• I-69 Part of Preparing for the Future Texas

I-69 development across Texas is in not just about building a new interstate. TxDOT Deputy Executive Director Brandye Hendrickson told those attending the Alliance Annual Meeting in November that I-69 is really about preparing for the state's future and the demands for mobility that come from an expanding population and expanding commerce and trade.

Hendrickson has been working on I-69 for her entire career, first at the Indiana Department of Transportation and now at TxDOT. She previously led the Indiana agency before serving as Acting Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration and as deputy director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

She said I-69 is near her heart and that the experiences she has had working on it in Indiana really shaped her as a transportation leader. Work on I-69 south of Indianapolis has been in the planning and construction for decades. Construction of the last 10 mile section of the 142 mile route is expected to be complete in 2024. Construction of a new I-69 bridge over the Ohio River is scheduled to begin in 2027. When complete it will mean that I-69 runs seamlessly from the Canadian border through Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky, a total of about 700 miles.

Hendrickson noted that everything is bigger in Texas including I-69 which will cover more than 1,100 miles from I-30 at Texarkana to the Texas-Mexico border. She said that getting all those miles built will require money and good partnerships like the one that has existed for many years between TxDOT and the I-69 Alliance.

I-69 will be a significant part of the state's response to ongoing dramatic growth. Freight movement will be a major factor and is projected by recent studies to likely increase by 75% over the next 20 years. That will be challenge for Texas and the capacity of our highways, she said.