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Interstate 69 Signs Are Up -- Now Officially in Houston


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I'm surprised so few people are talking about the newest stretch of Interstate in Texas... Houston is now home to a portion of I-69.

Though it's co-signed with US-59 now (and probably will be until complete), this represents more than just changing a couple of signs for Houston. This will increase traffic flow and visibility for the city of Houston and its surrounding areas.

What are your thoughts on the new I-69?

houstonsignhome.JPG

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It makes Houston look more important on a map, which I am highly in favor of. We were ripped off in the interstate department - finally some redemption. Now lets get this thing done so then we may focus on turning 290 to Austin into Interstate 12 or 14 or maybe even 27.

It's the details that make life so sweet.

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They have to name it in sections, based on which areas are already connected to an existing interstate. Though I think this law has just changed, which means that the nominal process will move a bit faster. I think the next segment to be named will be 59 south of 610, and then finally the portion inside 610.

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It makes Houston look more important on a map, which I am highly in favor of. We were ripped off in the interstate department - finally some redemption. Now lets get this thing done so then we may focus on turning 290 to Austin into Interstate 12 or 14 or maybe even 27.

It's the details that make life so sweet.

Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm not sure I see the significance of designation as an interstate. The road is still the same.

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Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm not sure I see the significance of designation as an interstate. The road is still the same.

The I-69 signs don't make any difference, and the interstate designation in itself doesn't make any difference to drivers who live within the Houston metro area because U.S. 59 is already built to Interstate standards in the Houston metro area. But interstate highways in rural areas differ significantly from U.S. or state highways. The completion of I-69 will allow drivers to go from Houston to Corpus Christi or Shreveport and beyond without stopping or dealing with one lane stretches. Just like I-10 and I-45 do.

I think Houston and Austin should be connected by an Interstate too. Interstate highways are always at least 2 lanes, have wide shoulders, protected medians, are well maintained and have no stops.

Although I admit it doesn't mean much in the real world and it's a little silly, I-69 will make Houston look more impressive on a map. (especially maps of the U.S. that only show cities and interstates.) As someone who loves looking at maps, I've always thought Houston appeared smaller and less significant on maps with only 2 interstate highways intersecting here. Even San Antonio has 3. - I never said looking impressive on a map is REASON to designate U.S. 59 into I-69, but it's just another reason for me to be in favor of it since anything that makes Houston look better and impressive in any way, shape or form is something I'm always highly in favor of. Damn this hometown loyalty disease of mine.

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So does the rest of Highway 59 (outside of Houston area) have to be built to interstate standards by the state/local authorities before it can be designated as Interstate - or is there additonal funding to do this magically coming from some outside source? Just wondering because at the rate they are progressing - my grandchildren might see the final outcome.

Parts of 59 north into East Texas have been slowly rebuilt over the last 10 years or so. But only in unconnected spots. And 59 going south is in terrible shape for large stretches. You can get a really bad rhythm going on the concrete joints in south Ft. Bend and Wharton Counties. It's even worse when you are towing a decent load.

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So does the rest of Highway 59 (outside of Houston area) have to be built to interstate standards by the state/local authorities before it can be designated as Interstate - or is there additonal funding to do this magically coming from some outside source? Just wondering because at the rate they are progressing - my grandchildren might see the final outcome.

Parts of 59 north into East Texas have been slowly rebuilt over the last 10 years or so. But only in unconnected spots. And 59 going south is in terrible shape for large stretches. You can get a really bad rhythm going on the concrete joints in south Ft. Bend and Wharton Counties. It's even worse when you are towing a decent load.

Freeway construction is almost always a combination of state and federal money. Regardless, it all comes from the same place -- the taxpayers.

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This is nothing more than wasted taxpayer money and is a glorified changing of a couple of signs for Houston.

houstonsignhome.JPG

Like Mister X said, it doesn't mean much inside of Houston, but the process has to get off the ground somewhere. I drive US-59 to Arkansas frequently, and the work there is VERY slow, but it does continue in a piece-meal fashion. The way our government works today, you almost have to throw up propaganda to get things moving any faster, and make people notice. My hope is that the new signage will get the process moving along in the state.

Also worth noting that Indiana is going full speed ahead with a new segment of I-69. Their portion should be done by 2014.

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This is nothing more than wasted taxpayer money and is a glorified changing of a couple of signs for Houston.

houstonsignhome.JPG

You're right. Curse that Eisenhower and his Interstate highway system. I was just fine taking 5 hours to get to San Antonio on congested, 2 lane blacktop.

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I think interstates do matter though, especially to visitors traveling to and from a destination. An interstate implies a standard of travel, with rest stops, gas stations and food stops at regular intervals, and better signage to actually "advertise" the places that you're passing through. Interstates invite lots of business opportunities once they are built out. It may not mean much within Houston proper, but the towns in East Texas are in a complete uproar to determine where I-69 will go. Texarkana has almost finished a new interchange with I-30 at US-59, and they're nearing completion of a full, interstate-quality freeway loop around both sides of the city. In fact... Arkansas has left BOTH Texas and Louisiana in the dust in planning for both the I-69 corridor and I-49 extension in the area.

http://www.interstate-guide.com/i-130_ar.html

I only say that to point out that the I-69 traffic is coming, whether we like it or not. People want to and will come to Houston from both directions, and we need to better facilitate that while we have the chance.

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  • 2 years later...

The 11.9 mile section of US 59 inside the loop was added to the Interstate system yesterday as I-69. I-69 in the Houston area is now a complete route through Harris County and extends a total of 75 miles from Montgomery County, through Harris County, and into Fort Bend County.

http://www.i69texasalliance.com/

Finally! Great news to hear! I am wondering when the 290 work could be done and it would be the next interstate. Houston is really not good looking on map with only 10, 45, 610 and 69. Dallas does a much better job!

I don't know but is there any chance that belt 8 get a interstate designation?

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  • 1 month later...

I have a client out in Port Huron, Michigan--the northern terminus of I-69. Oddly enough, they feel more connected to Houston with the I-69 designation even though the whole road is not yet complete.

 

I think Wharton County is the next big section slated for redevelopment and rechristening down south.

 

I-12 currently runs north of Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana. I-14 has been proposed in some eastern states as the "14th Amendment" highway. I think there has been talk of extending it over by Fort Hood near Killeen. Perhaps I-10 could be redesignated as I-10/I-12 for a ways west of their current juncture until they split again in Houston to head up the current route of 290 to Austin. If funding could be had, the I-12 designation might be run further west around Fredericksburg to meet up at I-10 again. Alternatively, it might be run a bit further north to intersect the proposed I-14 at Menard.

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  • 3 months later...

The first I-69 sign inside the loop will go up in an unveiling ceremony Thursday morning (8/20) at 10:00am at 3110 Southwest Freeway. Sorry to any roadgeeks for the late notice. I just found out myself.

 

Weather's pretty nasty out this way, so you might want to stay at home for this one.

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Does filling the inner loop make sense when extending 69?

 

I mean, this whole discontinuous 69 mess leaves a bad taste in my mouth while seemingly no closer to completion.

 

At some point, I-10, I-45, I-35, and other Interstates were all discontinuous. There were times when driving from Houston to Dallas, drivers would find that I-45 would end and traffic would funnel onto a narrow, curvy, accident prone 2 lane US75 and then resume freeway status again some miles later. Be patient, grasshopper.

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I just noticed something about. Week ago.......

The signage on the highway does NOT include exit numbers. I thought hat exit numbers were a required interstate highway spec. Of course, I may have been on a section that had not been "upgraded" (it was on 59 heading north, north of 610, but south of the beltway as I recall). Thoughts?

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I just noticed something about. Week ago.......

The signage on the highway does NOT include exit numbers. I thought hat exit numbers were a required interstate highway spec. Of course, I may have been on a section that had not been "upgraded" (it was on 59 heading north, north of 610, but south of the beltway as I recall). Thoughts?

 

I-69 has a few weird things going on that would preclude exit numbering right now:

 

1. It's unknown what the exact alignment for a good chunk of the road between Houston and Victoria will be

2. It's unknown whether I-69 mile markers will start from Laredo (I-69W), McAllen (I-69C) or Brownsville (I-69E)

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I-69 has a few weird things going on that would preclude exit numbering right now:

1. It's unknown what the exact alignment for a good chunk of the road between Houston and Victoria will be

2. It's unknown whether I-69 mile markers will start from Laredo (I-69W), McAllen (I-69C) or Brownsville (I-69E)

So.......

What's the point of all the "I-69" hoopla then???

i guess that they could call it "abx-26" if they wished. Without exit numbers it's really just "the freeway previously known as 59", right?

Edited by UtterlyUrban
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So.......

What's the point of all the "I-69" hoopla then???

i guess that they could call it "abx-26" if they wished. Without exit numbers it's really just "the freeway previously known as 59", right?

Well, I-69 has been complete for years, as the eventual goal is to connect it to the I-69 in Michigan, making it like 35 in that it goes from Mexico to Canada, though unlike 35, have it be a freeway the whole way (35 kinda peters out into a state highway).

What does this mean in terms of Houston and I-69? Not much. It's all freeway, has been for decades. It makes a bigger difference in Cleveland TX and points north where it was not a limited access freeway before.

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i guess that they could call it "abx-26" if they wished. Without exit numbers it's really just "the freeway previously known as 59", right?

 

Technically, it's still U.S. 59, and even w/o the exit numbers, it's an Interstate, although design exemptions were granted to a few stretches since they weren't up to Interstate standards. I think people will continue to call it "59" for a long time. I wonder if there are any old timers who still refer to I-45 as "75"?

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So.......

What's the point of all the "I-69" hoopla then???

i guess that they could call it "abx-26" if they wished. Without exit numbers it's really just "the freeway previously known as 59", right?

 

The point is to get I-69 in people's heads, so that they start asking politicians why I-69 isn't finished yet, so that money gets freed up to finish I-69.

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  • 2 months later...

They're putting up milemarkers now. There were reference markers before that looked like milemarkers, but they were inconsistent and were in the 500 mile range. These new markers are only in the 100s. This reflects "mile 0" being in Victoria, where it'll branch into I-69E to Corpus and Brownsville, and I-69W to Laredo (intersects with I-69C in George West).

Edited by JLWM8609
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They're putting up milemarkers now. There were reference markers before that looked like milemarkers, but they were inconsistent and were in the 500 mile range. These new markers are only in the 100s. This reflects "mile 0" being in Victoria, where it'll branch into I-69E to Corpus and Brownsville, and I-69W to Laredo (intersects with I-69C in George West).

 

I saw these yesterday. Wonder if they'll start numbering exits soon.

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  • 1 year later...
On 11/2/2015 at 7:16 AM, ADCS said:

 

I saw these yesterday. Wonder if they'll start numbering exits soon.

 
 

Exit numbers started going up within the last week around downtown. On I-69/US 59 SB, exit to I-45 is 129B, the McGowen/Tuam exit is 129A, and the 288 exit is 128B. That is consistent with milemarker 0 being in Victoria. 

Edited by JLWM8609
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