• Alliance Supports TxDOT Decision to Follow Existing Highways

June 11, 2008 - Alliance for I-69 Texas News Release

The leadership of the Alliance for I-69 Texas today issued a statement of strong support for the Texas Department of Transportation decision to recommend developing the long-awaited Interstate 69 along the routes of existing highways running from Texarkana to Houston and south to the Rio Grande.

TxDOT today announced that in planning for Interstate 69 it will follow existing highway right-of-ways wherever possible and will drop consideration of new corridors that would run west of Houston. The TxDOT announcement included a new map which identifies U.S. 59, U.S. 84, U.S. 77, U.S. 281 and State Highway 44 as upgradeable existing facilities that will be part of a narrowed study area for the interstate.

John P. Thompson, chairman of the Alliance for I-69 and County Judge of Polk County in southeast Texas, said, “I commend the Texas Department of Transportation for publishing a new map of the proposed I-69 route which follows existing highways where possible.”

“Following existing alignments has been the position the Alliance has advocated for some time,” Judge Thompson noted.

Judge James Carlow, County Judge of Bowie County and Alliance board member, said, “TxDOT is responding to what they heard earlier this year at town hall meetings and hearings on the proposed route. Members of the public told TxDOT that following existing highway footprints is less disruptive to landowners and existing businesses.”

Judge Carlow noted that where substantial development exists along existing highways it will be necessary to build new loops around built-up areas. “With local involvement, we’ve been building highway loops in Texas for years,” he said.

The Alliance for I-69 Texas is a non-profit organization made up of local governments, economic development groups and port authorities. It was formed in 1994 to actively advocate the construction of an interstate highway in Texas from Texarkana to the Lower Rio Grande Valley and Laredo by upgrading existing highways where possible.