• SH 44 Added to Congressionally Designated I-69 Corridor
State Highway 44 from Corpus Christi to Freer in South Texas is now part of the Congressionally Designated I-69 High Priority Corridor.
This future 73 miles of interstate will connect the freeway system in Corpus Christi with I-69 East at Robstown, future I-69 Central at Alice and future I-69 West at Freer. It will ultimately provide an interstate connection between the busy international port at Laredo and the deepwater port at Corpus Christi which linking all three legs of the I-69 Texas System in South Texas.
The interstate designation was sponsored by South Texas Congressman Blake Farenthold in cooperation with members of the I-69 Congressional Caucus. It is part of the newly enacted five-year federal transportation funding bill.
The designation applies to the section of State Highway 44 between US 59 in Freer and the SH 358 Freeway in Corpus Christi. Approximately 5.8 miles of SH 44 in the vicinity of Corpus Christi International Airport is already at interstate highway standard.
West of I-69E in Robstown, SH 44 is a four-lane divided highway through Alice and on to the city of San Diego. The 23 miles from San Diego to Freer is a two-lane section passing through sparsely populated ranch land. Upgrades recommended by local community stakeholders include relief routes around Alice, San Diego and Freer plus a new highway link at Robstown. A routing study for the SH 44 relief route at Robstown was initiated by TxDOT in 2015.
The federal highway bill, officially known as the FAST Act, also includes a provision dealing with trucks operating on I-69 in Texas. It was sponsored by Farenthold and co-sponsored by East Texas Congressman Brian Babin and Houston Congressman Gene Green. It provides that vehicles that can legally operated on one of the I-69 designated existing highways today will be authorized to operate on that segment after it is officially designated as Interstate 69 in the future.