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Here comes I-14

Don’t hold your breath waiting for it, however. This will take awhile.

Texas is getting a new interstate, as part of a long-term federal transportation bill.

Interstate 14 will be cobbled together mostly from U.S. 190 and other existing roads to create a new freeway from western Texas to the Louisiana border. The Gulf Coast Strategic Highway Coalition, based in Austin, announced the designation Tuesday.

The interstate will take years to build as highway segments must be brought up to freeway standards such as no at-grade intersections and various safety upgrades to allow for higher speeds.

According to the coalition, I-14 will connect Killeen, Belton, Bryan-College Station, Huntsville, Livingston, Woodville and Jasper before terminating at Texas 63 at the Sabine River.

Houston-area drivers would most likely encounter the new interstate where it crosses Interstate 45 in Huntsville, among the most used routes to and from Houston.

[…]

The designation is the first of many steps to convert federal and state highways into I-14. Efforts to turn portions of U.S. 59 into Interstate 69, for example, have taken decades, with many more sections to go.

In many spots, it will take rebuilding and potentially re-routing the highway. Bushell said officials are still working through some of those specifics, including where U.S. 190 currently shares roadway with I-45 northeast of Huntsville.

“Where possible we would want to stay on existing highway footprints but that may not be possible in some places,” Bushell said.

I-14 will go all the way to the Georgia/South Carolina border. Lord only knows how many years it will be before we see even a single I-14 road sign, but someday this new interstate may divert a bit of truck traffic from I-10. Of course, by then I-10 will likely have been widened to the point of being right next to I-14 anyway. Link via Streetsblog, and Paradise in Hell has more.

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2 Comments

  1. Gary Bennett says:

    Wow! Way to connect up something fewer than a million people in the state of Texas! In the mean time, how about an interstate or any other kind of expressway connecting the two largest population centers in the nation (by far) that do not have such a connection? I’m talking about Austin (metro: 2,000,000+) and Houston (6,700,000+) and only about 200 miles apart. The first time we made the trip we ended up spending 35 minutes in Giddings during Friday evening rush hour as a freight train sat on the tracks cutting off one side of the town from the other (I guess the crew was catching supper in a local diner). Probably could use this I-14 if we ever wanted to go to Jasper, though.

  2. Robbie Westmoreland says:

    Clearly, it’s the A&M-LSU Interstate. People in Killeen needed a faster way to get to the game.

    I wonder whether there are any other federally-funded highway programs set up just to accommodate conference football rivalries. Could I35 be claimed by Texas-OU?