Interstate 69 Congressional Caucus launched
U.S. Congressman Blake Farenthold, of Texas, joined five of his colleagues Thursday in launching the bipartisan Interstate 69 Congressional Caucus to raise awareness of the strategic importance of I-69 as a freight corridor.
Farenthold, whose district includes Victoria, will serve as a co-chairmain. Other members are Congressmen Henry Cuellar, of Texas; Ed Whitfield, of Kentucky; Steve Cohen, of Tennessee; Larry Bucshon, of Indiana; and Bennie Thompson, of Mississippi.
Specifically, the caucus' mission is to advance the development of I-69 and to enhance the regional mobility and the safety of the traveling public.
"As Texas' economy continues to grow, so does the need for modern transportation infrastructure to move freight," Farenthold said in a news release. "Goods moving through our ports and the manufacturing items supporting the Eagle Ford shale boom need a more direct freight network, and that's what this caucus is advocating for."
I-69 links major commercial centers in the southernmost states to the rest of the U.S. and Canada.
"We're working to ensure that it continues to be recognized as strategic and important. We are looking for a way to get this done in a financially responsible manner that respects private property rights."
"With each overpass and every additional mile of I-69 upgrades, Texas will be able to create new jobs through trade and freight and connect our communities in a way they have never been before," Cuellar said. "Laredo alone sees 1.8 million truck crossings a year, and the communities from Hidalgo to Laredo support trade throughout our entire country."
He added, I-69 will clear up road congestion, improve highway safety and generate economic growth throughout South Texas.
The I-69 corridor is designated by Congress as a combination of two high priority corridors and stretches from Port Huron, Mich., through the heartland to Texas at Laredo, McAllen and Brownsville. It serves more than 23 million people, covering 111 counties and hundreds of municipalities. To date, more than 530 miles of the interstate are complete.