It’s been a very piecemeal process, but another big step towards the formation of Interstate 69 is now complete, with the route now fully decided through Houston and Harris County. Here’s more from the Alliance for I-69 Texas…
The 11.9 mile section of US 59 inside of Loop 610 in Houston has been added to the Interstate Highway System as Interstate 69. All of the route through Harris County is now part of I-69 and a continuous section of 75 miles of I-69 is now in place through Montgomery County, Harris County and extending to a point at the south edge of Rosenberg in Fort bend County. The Texas Transportation Commission voted March 26 to complete the designation process for the section through central Houston.
The delay through Houston was actually finalizing how to move the Interstate corridor through the 610 loop. Given that the urban section of US 59 is already one of the most congested roadways in Texas, residents have been concerned that re-designation of the existing road would only add to those woes.
And yes… they’re probably right.
In truth, I-69 brings both new opportunities and new challenges to the Bayou City. The increased visibility of the new mainline route is sure to aid in Houston’s quest to become a tourism destination. But it will also put an even greater strain on the city’s infrastructure. Whether one chooses to celebrate or abhor Interstate 69, all should take it’s formation as a renewed call for aggressive transit investment throughout the Greater Houston region. It may be expensive to implement a comprehensive transit plan now, but waiting any longer is an expense the region simply cannot afford.
(photo credit: Wikimedia commons)