U.S. 59 Construction

Construction underway in September 2019 on U.S. 59 between Telferner at FM 1686 and Loop 463 to bring the highway up to interstate standards.

Construction and planning continues on I-69, the intracontinental roadway system that can transport Victorians from Mexico to Canada.

The future I-69 corridor consists of roadways like U.S. 59 that extends from the Houston metro through Victoria and then continues south to split into three segments toward the U.S.-Mexico border. Decades of work continue to develop I-69 into a contiguous interstate highway.

As families travel from Houston to Victoria or truckers transport goods southwest from Victoria, they might notice a variety of black and white signs along the road — U.S 59, U.S. 77 or others that are set to someday include blue signs for I-69. But the development of those roadways is more than just the interstate designation, said Julie Fulgham, director of development services for the city of Victoria.

A few upgrades in Victoria are under construction, like the installation of a freeway system from Telferner at Farm-to-Market 1686 to Zac Lentz Parkway as well as a median barrier and extended ramp north of FM 1686, said Victoria Mayor Rawley McCoy in a written statement.

Official designations of the interstate would stretch from Port Huron, Mich., through the Midwest, onto Victoria and then to the U.S.-Mexico border. It also must meet design standards set by the Federal Highway Administration and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials before receiving an official designation, according to TxDOT.

Upgrading roadways requires controlled access. A controlled access highway is a type of highway that has been designed for high-speed vehicular traffic with all traffic entering and exiting the highway via ramps, according to TxDOT.

“You have to look at what that road sign means,” Fulgham said. “If it were as simple as changing that road sign, we would have done that.”

Other elements also contributing to the overall impact of economic development include workforce availability and the quality of life in Victoria, said Victoria City Manager Jesús Garza. Hopefully, he said, all these things together will help attract businesses.

In preparation for more development along the future I-69 corridor, Garza said the utilities were extended across U.S. 59 to the south, which he said has the potential to open up hundreds of acres for development on that side of the roadway.

Another Crossroads project along the future I-69 corridor includes a proposed resurfacing of the roadway with no lane reconfiguration along U.S. 77 from the loop to the Refugio-Victoria County line, according to public information officer Lucea’n Kuykendall of the TxDOT Yoakum District. I-69-designated routes near Victoria are in and around both the Houston and Corpus Christi metro areas, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Originally built to connect Michigan to much of the Midwest, the first roadway to receive an I-69 sign in Texas was in Robstown in 2011, the Advocate previously reported.

Sign marks first segment of I-69

State and federal transportation officials unveil a 10 foot by 10 foot highway sign Monday in Robstown. The sign marks the very first segment of Interstate 69 in Texas and the first new interstate highway in the state since 1992. Victoria is featured prominently on the sign.

McCoy is one of dozens of elected officials and other leaders on a board of directors for the Alliance for I-69 Texas, which advocates for upgrading the entire I-69 route in Texas.

“I see this as a tremendous opportunity for warehouses or redistribution centers,” McCoy said. “It’s one more thing we, as a community, need to work toward.”

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Geoff Sloan reports on business and breaking news in the Crossroads region. He received his Bachelor's in international relations with minors in journalism and French from Texas State University. Reach him at gsloan@vicad.com or @GeoffroSloan on Twitter.

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Future I-69 projects in Victoria

Field 1 Field 2 Field 3 Field 4 Field 5
LET DATE LIMITS FROM WHERE PROJECT DESCRIPTION AUTHORIZED AMOUNT
5/1/2018 FM 1686 SL 463 UPGRADE TO RURAL FREEWAY $28,500,000
7/1/2020 0.391 MILES NORTH OF FM 1686 1.337 MILES NORTH OF FM 1686 Install Median Barrier and Extend Ramp - RTZ $6,800,000
8/1/2021 US 87 SH 185 CONSTRUCT SOUTHBOUND 2-LANE ONE-WAY FRONTAGE ROAD AND REHAB NORTHBOUND 2-LANE ONE-WAY FRONTAGE ROAD (FUTURE I-69 CORRIDOR) $9,000,000
4/1/2023 BU 59-T BU 77S ADD 2 LANES FOR A 4-LANE DIVIDED HIGHWAY (FUTURE I-69 CORRIDOR) R.G Miller to Prepare Schematic, Unassigned PS&E $30,000,000
10/1/2023 BU 59T NB AT SKYTOP ST. STR#0088-05-194 BU 59T NB AT SKYTOP ST. STR#0088-05-195 Replace Bridge and Approaches. US 59 Northbound and Southbound Lanes. $15,000,000

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Geoff Sloan reports on business and breaking news in the Crossroads region. He received his Bachelor's in international relations with minors in journalism and French from Texas State University. Reach him at gsloan@vicad.com or @GeoffroSloan on Twitter.

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