• New Members Appointed to TxDOT's I-69 Advisory Committee
The Texas Transportation Commission has appointed 11 new member to the I-69 Corridor Advisory Committee and reappointed 12 other members.
Harrison County Judge Hugh Taylor was appointed to the committee in December and elected as the new chairman in January, replacing Judy Hawley of Portland who had served since the creation of the committee in 2008.
Taylor assisted TxDOT in recruiting and selection of new members with an eye on making sure that there is adequate geographic representation across the 1,100-mile interstate highway system being created by upgrading existing highways.
Commissioner Jeff Austin pointed out that several of the appointees have ties to Texas seaports and bring a strong understanding of freight needs to the committee. He noted that I-69 is designated as a national freight corridor.
Taylor responded by saying, "So without a doubt I-69 is THE I-35 relief route -- and it does draw from all our ports including Laredo which is the largest inland port."
Commissioner Jeff Moseley pointed out that development of the I-69 system has seen a great deal of momentum building in the past few years and thanked Taylor for stepping up to lead the Advisory Committee and an outstanding group of committee members. "We will continue to expect big things," he said.
Newly appointed members include Nueces County Judge Loyd Neal, board chairman of the Alliance for I-69 Texas; Janiece Longoria, Chairman of the Port of Houston Authority Commission; and Charlie Zahn, Chairman of the Port of Corpus Christi Authority Commission.
Other new members are Jim Wells County Judge Pedro "Pete" Trevino of Alice, Bee County Judge Stephanie Silvas of Beeville, Wharton County Judge Phillip Spenrath of El Campo, Gabriel Allen of Houston, Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz, Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy of Livingston, Victoria County Judge Ben Zeller of Victoria, and Jim Jeffers, city manager of Nacogdoches.
Reappointed members are San Patricio County Judge Terry Simpson; Alan Clark, transportation planning director for the Houston-Galveston Planning Council (MPO); Angelina County Judge Wes Suiter; Cynthia Leleko of Marshall; Joseph F. Phillips of McAllen; John Bradley of Avinger; Bowie County Judge James Carlow; Cameron County Commissioner David Garza of San Benito; Jerry Sparks of Texarkana; Wharton Mayor Domingo Montalvo; and Pat Liston of La Feria.
UPDATE - On April 28th the Commission appointed Alan Johnson, Chairman of the Port of Harlingen Commission, as an additional member of the Advisory Committee.
The Commission created the Advisory Committee to assist the department in the transportation planning process for the I-69 System in Texas. New members were last appointed in 2013. The staff recommendation of the new members notes they were selected because they will ensure the committee represents a geographic distribution and reflects a diverse cross-section of the widely varying stakeholder groups needed to help the department identify and reach consensus on corridor needs and potential transportation solutions.