natchez, Collins, Laurel, Meridian, Hattiesburg), and overall a better economy in this region of the state compared to the region that I-69 passes through.

I don't think the current bridges across the Mississippi River for US 84 in Natchez/Vidalia, LA are freeway grade so those would need upgrade/replacement. Bringing another proper freeway-grade facility into Laurel, especially from the west, would be challenging in my opinion due to development and fitting a proper stack interchange with flyovers into the I-59 alignment in Laurel would also be challenging.

What are the thoughts of the masses?


--- Quote ---For one, most of US 84 is extremely rural, so upgrading to a freeway could be done relatively easy.
--- End quote ---

Not necessarily.  84 may be rural, but it also has direct property access.  The more rural areas along 84 have an acute lack of a road network which means providing alternative access to those properties becomes a lot more difficult and a lot more expensive.

Traffic volumes don't even warrant a 4-lane road along much of 84, let alone an Interstate.  MDOT would do far better to use that money to improve 49 between Gulfport and Jackson...a corridor that actually DOES have the population and volumes to justify spending the money.

I don't know MS that well, but is I-14 actually needed in the state? It sits roughly 70-80 miles north of I-10, and 50-60 miles south of I-20, and doesn't pass through any sizable cities in the state, which are conditions that aren't really in favor of another E-W interstate through the state. I-20's AADT isn't that high either from the DOT map, at around 20k east of Jackson, and 30k west of Jackson.

The first place I would place I-14 in the southeast is the proposed Meridian-Montgomery interstate.

The second article doesn't say if there's any money attached to the designation in the bill, unless I missed it.  First article is paywalled.

First article didn't mention it either, so I looked at the actual bill text.  There are no specific earmarks or apportionments for I-14 from what I could tell.


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