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I-69 in Texas is Needed

Federal legislation has authorized the development of the I-69 system in Texas along specified U.S. routes, including US 59. The development of I-69 in Texas would relieve traffic congestion caused by a growing population, provide safer travel through the state, improve evacuation routes and support economic development. Existing US 59 does not have the capacity to serve projected traffic volumes and does not meet interstate standards through Nacogdoches County.

I-69 Angelina and Nacogdoches Counties Committee

On June 28, 2012, $6 million was allocated to TxDOT for project development services related to the development of I-69 in Nacogdoches County. Subsequently, the citizen-led I-69 Angelina and Nacogdoches Counties Committee was established to guide TxDOT in advancing I-69 in Angelina and Nacogdoches Counties by:

  1. Assisting TxDOT to inform local citizens of the options and to solicit comments and input, and
  2. Providing priorities and recommendations on route locations, improvements and upgrades to meet interstate standards

Nacogdoches County Committee members recommended an option that involves upgrading the existing US 59 as far north as possible before moving onto a new location alignment west of Nacogdoches.

Nacogdoches County Committee members recommended an option that involves upgrading the existing US 59 as far north as possible before moving onto a new location alignment west of Nacogdoches. They also identified the US 59/Loop 224 South Interchange as the top priority area for I-69 development in Nacogdoches County regardless of whether I-69 was developed on new location west of Nacogdoches or US 59 was upgraded to interstate standards through the Nacogdoches area. For the full report of the committee’s recommendations, priorities, and maps see the I-69 Angelina and Nacogdoches Counties Scoping Study – Executive Summary.

On July 29, 2014, TxDOT performed additional studies and conducted public outreach to determine how TxDOT should proceed with advancing I-69 in the Nacogdoches area. Public input indicated 70 percent of participants supported the US 59 Upgrade Option. Resolutions supporting the upgrade of US 59 to interstate standards were also received from the City of Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County and the Nacogdoches Economic Development Board. See the hyperlink above for more information on this meeting including maps and exhibits displayed.

Projects Under Development

Utilizing the Committee’s Executive Summary and I-69 Advisory Committee’s Implementation Plan, the Lufkin District identifies projects to propose for listing in TxDOT’s 10-year Unified Transportation Program (UTP). The UTP is neither a budget nor a guarantee that projects will or can be built. However, it is a critical tool in guiding project development within the long term planning context. It also serves as a communication tool for stakeholders in understanding TxDOT project development commitments.

In the March 2017 UTP, the Texas Transportation Commission allocated construction funding for Phase II of the US 59/SL 224 South Interchange Improvement project. In 2016, TxDOT received approval on the revised schematic and re-evaluation of the environmental assessment (environmental document). Right of way acquisitions are underway and are anticipated to be complete by Winter 2018. With construction funding allocated in the March 2017 UTP, the $75.5 million dollar project is proposed to go to bid in Summer 2019. For more information on this project, please visit the US 59/SL 224 South Interchange project page.

At this time, there are no other I-69 projects under development in Nacogdoches County. The Lufkin District will continue to evaluate the recommendations and priorities provided by the I-69 Angelina and Nacogdoches Counties Committees, I-69 Segment Committees, and the I-69 Advisory Committee to identify smaller more fundable projects for development. The recommendations from the committees serve as a guide for TxDOT to consider when identifying projects to develop and do not represent definitive decisions on routes or right of way needs. Routes and right of way needs are not determined until TxDOT receives approval of the schematic and environmental study.

Additionally, TxDOT continues to have funding shortfalls which makes the financing and delivery of roadway projects challenging. TxDOT will work to develop a long-term strategy to identify funding. This may include federal, state and local resources as well as innovative financing tools such as tolls, establishment of a transportation reinvestment zone (TRZ), local participation in right-of-way costs and donations from local land owners. Despite the funding shortfalls, TxDOT remains committed and understands the importance of advancing I-69 throughout Texas, including Nacogdoches County.

Additional Information

Contact

I-69 Project Manager
TxDOT Lufkin District
1805 N. Timberland Dr. Lufkin, TX 75901

(936) 633-4469
Email