Future interstate to boost local economies, provide critical north-to-south link in Texas, beyond
LAREDO — In an effort to enhance economic development and interstate trade in South Texas, the Texas Department of Transportation on Monday was joined by the Texas Transportation Commission, the Alliance for I-69 Texas and national, state and local leaders to commemorate the coming of I-69 in Laredo. Being developed on existing roadways as a critical artery for moving freight, I-69 will ultimately become a 1,600-mile-long highway stretching from Michigan to Texas. Monday’s event featured TxDOT crews unveiling new “Future I-69” signs along an 11-mile stretch of Loop 20.
“Interstate 69 will be a critical link for boosting commerce and connectivity between rural and urban Texas,” said Commissioner Jeff Austin III, Texas Transportation Commission. “This link is especially significant to Laredo as it will allow the city to continue growing as a hub for business, commerce and economic prosperity.”
Designated by Congress as a High Priority Corridor and a Future Interstate Highway, I-69 today stretches nearly 140 miles in Texas.
“Texas’ roads are vital to economic activity and we should continue to foster their growth and safety,” said U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar. “The designation of I-69 will complement the existing Interstate 35 highway in Laredo as well as support some of the busiest freight routes in the nation. It also will connect cities and towns across the country to commercial opportunities once thought unheard of, lowering the cost of doing business and making travel safer for those lives who depend on trade. I thank Jeff Austin III and the Texas Department of Transportation for its support and dedication to expanding I-69 and remaining committed to ensuring that we continue our investment in transportation, bringing us even closer to a true 21st century economy.”
In Texas, the route for I-69 begins in Texarkana and extends to Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley. The interstate is expected to be a critical artery for moving agricultural, energy and industrial exports through the nation and beyond. It also is expected to attract more businesses to the Lone Star State.
Following Monday’s event, the Texas Transportation Commission on Thursday will continue the formal process of designating Loop 20 as US 59 so it can become part of the I-69 system once it is improved to interstate standards.
For media inquiries, contact TxDOT Media Relations at MediaRelations@txdot.gov or (512) 463-8700.
Mayor Raul G. Salinas, City of Laredo
“As the nation’s No. 1 inland port, No. 3 U.S. Customs District and the front door to the nation for trade with Mexico and beyond, this designation will have a significant impact to the expected continued growth of trade for Laredo. The importance of an interstate from a commercial standpoint, an industry standpoint and a community standpoint is reliability of the road system. Everyone knows that with an interstate system you’re going to have access control and excellently-designed and well-maintained roads, and that is what the future of I-69 will be.”
Danny Valdez, Webb County Judge
“Webb County and the City of Laredo appreciate all the efforts put forth by TxDOT, the Alliance for I-69 and our representatives over the last several months to focus on the planning process for the I-69 Project in the Laredo/Webb County area. As the city of Laredo and Webb County continue to grow, so too does the need for this future corridor which will facilitate trade, commerce, enhanced economic opportunity, mobility and safety. The Eagle Ford Shale boom is being felt all across the state and we need to keep up with the demands, especially with regard to traffic flow. The city and county are working as a unified team with full support from our local, state and federal representatives as well other public and private entities.”
Judge John Thompson, Alliance for I-69 Texas
“While development of Loop 20 has tremendous local importance, inclusion of Loop 20 in the I-69 system further underscores the critical role of I-69 as a major freight corridor.”
The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public transportation across the state. TxDOT and its 11,000 employees are committed to working with others to provide safe and reliable transportation solutions for Texas by maintaining a safe system, addressing congestion, connecting Texas communities, and being a Best in Class state agency. Find out more at TxDOT.gov. Fan us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.