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Author Topic: I-69 in TX  (Read 537904 times)

agentsteel53

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #575 on: January 24, 2014, 09:55:04 AM »

I-blankblank7 is even better!
where do you see that?
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #576 on: January 24, 2014, 12:54:14 PM »

I-blankblank7 is even better!
where do you see that?

Look where I-2 meets I-69E.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #577 on: February 14, 2014, 08:59:52 AM »

A few interesting comments:
http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FHWA-2013-0050-0003
Quote
We at ALDOT have noticed the omission of I-22 Memphis to Birmingham from the proposed network miles, and attribute this to the uncompleted section and the interchange where it ties into I-65. If there are additional sections or miles added to the network, we want to make sure I-22 is included. This could be a high volume corridor (Memphis I-22 Birmingham I-20 Atlanta) with completion of the interchange.
(above quote from Draft Highway Primary Freight Network thread)

In looking at recent Comments to the Draft Highway Primary Freight Network Plan, it appears that the Alliance for I-69 Texas has organized a late push to include I-69 in the Plan by apparently circulating a "template" letter to its members that some have attached to somewhat individualized cover letters and then submitted as a Comment.  As an example, here is a letter from the Rio Grande Valley Partnership:

http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FHWA-2013-0050-0067

The attached letter contends that (in a similar vein to the ALDOT/I-22 letter that NE2 posted above) the current plan is merely a static "snapshot" of the current system and that it does not adequately address future freight routes, in particular I-69. Two other interesting points are that the attachment letter expressly includes SH 44 as part of the I-69 system, but not US 83/I-2, and that inclusion is needed for "additional resources and strategies to advance the completion of I-69".

SH 44 snippet:



"Snapshot" snippet:



"Resources and Strategies" snippet:



Alliance for I-69 Texas organizations that have submitted a Comment include City of Nacogdoches, Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership, Texarkana Chamber of Commerce, the Rio Grande Valley Partnership, Cameron County, Nueces County Commissioners Court, TexAmericas Center, and The City of Lufkin, Mayor Bob Brown.

« Last Edit: February 14, 2014, 10:32:39 AM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #578 on: February 19, 2014, 04:09:54 PM »

Russell Zapalac, TxDOT's Chief Planning and Projects Officer, recently made a presentation to the Texas Transportation Commission. At about the 7:55 mark of the "Item 3 - Discussion Items" video (as of this post, the Transcript of the presentation has not been posted on the website), he comments that he is "working with the Laredo folks to develop I-69W" and that "within the next year or so" TxDOT intends to "sign Loop 20 to the World Trade Bridge as a portion of I-69".

The Texas Transportation Commission's February 26, 2014 Agenda reflects that the meeting will be held in Laredo and a presentation will be made about Loop 20/I-69:

Quote
c. Regional Priority Projects
Staff will outline state and local plans for the development of Interstate 69 through upgrades to State Loop 20.

It does say "Interstate 69" instead of "Interstate 69W".
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 04:12:06 PM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #579 on: February 20, 2014, 08:10:04 AM »

My wife was lost in Houston on US 59 last night trying to get back to Austin.  I had to bite my tongue not to ask if it had been cosigned with I-69 yet.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #580 on: February 20, 2014, 11:41:24 AM »

Russell Zapalac, TxDOT's Chief Planning and Projects Officer, recently made a presentation to the Texas Transportation Commission ....  he comments that "within the next year or so" .... TxDOT intends to "sign Loop 20 to the World Trade Bridge as a portion of I-69" ....
Congress did not specifically include Loop 20 in HPC 20; will FHWA require an interim I-x35 designation?
The Texas Transportation Commission's February 26, 2014 Agenda reflects that the meeting will be held in Laredo and a presentation will be made about Loop 20/I-69

The Texas Transportation Commission ("TTC"), in its February 27 Agenda*, indicates that it will redesignate Loop 20 as US 59 over the "I-69" portion of US 59 (thereby complying with the HPC 20 statutory "US 59" language)(page 2/13 of pdf):

Quote
Webb County - In the city of Laredo, redesignate a segment of State Loop 20 as US 59 and redesignate a segment of US 59 as Business US 59-Z (MO)
This minute order redesignates a segment of State Loop 20 as US 59 from the World Trade Bridge to the junction of State Loop 20 and US 59 in Laredo, a distance of approximately 10.9 miles and redesignates a segment of US 59 as BU 59-Z from the junction of State Loop 20 and US 59 to the  southern terminus of US 59 in Laredo, a distance of approximately 3.6 miles. This begins the process of designating US 59 concurrent with the I-69 system in Laredo.

Slick move; however, does the reference to "the I-69 system"" indicate a temporary 3di designation?

*Yes, there are two different TTC meetings in Laredo: February 26 and February 27.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 11:55:33 AM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #581 on: February 20, 2014, 02:35:49 PM »

the FHWA High Priority Corridors page provides the relevant part of the statutory I-69 definition:
Quote
18. Corridor from Sarnia, Ontario, Canada ....
to the Lower Rio Grande Valley at the border between the United States and Mexico, as follows: [I-69] ....
D. In the Lower Rio Grande Valley, the Corridor shall- ....
iii. include ... FM511 from United States Route 77 to the Port of Brownsville.
This article reports that work is beginning on the ramps that will connect SH 550 to I-69E ....
Another I-69 Corridor Section of Independent Utility ("SIU") nearing completion ......  :bigass:

This article reports that the SH 550 entrance to the Port of Brownsville recently opened and that the entire SH 550 project should be completed by the end of the year:

Quote
Tractor-trailer rigs were expected to start rolling in at 6 a.m. today through the Port of Brownsville’s new primary entrance: the State Highway 550 connector entry ....
SH 550, formerly known as FM 511, is an alternate route between the Port of Brownsville and Interstate 69 ....
Truckers coming from the ports of Houston or Corpus Christi can now reach the Brownsville port without ever having to leave I-69, he said.
“We do hope and anticipate increased direct access by truck traffic to the Port of Brownsville,” he said ....
The remaining SH 550 connector could wrap up at the end of the year and would be 10 miles with four tolled, general purpose main lanes — two in each direction — and direct connectors at I-69.
“It’s my understanding that it would probably be toward the end of the year,” Campirano said of the final piece of the project. “And when that happens, it will be a really nice connection.”
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 04:46:42 PM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #582 on: February 20, 2014, 08:00:12 PM »

Quote
Webb County - In the city of Laredo, redesignate a segment of State Loop 20 as US 59 and redesignate a segment of US 59 as Business US 59-Z (MO)
This minute order redesignates a segment of State Loop 20 as US 59 from the World Trade Bridge to the junction of State Loop 20 and US 59 in Laredo, a distance of approximately 10.9 miles and redesignates a segment of US 59 as BU 59-Z from the junction of State Loop 20 and US 59 to the  southern terminus of US 59 in Laredo, a distance of approximately 3.6 miles. This begins the process of designating US 59 concurrent with the I-69 system in Laredo.
This means that unless US59Bus is extended past US59's current terminus (say, via I-35, and FM1472 (or not)), it'll only connect to its parent at one end. Not unprecedented for TXDOT, but what would AASHTO have to say?
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #583 on: February 21, 2014, 10:03:00 AM »

Just got away from checking out the I-2 and I-69E interchange in Harligen and noticed the brand new flyovers that make up all of its ramps.  The thing that strikes me most odd that the whole interchange was completely made over with nothing original.  I can see if lanes were added to both US 77 and US 83 straight through the interchange, but nonetheless US 77 is STILL two lanes through that fully directional facility.  Only to and from the south is it been widened.

No doubt its part of the I-69 upgrade, but I distinctly remember it all being up to interstate standards back in 1997 when I visited there.  I stayed at the old Motel 6 that was in the NW quadrent of that interchange and had a birds eye view of the original flyovers and even walked over to them from my room to seek further viewing.  All seemed fine by me at the time.  I would think that Texas has more better things to use the upgrade money on than fixing something that only needed partial fixing unless there is more there then meets the eye as I only saw it once decades ago.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #584 on: February 22, 2014, 12:27:32 AM »

The Alliance for I-69 Texas also has an article about the project:
Quote
City, county and Alliance for I-69 Texas representatives broke ground this week to start construction of a diamond interchange overpass facility on Loop 20 at McPherson Avenue in the north side of Laredo.
Loop 20 is designated as the future route of Interstate 69 in Laredo. The Loop 20 freeway has already been completed from the World Trade Bridge to an interchange with Interstate 35.
The Texas Transportation Commission's February 26, 2014 Agenda reflects that the meeting will be held in Laredo and a presentation will be made about Loop 20/I-69:
Quote
c. Regional Priority Projects
Staff will outline state and local plans for the development of Interstate 69 through upgrades to State Loop 20.

This article reports that a ribbon-cutting was recently held for the project and that "it can be designated as part of the Interstate 69 system.":

Quote
The $14.5 million overpass at Loop 20 and McPherson opened Friday to the traveling public.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in the afternoon by local and state officials to celebrate the opening of the overpass
, which will improve mobility and reduce traffic congestion.
Melissa Monteamyor, district manager for the Texas Department of Transportation in Laredo, said the project was an effort by Webb County and the City of Laredo, which worked with TxDOT to get more state and federal funding for the project. The project is part of a larger one that includes improving the northern section of Loop 20, from U.S. 59 to the World Trade Bridge.
The project began one year ago. It can be designated as part of the Interstate 69 system.

I'm sure this will be discussed at the February 26 Texas Transportation Commission meeting.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #585 on: February 22, 2014, 12:34:20 AM »

Woo, I-69W southbound will curve around 1.25pi and go northeast.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #586 on: February 22, 2014, 11:42:57 AM »

I don't understand, a "south" highway is heading north.  Oh the logic of I-69WCE.  Are you sure it won't head north of Lake Casa Blanca?  That would make much more sense.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 11:45:18 AM by texaskdog »
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #587 on: February 22, 2014, 02:40:29 PM »

I don't understand, a "south" highway is heading north ... Are you sure it won't head north of Lake Casa Blanca?  That would make much more sense.

From upthread:

More than likely I-69 will have to run a little to the north of existing US 59 to avoid some residential areas near Loop 20, either between Lake Casa Blanca and US 59 or north of Lake Casa Blanca.  Personally I'd swing it away from US 59 WNW around here, and connect to Loop 20 about 1/2 mile south of Del Mar.  It's far more direct, and there's nothing much but scrubland out there, so there's plenty of room for a fully directional interchange at Loop 20.  Plus it would reduce the concurrency of through trucks to Corpus & Houston with local commuter traffic from south Laredo to the airport, arena, and university.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #588 on: February 25, 2014, 11:10:49 AM »

The Texas Transportation Commission ("TTC"), in its February 27 Agenda*, indicates that it will redesignate Loop 20 as US 59 over the "I-69" portion of US 59 (thereby complying with the HPC 20 statutory "US 59" language)(page 2/13 of pdf)

The TTC has posted the proposed Minute Order regarding the redesignations:

Quote
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED by the commission that:
1. A segment of SL 20 is redesignated on the state highway system as US 59 from the  entrance to the World Trade Bridge (approximately 0.6 miles west of FM 1472) to the junction of SL 20 and US 59 in Laredo, a distance of approximately 10.9 miles, as shown in Exhibit A.
2. A segment of US 59 is redesignated on the state highway system as BU 59-Z from the  junction of SL 20 and US 59 to the southern terminus of US 59 in Laredo, a distance of approximately 3.6 miles, as shown in Exhibit A.



I-35A?



This means that unless US59Bus is extended past US59's current terminus (say, via I-35, and FM1472 (or not)), it'll only connect to its parent at one end. Not unprecedented for TXDOT, but what would AASHTO have to say?


We should find out in May:

Quote
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the department shall forward this minute order, along with all other pertinent information, to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Special Committee on US Route Numbering for consideration.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 11:20:02 AM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #589 on: February 25, 2014, 12:20:30 PM »

Wait a second. Isn't that bridge trucks-only?
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #590 on: February 26, 2014, 02:49:07 AM »

Wait a second. Isn't that bridge trucks-only?

Yes, although at least on the US side there is (or at least was, as of August 2011) no signage telling you that, so it's possible the trucks-only restriction is technically only US-bound. I never ventured far enough to find out what happened if you drove a car there, although surely people get lost and end up at the bridge fairly regularly given the distinct lack of giant honking warning signs. A Streetview car got this far without finding any signs saying cars can't cross.

Anyway it's good news to have the McPherson overpass done; with the new high school open in the area and all the truck traffic trying to turn left on McPherson from EB Loop 20 that intersection was becoming a real mess even before I left.

A couple of tweets with pictures of sign pr0n:

437989092484067328[/tweet]][/url]
437984484395200512[/tweet]][/url]

What I can't understand is where they stuck the sign; it appears to be in the median of the future main lanes west of I-35, which probably is a good place for a photo op but you'd never see it from the road.

As far as the US 59 redesignation goes, like I said before there really isn't space for I-69 along Loop 20 once you get south of the airport; there was some talk of closing the golf course which might allow it to squeeze in, but even then you'd have trouble fitting in a directional interchange to get I-69 onto the US 59 corridor to the east. The development plans I've seen for Loop 20 didn't call for a full freeway since there wasn't room for any frontage roads between the airport and US 59. So I stand by my prediction that I-69 will have a more direct routing north of the lake and TAMIU.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #591 on: February 26, 2014, 01:38:41 PM »

Unless there is some kind of environmentally protected area among the creek beds on the North side of Lake Casa Blanca there is a good chance I-69 would bypass the lake to the North. I-69 would leave US-59 a few miles East of Laredo and hook into Loop 20 just North of the Texas A&M International University campus. That would make the most sense in terms of avoiding commercial and residential properties.

However, lots of highway expansions into Interstate style roads have consumed lots of existing properties. It all comes down to how important that road's preferred alignment may be. US-59 could be converted into I-69 to the Loop 20 interchange by expanding the road on its North/Right side. There's not a much in the way of nice looking commercial and residential property along that stretch of US-59. The main things that would have to be bought and demolished to make way for I-69: some junky looking auto parts businesses, a yard furniture/pottery business, a National Guard Armory building and a Jack in the Box. I've seen a lot more businesses cleared away for smaller things.

Here in Lawton the city bought and cleared 10 blocks of old homes and businesses on the North side of downtown along 2nd Street, just South of the I-44 interchange. Most of the properties looked bad. A couple decades ago it was a hot spot for crime (prostitution in particular). A new Hilton Garden Inn and new shopping center is fixing to open on that land. An Interstate highway project is an arguably far bigger deal than a new hotel and shopping center.

Maybe some decision makers in SW Texas want I-69 and TX Loop 20 upgraded into full Interstate level roads to encourage improvement and new development on Laredo's East side. The sights along US-59 coming into Laredo don't look so good. It could use a "face lift."

Regarding expansion of TX Loop 20: not all superhighways need to have frontage/access roads. Loop 20 may need another overpass to leap frog a tricky spot South of Clark Blvd. That golf course looks like hell.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 01:42:51 PM by Bobby5280 »
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #592 on: March 01, 2014, 12:50:56 AM »

The Texas Transportation Commission ("TTC"), in its February 27 Agenda ... indicates that it will redesignate Loop 20 as US 59 over the "I-69" portion of US 59 (thereby complying with the HPC 20 statutory "US 59" language)(page 2/13 of pdf)
The TTC has posted the proposed Minute Order regarding the redesignations

The TTC has posted the video from its February 27 meeting and in Item 5 (approximately five minutes in length), it is explained that the redesignation of Loop 20 as US 59 was "necessary" for Loop 20/US 59 to ultimately be designated as part of "the I-69 system".  The speaker appears to take great pains to use the phrase "I-69 system", which might portend a temporary interstate designation before it is ultimately signed as I-69 (simply my guess). The proposed Minute Order for the redesignation, not surprisingly, was approved.  On to AASHTO .......
« Last Edit: March 01, 2014, 01:24:43 AM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #593 on: March 01, 2014, 01:07:34 PM »

If Loop 20 is given an interstate number, it will probably be I-69W. 

US 59 is signed E-W through Laredo, so the fact that it turns almost due north doesn't mean it's going in the opposite direction of the signage.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #594 on: March 01, 2014, 02:22:58 PM »

Quote
If Loop 20 is given an interstate number, it will probably be I-69W.

Isn't the most northern spoke of I-69 just going to be called I-69 rather than I-69W? Correct me if I'm wrong, but that was the impression I had.

The I-69 numbering would only be good on TX Loop 20 as far South as the current intersection with US-59. There's another Interstate number I'd like to see applied to the southern half of TX Loop 20: I-2.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #595 on: March 01, 2014, 08:14:53 PM »

I-35A?

Business Loop I-35A on San Bernardo Avenue.

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #596 on: March 02, 2014, 09:02:52 PM »

A couple of tweets with pictures of sign pr0n:

437989092484067328[/tweet]][/url]
437984484395200512[/tweet]][/url]

What I can't understand is where they stuck the sign; it appears to be in the median of the future main lanes west of I-35, which probably is a good place for a photo op but you'd never see it from the road.

Luckily I noticed this thread on my way to Texas, so I got to Laredo a few days after the ribbon-cutting and could add Loop 20 to today's itinerary.  Timing is everything, huh?

EDIT:  The Future I-69 Corridor sign shown in the above tweets is on eastbound Loop 20 west of I-35, just east of where the main lanes end and split into two off-ramps.  The sign is placed in the median, to the left of the exit ramp onto the frontage road for traffic continuing on Loop 20 or to SB I-35, and to the right of where the main lanes go once they're extended.  That's the only Future I-69 Corridor sign posted anywhere on Loop 20 in either direction. 

This photo might help a little.  I took the photo from the median between the frontage road and the two off-ramps noted above.  The flyover in the background is for traffic to WB Loop 20, from both SB and NB I-35.



A few other notes (not reflecting all the discussion upthread, I'm just laying out my observations even if some are not new news): 

Loop 20 west of I-35 is basically a full freeway to the commercial traffic-only World Trade Bridge border crossing over to Nuevo Laredo.  There is an incomplete set of flyover ramps (SB 35 to WB 20, NB 35 to WB 20, EB 20 to NB 35 -- there's a stub end for an unbuilt connector for EB 20 to SB 35), providing freeway-to-freeway connections.  The only exit west of I-35, and the last one until the border, is with FM 1472. 

There's a minor at-grade intersection just short of the border, allowing some EB traffic to access some export facility right after clearing customs, and WB traffic a last chance to turn back before the border (which I did). Here's two photos of WB Loop 20 at the closed bridge entrance (the bridge has limited hours, especially on Sundays, but it was open the first time I stopped by that day), showing the intersection and details of the signs there:





The rest of Loop 20 is not yet even close to Interstate-grade.  EB Loop 20 traffic continuing east of I-35, and WB traffic heading west of i-35, has to go onto frontage roads, through two signalized intersections with I-35 ramps.  There are more to the east of the I-35 ramps.  Loop 20 between I-35 and US 59 is a mix of frontage roads with a wide median roomy enough to handle a freeway conversion (but only one overpass in the median), and divided or undivided highway with no obvious provisions to upgrade to freeway.  So it doesn't surprise me that there's no Future I-69 corridor signage east of I-35.

Nor is there any signage indicating that Loop 20 includes the future re-routing of US 59, which for now continues into downtown Laredo as before.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 03:50:26 PM by oscar »
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #597 on: March 02, 2014, 11:20:03 PM »

^ Oscar, great photos! Thanks for sharing!



This article reports that the SH 550 entrance to the Port of Brownsville recently opened and that the entire SH 550 project should be completed by the end of the year

This article includes a photo of construction at the I-69E/SH 550 interchange and reports that it is hoped to be completed in September:

Quote
Officials say a direct connector that will link Interstate 69 and State Highway 550 is 55 percent completed.
The direct connector, formally known as the SH 550 Connector Project, will make it easier for motorists driving on the expressway to connect with SH 550 because the new connection will eliminate having to get off the expressway, drive underneath the expressway and then having to get onto SH 550, officials said.
“It’s coming along very well and within budget,” Cameron County Administrator Pete Sepulveda Jr. said. “Hopefully, come September, it will be complete." ....
The project calls for 199 beams and the project is only 25 beams away from completion
, Sepulveda said, adding that the remaining beams will stretch over I-69, formerly known as Expressway 77/83, and the highway will close for that part of the project.
“That will happen at night,” Sepulveda said, adding that he is not sure when that part of the project is scheduled ....
A little more than a week ago, the Port of Brownsville officially opened its new entrance which links up with SH 550. When the connector wraps up at the end of the year, it will be 10 miles long with four tolled, general purpose main lanes — two in each direction — with direct connectors at I-69.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 11:35:19 PM by Grzrd »
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #598 on: March 03, 2014, 12:02:29 PM »

The TTC has posted the video from its February 27 meeting and in Item 5 (approximately five minutes in length), it is explained that the redesignation of Loop 20 as US 59 was "necessary" for Loop 20/US 59 to ultimately be designated as part of "the I-69 system".  The speaker appears to take great pains to use the phrase "I-69 system", which might portend a temporary interstate designation before it is ultimately signed as I-69 (simply my guess). The proposed Minute Order for the redesignation, not surprisingly, was approved.  On to AASHTO .......

This Alliance for I-69 Texas article reports that FHWA and TxDOT are currently reviewing a two-mile section of Loop 20/US 59 for designation as I-69:

Quote
The 2-mile section of Loop 20/US 59 from I-35 to the border crossing was built to interstate highway standard and is now being evaluated by TxDOT and the Federal Highway Administration for addition to the Interstate Highway System as Interstate 69.

No "W" suffix!!!  No great surprise since the statute does not authorize an I-69W, but it is still nice to see confirmation.  FHWA still has to sign off on the I-69 designation, though.

The article also has several photos from the Laredo area related to the ribboncutting.
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NE2

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #599 on: March 03, 2014, 12:43:00 PM »

Before I-69C and I-69E were added, did articles say they were planning those designations or merely I-69?
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