Contact: Media Relations
Phone: (512) 463-8700
Date: March 1, 2013
Upgrade to bring US 77 up to standards required to become part of the new I-69
AUSTIN – Motorists and communities in South Texas are one step closer to having a major interstate. The Texas Transportation Commission selected Austin Bay, JV to make improvements to US 77 between Driscoll and Kingsville. The developer will design and reconstruct 8 miles of the highway to meet interstate standards in preparation to become part of the state’s new Interstate 69. The entire US 77 upgrade project stretches approximately 122 miles between Corpus Christi and Harlingen.
The upgrade includes bridge replacements, eliminating crossroad traffic on main lanes of travel, and expanding roadway. The improvements will ultimately enlarge roadway shoulders, increasing safety for vehicles needing to pull over to roadsides.
“This is another piece of Interstate 69 coming together for Texas,” said Jeff Austin III, Texas transportation commissioner. “It is a testament to the partnerships formed to help piece together this large transportation puzzle that will bring an interstate to south Texans.”
Previously, U.S. Congress established a series of “High Priority Corridors” on the National Highway System, including US 77 from the Rio Grande River to Interstate 37 at Corpus Christi, designated as a future part of the Interstate System. The US 77 upgrade will be completed in phases based on the availability of federal and state funding. Currently, up to an estimated $80 million has been obligated to advance the US 77 upgrade.
To date, nearly 70 miles of Interstate 69 has been designated in areas near Robstown and Houston, with 28 of those miles recently approved by the Federal Highway Administration and designated last month.
“It is through the work of the I-69 Citizen Committees established by the Texas Transportation Commission that the department can continue to hear from the public regarding the future needs and priorities for this interstate,” Austin added.
TxDOT received prior legislative authority to execute up to three design-build agreements per year. This is the second such agreement the department will execute in FY 2013. Austin Bay, JV is a collaboration between Austin Bridge & Road, L.P. and Bay Limited.Upgrade to bring US 77 up to standards required to become part of the new I-69