Population and traffic growth
Texas grew by 4.3 million people between 2000 and 2010, an increase of 20.6 percent. The counties along the I-69 Texas system grew even more, by 23 percent, to 8 million residents. Some counties along the I-69 system had population increases more than 50 percent during the most recent census. Ports along the Texas Gulf Coast and inland ports on the Texas-Mexico border anticipate a dramatic increase of cargo in the coming years.
A four-lane divided interstate would result in fewer fatal crashes than the current two- and four-lane roads. An interstate will have bridges and overpasses at crossroads, entrance and exit ramps and no driveways coming onto the mainlanes of traffic, providing a safer road.
Emergency evacuation routes
The highways along the proposed I-69 are close to or directly serve the Texas Gulf Coast. During hurricane evacuations, an interstate would have more capacity and wider shoulders to accommodate evacuees and emergency personnel. I-69 could shoulder more of the traffic load in a crisis situation.
High quality transportation infrastructure and convenient interstate access are a must for today’s businesses. One East Texas town, which is along the proposed I-69, lost out on a new manufacturer partly because it lacked interstate highway service. The manufacturer instead chose Tunica, Miss. which is located on a recently-completed section of I-69.