Over the next few months drivers will see new Interstate 69 signs along a 28 mile stretch of U.S. 59. That's the segment between the 610 West Loop and Rosenberg in Fort Bend County. It's all part of an ongoing project to create a new interstate highway through the central part of the country linking Canada and Mexico.
The project utilizes existing highways.
TxDOT Director of Planning Marc Williams says new federal transportation legislation gives states more flexibility in designating portions of the route that are already up to interstate standards.
"There are not any substantial changes that we need to make along U.S. 59. There are some areas where we've been working with the Federal Highway Administration on addressing areas that we call 'design exceptions.'"
I-69 signs went up last year on U.S. 59 between the 610 North Loop and Liberty County. Williams expects 59 inside the Loop will be designated later this year, and they're also working on segments in other parts of the state.
"If we talk to people, who represent economic development interests, or who try to recruit business and industry to come to communities, interstate highway access is often cited as a very important site-selection element."
Williams adds that businesses along the new I-69 route won't have to use a new address, because the highway will also retain its U.S. 59 designation.