Transportation Commissioner: Texas Needs New Interstate Highways
SAN ANGELO, TX – The State of Texas is growing by over a thousand people a day and Texas Department of Transportation Commissioner Alvin New says the state needs more interstate highways to meet the demand of the new residents and to move products from fields to markets.
New, the former mayor of San Angelo, serves as the lone rural Texas representative on the Transportation Commission and was the featured speaker at the San Angelo Pachyderm Club's monthly luncheon at Zentner's Daughter restaurant.
"House Bill 1079 was passed by the legislature and about the viability or feasibility of Interstate 27 being extended from Laredo up to the New Mexican border near Clayton, NM above and west of Amarillo." said New. I-27 is planned as a north-south four lane divided highway from Laredo to Del Rio to Sonora then San Angelo to Lubbock and Amarillo.
New says the pressure on highway infrastructure necessitates the new route. A state demographer estimates there will be 49 million people living in Texas by 2050. There are 30 million Texans now. I-27 is designed to take pressure off the I-35 corridor which currently runs from Laredo through San Antonio, Austin and the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex.
New said Laredo is the busiest port in the United States moving more tonnage than any other land or sea port of entry. An alternative route away from I-35 would take pressure off that highway and move people and goods and services along the western route through San Angelo. New says TxDOT is also looking at an additional interstate route through east Texas that would run from Laredo around Houston and up the eastern part of Texas. That proposed route is designated at I-69.
New says TxDOT has short and long range plans for new highway infrastructure in Texas which includes the new interstate corridors. He also discussed how TxDOT is funded.
Also on Wednesday the San Angelo Pachyderm Club honored San Angelo Chief of Police Frank Carter with a meritorious service award and announced the January monthly meeting will be held at Miss Hattie's restaurant downtown. As we reported earlier, Zentner's Daughter Steakhouse is closing at the end of the month.
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