TxDOT Unveils Inaugural Sign in Nueces County
County officials were on hand when state and federal transportation officials unveiled a 10 foot by 10 foot highway sign in Nueces County, marking the very first segment of Interstate 69 in Texas and the first new interstate highway in Texas since 1992.
“This long-awaited event marks the beginning of even greater things to come,” said Nueces County Judge Loyd Neal at the unveiling in Robstown on Dec. 5, 2011. “We are pleased that Nueces County is home to the locations of the first signs identifying Interstate 69. This is truly a great day in the interests of economic development, interstate commerce, transportation excellence and prosperity for our region.”
Following the necessary approvals of the Federal Highway Administration and American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials, the Texas Transportation Commission gave final approval to designate the first segment
of I-69 in Texas on Oct. 27, 2011. The first segment is concurrently designated with U.S. 77 for 6.2 miles from State Highway 44 in Robstown to I-37 in Corpus Christi.
“Official designation of the first segment of I-69 in Texas is a huge milestone in the project’s development and is a visible sign of the progress being made on I-69,” remarked Polk County Judge John Thompson, chairman of the Alliance for I-69 Texas. “We will continue to work with our partners to complete additional segments of I-69 and to ensure the ultimate completion of this seamless interstate which will provide tremendous opportunity for economic development and job growth, as well as enhanced safety and freight movement.”
Fred Underwood, member of the Texas Transportation Commission, referred to the event as “a proud first step in bringing expanded economic opportunity to the Coastal Bend and South Texas regions.”
The Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) Corpus Christi District is installing 10 overhead freeway guide signs and numerous route markers at intersections leading to the newly designated segment of I-69.
“Here in Robstown, Interstate 69 begins a journey that will ultimately link the Rio Grande Valley, the Coastal Bend, the Golden Crescent, the greater Houston metropolitan area, Southeast Texas, and the Piney Woods to six states, three countries, and a growing trade corridor,” said John A. Casey, district engineer for the TxDOT Corpus Christi District. “Here in the Coastal Bend, Interstate 69 connects ports, waterways, trains, airports, and highways to create opportunities for jobs and increased commerce between the United States and countries on every continent across the globe. It’s that big of a deal.”
I-69 was identified by Congress as a Federal High Priority Corridor in 1991, linking the Texas-Mexico border to the Canadian border by passing through Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Indiana and Michigan. In Texas, I-69 will follow existing highways wherever possible. The exact path and composition of additional Texas segments of I-69 is still being determined based on input provided by the citizen-led I-69 Advisory Committee and five I-69 segment committees. For more information on this ongoing public involvement effort, visit www.txdot.gov/drivenbytexans.