I-69 is 1st New Interstate Section Since 1992

December 5, 2011


ROBSTOWN - Community representatives from all along the Interstate 69 route in Texas gathered to unveil highway signs marking addition of the first section of I-69 in Texas to the Interstate Highway System.


The 6.2-mile section of Interstate 69 runs from I-37 in Corpus Christi south to SH 44 in Robstown and is concurrent with US 77. This section of US 77 was completed to interstate highway standard in 2006.


It is the first Texas addition to the Interstate Highway System since the last section of I-27 in the Panhandle was completed in 1992. Texas has 3,230 miles of interstate highways. Most of the interstate highways in Texas were built at least 40 years ago and will require increasing maintenance and safety upgrades in the years to come.


The new interstate designation at Corpus Christi is a significant step toward extending I-69 to the Lower Rio Grande Valley, the largest metropolitan area in the nation not served by an interstate within 100 miles.


The 70-mile section of the US 59 freeway from Rosenberg through Houston to near Cleveland is expected to clear all the hurdles for designation as I-69 by mid-2012.


In 2008 TxDOT returned to the original plan for I-69 which is to upgrade existing highway including US 59, US 77 and US 281.  Upgrade projects are in the works at various points along the almost 1,000 miles of roadway that makes up the potential I-69 system which includes three designated branches in South Texas. 


State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa said, "Transportation is the lifeblood of our economy. This is another step in ensuring that South Texas is connected to the Interstate system. With the completion of I-69, our transportation network is one step further to moving goods faster, which ultimately creates jobs for our region."


"I-69 now has an official footprint in South Texas - a footprint that will continue to expand. I will continue to work at the state level to ensure we do everything necessary to guarantee its completion," added State Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. of Cameron County.


During the ceremony held under a freeway overpass in Robstown, Transportation Commission member Fred Underwood said, "The support of federal, state and local officials and partners like the Alliance for I-69 is instrumental in bringing I-69 to Texas. This is a proud first step in bringing expanded economic opportunity to the Coastal Bend and South Texas regions, and I expect we’ll bring these same economic opportunities to other parts of the state once the citizen-led planning efforts of the I-69 Advisory and Segment Committees are complete."


"Believe me, starting today you'll never look at this intersection and this segment of highway the same way again," said John A. Casey, district engineer for the TxDOT Corpus Christi District.
"Here in Robstown, Interstate 69 begins a journey that will ultimately link the Rio Grande Valley, the Coastal Bend, the Golden Crescent, the greater Houston metropolitan area, Southeast Texas, and the Piney Woods to six states, three countries, and a growing trade corridor. Here in the Coastal Bend, Interstate 69 connects ports, waterways, trains, airports, and highways to create opportunities for jobs and increased commerce between the U.S. and countries on every continent across the globe. It’s that big of a deal."

"Today the efforts of hundreds of local and state leaders who understand how critical interstate access is for freight movement and community economic vitality are bearing fruit - I-69 is now a reality in Texas!" said Judy Hawley, chair of the I-69 Advisory Committee and a member of the Corpus Christi Port Commission. "The timing for South Texas couldn't be better with the pending Panama Canal expansion, development of the Port of Corpus Christi's La Quinta Trade Terminal underway and the burgeoning population growth in the Rio Grande Valley."

John Thompson, Polk County Judge and Alliance board chairman, said, "Official designation of the first segment of I-69 in Texas is a huge milestone in the project's development and is a visible sign of the progress being made on I-69. We will continue to work with our partners to complete additional segments of I-69 and to ensure the ultimate completion of this seamless interstate which will provide tremendous opportunity for economic development and job growth, as well as enhanced safety and freight movement."

State Representatives Connie Scott of Robstown and Raul Torres of Corpus Christi also spoke.