Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Expanding current highways is good idea
The Crossroads community sits at the intersection of U.S. highways 59 and 77, which are major thoroughfares to the Texas-Mexico border. But even though we sit between several major cities - including Houston and San Antonio, two of the top 10 largest cities in the nation - Victoria does not have access to an interstate.
In the past, the plan for I-69 came with some reservations. The previous plan for the Trans-Texas corridor, which raised many objections over property rights and other issues, is no longer in place. The current plan for I-69 is to follow and expand current highways instead of building a completely new road that will cut through private properties and result in all kinds of unnecessary expense and inconvenience. According to maps on the Texas Department of Transportation website, the interstate will follow U.S. Highway 59 from Texarkana down through Houston to the 463 loop south of Victoria, where it will split to follow both 59 toward Laredo and U.S. Highway 77 to Brownsville.
We were glad to learn about the launch of the bipartisan Interstate 69 Congressional Caucus. This plan, which would create an interstate that stretches along the Gulf Coast region, has many positive possibilities, and we are encouraged to see lawmakers on both sides of the aisle banding together to do something constructive, especially when considering the current divisive climate in Washington.
Proximity to an interstate will be a major boon to the Crossroads. A major interstate will help reduce the number of tractor-trailers using roads that go directly through our towns and the number of wrecks caused by the increased freight and Eagle Ford Shale traffic. In addition, it will serve as an extra economic incentive for companies considering investing in the area. Proximity to a major thoroughfare is one of the factors considered when companies examine communities for new locations.
When I-69 is built, it will bring travelers who otherwise might never know Victoria or any of the other Crossroads communities along this route exists through our area. That opens a whole new possibility when it comes to tourism, eateries and other services travelers need while on the road.
We are glad to see the support the I-69 project is receiving from lawmakers. This development could be a key step for Victoria and the Crossroads and offer better access to the outside world. We look forward to seeing this plan become a reality.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.