Houston Freeway Could Become An Interstate Highway

I-69 designation is part of a larger effort to create a highway from Canada to Mexico.


The Texas Transportation Commission is scheduled to vote Thursday on whether to give a new name to a busy Houston freeway.

If the commission approves, the segment of U.S. 59 inside the 610 Loop will be designated as I-69. It’s part of an effort to create a continuous interstate highway between Canada and Mexico.

I-69 signs have already gone up north and south of the Loop, and the inner loop segment is the final piece in the Houston region to get that designation.  

While nothing will really change for commuters, the designation could be significant for some local businesses. That’s according to Alan Clark, Director of Transportation Planning for the Houston-Galveston Area Council.

“If you’re not from our area, you might not understand the character of U.S. 59. Most who live here would not necessarily see it as very different from Interstate 10 or Interstate 45. It is a full freeway facility,” explains Clark.

Under a dual designation, the U.S. 59 signs will stay in place alongside the new interstate signs. Clark says no one along the route will have to change their address.

“The addresses are based on the frontage roads, the frontage roads inside the Loop,” says Clark.

Clark expects most Houstonians will continue calling the freeway by its familiar names, the Southwest Freeway and the Eastex Freeway.


The segment of the state highway system now designated as I-69S (see map on page 3)

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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