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Author Topic: I-69 in TX  (Read 525042 times)

Grzrd

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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2010, 02:38:20 PM »

A Texas representative is attempting to amend federal I-69 legislation to allow designation of portions of defined corridor that are currently up to interstate standards to be signed as I-69, even though those portions do not currently connect to another interstate: http://www.themonitor.com/articles/interstate-44356-designation-valley.html

"A slight tweak to language included in the 1995 law that designated U.S. 77 and U.S. 281 as future segments of the interstate highway system could be a step toward securing the long-awaited blue shield for the two Rio Grande Valley highways ... Although the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 stipulated that the two north-south highways leaving the Valley would be included as part of the I-69 corridor, it also said that they must be up to interstate system design standards and connect to an existing interstate system ... By adding language to the federal code that allows those sections because they connect to the border, the Valley could already reap the economic benefits of an interstate ..."

Looks like he will attempt to amend the law to make a border terminus the equivalent of a connection to another interstate.
TxDOT's website now has pdfs of Nov. 2010 Interim Reports from the five I-69 Segment Committees: http://www.txdot.gov/public_involvement/committees/i69/default.htm

In these reports, the respective committees identify the interim top 5 priorities for each Segment (Segment Committee 4, in an attempt to not favor either US 77 corridor over US 281 corridor or vice versa, list top 4 separate priorities for US 77 and US 281 corridors).

The Committees also recommend immediately signing the following freeway sections as I-69:

Committee 2: US 59 in Houston from I-10 northward to Cleveland;

Committee 3: US 59 in Houston from I-10 southward to Rosenberg;

Committee 4: US 77 from I-37 to south of Robstown; US 281 from Mexican border to north of McAllen; US 77 from Mexican border to south of Lyford.

The first three recommendations are analogous to the Mississippi segment of I-69 because they tie in to current interstates.  Apparently, the final two would be dependent upon the proposed legislation that would make a terminus at the Mexican border equivalent to an interstate junction.
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Brian556

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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2011, 03:17:15 PM »

Regarding "Poor Boy" four lane highways: a short section of US 80 somewhere in east Texas is like this.
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Re: I-69 TX; TxDOT Estimates $16.5 Billion Price Tag
« Reply #27 on: January 01, 2011, 07:49:55 PM »

US 77 is too
I am thinking this would be a good thread for alternative improvemnets in an era of tight budgets
"Shoulder Upgrading alternatives to improve the operational charateristics of 2 lane roads"by the Texas Transportation Institute showed they were safe . Most 4 lanings are for lower volume roads like US 77 which is about 4000vpd.
 Illinois could widen three times the current milage under study yet for some reason they are very much against the idea.
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2011, 10:53:15 PM »

A Texas representative is attempting to amend federal I-69 legislation to allow designation of portions of defined corridor that are currently up to interstate standards to be signed as I-69, even though those portions do not currently connect to another interstate: http://www.themonitor.com/articles/interstate-44356-designation-valley.html

U.S. Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, D-Mercedes, plans to add legislative language that could accelerate the designation of the interstate-quality portions of the two corridors as Interstate 69 by the end of this year ...

Hinojosa’s language would stipulate that the interstate-quality segments at the highway’s southern terminus be given the I-69 designation even though they don’t connect with I-37 ...
Apparently, Hinojosa has not gotten very far with his effort; however, it appears that another Texas representative, Blake Farenthold, is about to introduce another bill to designate the interstate-quality portions of the two corridors as Interstate 69:

http://www.caller.com/news/2011/apr/14/farenthold-marks-100-days-in-office/

Quote
... Farenthold could file his second bill as early as today [April 14] that would designate a portion of the planned Interstate 69 corridor in the Rio Grande Valley as highway ready, making it eligible for federal funding, Farenthold spokeswoman Margarita Valdez said.
Valdez said the bill has the support of the majority of the Texas delegation ...

I'm taking the leap of faith that "highway ready" is intended to mean "ready to be designated as I-69".
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 09:33:42 PM by Grzrd »
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #29 on: May 09, 2011, 09:58:25 AM »

it appears that another Texas representative, Blake Farenthold, is about to introduce another bill to designate the interstate-quality portions of the two corridors as Interstate 69 ... Farenthold could file his second bill as early as today [April 14] that would designate a portion of the planned Interstate 69 corridor in the Rio Grande Valley as highway ready, making it eligible for federal funding
In addition to trying to designate the interstate-quality portions of the two corridors as I-69, Farenthold is making it a priority to upgrade US 77 from Corpus Christi to Harlingen as I-69:

http://farenthold.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1120:transportation&catid=115&Itemid=100045

Quote
One of my highest priorities in the 112th Congress will be to upgrade US 77 to Interstate 69 in order to better serve the mobility needs of South Texans. Historically, the Lower Rio Grande Valley ...  is ... the largest metropolitan area in the nation not served by the Interstate Highway System which has caused limited economic opportunities and growth. The Interstate 69 project is expected to create more than 40,000 new jobs by 2025, resulting in $12.8 billion in additional wages and $24 billion in added value. Completion of US 77 upgrades will mean that Kleberg, Kennedy, Willacy and Cameron counties are all finally on an interstate highway.
Interstate 69 in Texas is an ongoing upgrade of existing highways to interstate standards. Currently, interstate designation is being pursued for several completed sections in South Texas. The Texas Department of Transportation is also nearing completion of a successful Environmental Assessment (EA) on upgrading the US 77 sections from Interstate 37 at Corpus Christi to US 83 in Harlingen. Completion of US 77 upgrades between Corpus Christi and Harlingen will serve as a model for how the rest of I-69 in Texas will become a reality.

Farenthold's use of the "serve as a model" language to describe the 110-mile US 77 upgrade is echoed in this document from the Alliance for I-69 Texas: http://www.i69texas.org/mediacenter/presentations/Alliance_Legislative.pdf

Quote
The initiative to upgrade US 77 between Corpus Christi and Harlingen may serve as a model for how much of the rest of I-69 in Texas will become a reality.
[page 5/10 of the pdf].

The pdf is circa 2009 and includes a financing plan that would use other toll projects to finance the US 77 upgrade. (page 5/10 of the pdf).

Does anyone know if this is still the financing model that Farenthold is advocating for the US 77 upgrade?
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 09:35:49 PM by Grzrd »
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Henry

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #30 on: May 09, 2011, 04:05:38 PM »

One has to wonder: How did they manage to come up with the I-69A, I-69C and I-69E designations, even some 30 years after suffixed routes were supposedly done away with (except for I-35 in TX and MN)?
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #31 on: May 09, 2011, 07:11:50 PM »

One has to wonder: How did they manage to come up with the I-69A, I-69C and I-69E designations, even some 30 years after suffixed routes were supposedly done away with (except for I-35 in TX and MN)?
The eventual designations would likely involve two 3di's. Right now the politics haven't played out to determine which would be the main route. Just my guess.

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #32 on: May 10, 2011, 03:02:56 PM »

From what I have heard, the Laredo branch would be the mainline I-69, with the US 77 branch from Corpus Christi to Brownsville and the US 281 branch being x69 spurs.

Personally, here's what I would do to avoid the issue of suffixing:

Laredo-Houston branch of US 59 = I-69

SH 44 between Freer and Corpus Christi + US 77 through Corpus Christi to US 59 junction = I-469

US 77 from Corpus Christi to Brownsville = extended I-37

Existing I-37 from US 77 to downtown Corpus Christi = I-x37

I'd keep US 281 as is, really no need to make it an Interstate route..but if you insist, try an I-x69.


Anthony
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Henry

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #33 on: May 10, 2011, 03:29:04 PM »

One has to wonder: How did they manage to come up with the I-69A, I-69C and I-69E designations, even some 30 years after suffixed routes were supposedly done away with (except for I-35 in TX and MN)?
The eventual designations would likely involve two 3di's. Right now the politics haven't played out to determine which would be the main route. Just my guess.
Which makes perfectly good sense.
From what I have heard, the Laredo branch would be the mainline I-69, with the US 77 branch from Corpus Christi to Brownsville and the US 281 branch being x69 spurs.

Personally, here's what I would do to avoid the issue of suffixing:

Laredo-Houston branch of US 59 = I-69

SH 44 between Freer and Corpus Christi + US 77 through Corpus Christi to US 59 junction = I-469

US 77 from Corpus Christi to Brownsville = extended I-37

Existing I-37 from US 77 to downtown Corpus Christi = I-x37

I'd keep US 281 as is, really no need to make it an Interstate route..but if you insist, try an I-x69.


Anthony

Seeing that US 77 and US 281 are pretty close together, they'd be better off upgrading one to Interstate standards and leaving the other as is. As for the actual designations, I could see I-37 go further down US 77 from Corpus Christi to Brownsville, with the rest of the US 77 corridor into Victoria being a southern I-39 or I-41. They already have two I-76s, two I-84s, two I-86s, and two I-88s, so why not two odd-numbered routes? (I'll discuss this further in the Fictional Highways section at an undetermined time.)
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #34 on: May 21, 2011, 11:32:51 PM »

it appears that another Texas representative, Blake Farenthold, is about to introduce another bill to designate the interstate-quality portions of the two corridors as Interstate 69 ... Farenthold could file his second bill as early as today [April 14] that would designate a portion of the planned Interstate 69 corridor in the Rio Grande Valley as highway ready, making it eligible for federal funding

Farenthold has filed his bill, and the two US Senators from Texas are apparently filing a companion bill in the Senate:

http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/immigration-126797-country-portion.html

Quote
... U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, whose district also includes a portion of Cameron County, introduced H.R. 1535, Interstate Designation for Portions of the I-69 Route, with the full support of the entire Texas delegation.
H.R. 1535 would allow portions of I-69 (US 59, 77, and 281) to be desig-nated as an interstate once segments are constructed to interstate standard, Farenthold said. If enacted, the bill would facilitate interstate signage on the multi-state I-69 corridor stretching from Port Huron, Mich., to the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas.
He said significant investments have been made and are continuing to be made in Texas using local, state and federal funding to build I-69.
“Close proximity to an interstate is arguably one of the greatest factors to encourage economic development and job creation,” said Farenthold. “Along with my colleagues in Congress, I have been working with the Alli-ance for I-69 to ensure that work on the interstate is completed in a timely manner.”
“I am also very pleased that Senators Hutchinson and Cornyn are intro-ducing a companion bill in the Senate this week. This is an example of the great work and collaborative efforts made by both members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate,” Farenthold said.

One has to wonder: How did they manage to come up with the I-69A, I-69C and I-69E designations, even some 30 years after suffixed routes were supposedly done away with (except for I-35 in TX and MN)?
The eventual designations would likely involve two 3di's. Right now the politics haven't played out to determine which would be the main route. Just my guess.
Which makes perfectly good sense.

If this legislation passes, the politics may have to play out sooner rather than later; I wonder if Texas is ready to make that call?
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 09:38:26 PM by Grzrd »
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #35 on: May 22, 2011, 03:11:41 PM »

it appears that another Texas representative, Blake Farenthold, is about to introduce another bill to designate the interstate-quality portions of the two corridors as Interstate 69
Farenthold has filed his bill
The proposed bill does two interesting things.  First, it increases the mileage of the I-69 corridor by adding US 83 between US 281 and US 77 to the corridor.  Then, it proposes to specifically exclude I-69 from the requirement that a new segment of interstate may not be signed unless it connects to another segment of the interstate system.  I had thought the amendment would consider a connection to a national border as being equivalent to a connection to the existing interstate system; instead, it appears that this introduced legislation would allow any segment of I-69 in Texas to be immediately signed after an upgrade to interstate standards, regardless of the distance from the existing interstate system.

Here's the text of the bill:

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h112-1535

The relevant prior legislation that the bill proposes to amend can be found here:

http://www.aaroads.com/high-priority/nhslegis.html

From what I have heard, the Laredo branch would be the mainline I-69, with the US 77 branch from Corpus Christi to Brownsville and the US 281 branch being x69 spurs.
Anthony

As far as I can tell, federal legislation (Section 1105(e)(5)(c)(i) of ISTEA) currently mandates that US 59 from Laredo to Houston will be I-69 and the US 77 (I-69 East) and US 281 (I-69 Central) routes will be suffixed:

Quote
...A State having jurisdiction over any segment of routes referred to in subsections (c)(18) and (c)(20) shall erect signs identifying such segment that is consistent with the criteria set forth in subsections (e)(5)(A)(i) and (e)(5)(A)(ii) as Interstate Route I-69, including segments of United States Route 59 in the State of Texas. The segment identified in subsection (c)(18)(B)(i) shall be designated as Interstate Route I-69 East, and the segment identified in subsection (c)(18)(B)(ii) shall be designated as Interstate Route I-69 Central ...
(http://www.aaroads.com/high-priority/nhslegis.html)

Farenthold's bill does not attempt to amend this portion of the legislation dealing with the identification of the routes.

My understanding is that "nearly all of" US 83 is interstate-grade and signage-ready if legislation passes (http://www.themonitor.com/articles/interstate-44356-designation-valley.html).  Any guesses as to its designation?
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 09:40:05 PM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #36 on: May 22, 2011, 03:47:42 PM »

"...A State having jurisdiction over any segment of routes referred to in subsections (c)(18) and (c)(20) shall erect signs identifying such segment that is consistent with the criteria set forth in subsections (e)(5)(A)(i) and (e)(5)(A)(ii) as Interstate Route I-69, including segments of United States Route 59 in the State of Texas. The segment identified in subsection (c)(18)(B)(i) shall be designated as Interstate Route I-69 East, and the segment identified in subsection (c)(18)(B)(ii) shall be designated as Interstate Route I-69 Central ..." (http://www.aaroads.com/high-priority/nhslegis.html)
This appears to require the posting of I-69 signs on I-94 from Chicago to Detroit :)
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #37 on: May 23, 2011, 01:40:30 PM »

The proposed bill does two interesting things.  First, it increases the mileage of the I-69 corridor by adding US 83 between US 281 and US 77 to the corridor.  Then, it proposes to specifically exclude I-69 from the requirement that a new segment of interstate may not be signed unless it connects to another segment of the interstate system.

This article quotes Farenthold as asserting that 230 miles of highway in the Texas I-69 corridor, 25% of the I-69 route in Texas, is currently built to freeway standard and could be immediately signed if the legislation passes:

http://blog.chron.com/txpotomac/2011/05/texas-lawmakers-working-to-connect-pieces-of-nafta-superhighway-in-texas/

Quote
Piecing together the so-called NAFTA superhighway stretching 1,800 miles from Mexico to Canada will get a boost if the House adopts legislation submitted by Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi ... The freshman lawmaker –- and 30 bipartisan members of Texas’ congressional delegation –- are asking the GOP-led chamber to designate three segments of Texas’ long-distance highways as part of Interstate-69 ... Currently, there are 230 miles of Texas highways built to freeway standard – nearly 25 percent of the Interstate-69 route in Texas, Farenthold said ... The measure would enable portions of US 59, US 77, and US 281 in Texas to be designated part of the interstate once those segments are constructed to interstate standard.

The proposed bill ...increases the mileage of the I-69 corridor by adding US 83 between US 281 and US 77 to the corridor .... My understanding is that "nearly all of" US 83 is interstate-grade and signage-ready if legislation passes (http://www.themonitor.com/articles/interstate-44356-designation-valley.html).  Any guesses as to its designation?

Who knows?  With US 83 connecting US 77 and US 281 near the border, the opportunity would exist after passage of legislation to maintain parity between the US 77 and US 281 corridors: give the two corridors the same designation by creating an absurdly elongated even-digit 3di that connects with US 59 (assuming an I-37/I-x69 duplex)  :sombrero:

EDIT

Here's a link to a local TV station's video report about the legislation:

http://www.ketknbc.com/news/i-69-superhighway-running-through-east-texas

SECOND EDIT

Sens. Hutchison and Cornyn have filed their bill, too.  As far as I can tell, it is identical to the House version.  Here is a link to a page on Senator Hutchison's website that discusses the bill (this page also has a link to the Senate version of the bill): http://hutchison.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=579
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 09:41:42 PM by Grzrd »
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Sykotyk

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #38 on: May 25, 2011, 11:26:39 PM »

The really long 3DI loop would be bad because 'take I-x69 north' would be troublesome for non-long distant driving. May also be confusing for those in the valley given directions.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #39 on: May 26, 2011, 12:39:44 AM »

One has to wonder: How did they manage to come up with the I-69A, I-69C and I-69E designations, even some 30 years after suffixed routes were supposedly done away with (except for I-35 in TX and MN)?
The eventual designations would likely involve two 3di's. Right now the politics haven't played out to determine which would be the main route. Just my guess.

I kinda guessed the I-x69 designations would always be the way they would go as shown in a little illustration I did some time back:
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=3022.msg81239#msg81239
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #40 on: May 27, 2011, 06:56:40 AM »

US 281 will soon be getting an upgrade to bring it one step closer to being signed as I-69 if the legislation passes:

http://www.themonitor.com/news/state-51023-county-interstate.html

Quote
The state will spend $9.2 million to clear another obstacle along U.S. 281 and continue upgrades to the route to make it Interstate-quality.
The Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority received $9.2 million in state funding to construct an overpass in Brooks County on U.S. 281 at Farm-to-Market Road 755, which stretches from Encino to Rio Grande City. Other than a relief route around Premont and a connection to Interstate 37 from George West, the intersection at FM 755 is one of the last major impediments before U.S. 281 is at expressway standards, a key step toward getting the Interstate 69 designation that economic development officials say is critical to attracting companies to the county.
“If we’re ever going to be able to make 281 part of I-69, we’ve got to start paying attention to those improvements along 281,” said mobility authority chairman Dennis Burleson. “This is one more obstacle off of 281 to make it look more like an Interstate.” ...
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 09:42:54 PM by Grzrd »
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Grzrd

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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #41 on: June 01, 2011, 12:15:21 PM »

As far as I can tell, federal legislation (Section 1105(e)(5)(c)(i) of ISTEA) currently mandates that US 59 from Laredo to Houston will be I-69 and the US 77 (I-69 East) and US 281 (I-69 Central) routes will be suffixed:
"...A State having jurisdiction over any segment of routes referred to in subsections (c)(18) and (c)(20) shall erect signs identifying such segment that is consistent with the criteria set forth in subsections (e)(5)(A)(i) and (e)(5)(A)(ii) as Interstate Route I-69, including segments of United States Route 59 in the State of Texas. The segment identified in subsection (c)(18)(B)(i) shall be designated as Interstate Route I-69 East, and the segment identified in subsection (c)(18)(B)(ii) shall be designated as Interstate Route I-69 Central ..." (http://www.aaroads.com/high-priority/nhslegis.html)
Farenthold's bill does not attempt to amend this portion of the legislation dealing with the identification of the routes.
One has to wonder: How did they manage to come up with the I-69A, I-69C and I-69E designations, even some 30 years after suffixed routes were supposedly done away with (except for I-35 in TX and MN)?
The eventual designations would likely involve two 3di's. Right now the politics haven't played out to determine which would be the main route. Just my guess.
The Alliance For I-69 Texas has worked closely with the Texas delegation on the two bills.  I recently emailed and asked if they planned to go with either the current I-69+suffix designations or I-x69 designations.

As Steve suggested, it appears the procedure will be:  let the national politics play out and get the bill passed, then let the Texas politics play out and figure out (probable) 3di designations:

Quote
Thanks for your inquiry.  The priority for the Alliance and the communities along the corridor is to get the interstate designation and shield.  As such, we are not as concerned at this point with the numbering (ie, I-169,I-369, etc.).    As for US 83, we are attempting to add that to the I-69 Corridor designation as it serves as a vital connector between US 281 and US 77 and it is currently at interstate standards.  
 
Jennifer Shepard
Executive Director
Alliance for I-69 Texas

Her response indicates that, regardless of the current legislation, the suffixed numbering scheme probably will not be used.  It is also interesting that Ms. Shepard maintains that US 83 is already at interstate standards (and would thus be ready for immediate signage).

EDIT

This recent opinion piece by a member of the Alliance indicates that, regardless of the fate of the legislation, some form of I-69 signage may soon be appearing on a 75-mile stretch of US 59 through Houston and a 10-mile stretch of US 77 in Nueces County:

http://www.caller.com/news/2011/jun/07/so-far-230-miles-of-interstate-69-built/

Quote
... The Nueces County Commissioners Court recently supported Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority's project to enhance Highway 77, through a court resolution. We were pleased to learn that such support may have been a contributing factor to their ability to leverage $25 million of pass-through financing from the State of Texas. Texans now could soon see Interstate 69 signs on a 75-mile portion of U.S. 59 in the Houston region and a 10-mile piece of U.S. 77 in Nueces County, both of which connect to existing interstate highways ...
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 09:45:00 PM by Grzrd »
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TxDOT Launches New I-69 Website
« Reply #42 on: June 17, 2011, 09:19:59 PM »

TxDOT has recently launched a new I-69 website as part of its citizens outreach efforts:

http://www.txdot.gov/drivenbytexans/default.htm
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I-69 Now Officially in Texas
« Reply #43 on: August 11, 2011, 12:57:31 PM »

A 6.2 mile stretch of US 77 near Robstown, between I-37 and State Highway 44,  is now officially I-69 (apparently, shields have been ordered):

http://www.caller.com/news/2011/aug/09/robstown-highway-officially-becomes-first-of-69/
« Last Edit: August 11, 2011, 12:59:53 PM by Grzrd »
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #44 on: August 11, 2011, 01:36:51 PM »


I'd keep US 281 as is, really no need to make it an Interstate route..but if you insist, try an I-x69.


Anthony


Some interstates already have 2 separate segments, so how about I-99?
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #45 on: August 11, 2011, 01:38:01 PM »

I-238 would fit better.
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #46 on: August 11, 2011, 01:47:40 PM »

I-238 would fit better.

Hey, good idea!
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Re: TxDOT Launches New I-69 Website
« Reply #47 on: August 11, 2011, 03:47:33 PM »

question is, will we ever see a state-named Texas I-69?
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #48 on: August 11, 2011, 05:01:41 PM »

I'd keep US 281 as is, really no need to make it an Interstate route..but if you insist, try an I-x69.
Anthony
Some interstates already have 2 separate segments, so how about I-99?
question is, will we ever see a state-named Texas I-69?
I just finished a phone call with the public information director for the Corpus Christi district.  He gave a little bit of clarity to the situation.
The FHWA has signed off on the above-mentioned section of US 77 being included in the I-69 Corridor.  However, AASHTO still has to approve the actual number for this segment (I-69 or I-x69 or I-69suffix).  This is expected to occur in September.  I suppose it is possible to have an I-x69 designation before an actual I-69 designation.  However, the article indicates that the shields have already been ordered ... :eyebrow:
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Re: I-69 in TX
« Reply #49 on: August 11, 2011, 06:42:35 PM »

I did not know AASHO was approving suffixed routes still.  I thought they were put on the ban list in the early 1980s, with strong pressure to remove all but the pair of 35E/W splits.
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