SAN ANGELO, TX –– After President Joe Biden signed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill on Monday, the designation for San Angelo's first interstate highway, I-14, is now final.
According to officials, the newly designated I-14 route runs from Midland-Odessa through San Angelo across Central Texas then to Alexandria, Louisiana, Laurel, Mississippi, Montgomery, Alabama, and Columbus, Georgia before terminating at Augusta, Georgia.
I-14 will be built primarily by incrementally upgrading existing highways in each of the states. The first sections of the I-14 corridor in Texas were approved by Congress in 2015 and a 25-mile section of freeway from Killeen/Fort Hood to I-35 in Central Texas became I-14 in 2017.
The section of I-14 in West Texas will run from Midland east on SH-158 to Sterling City then on U.S. 87 through San Angelo to Brady, then on SH-190 from Brady to Killeen.
“We understand that building I-14 will require billions of dollars and many years to complete but we are on our way,” said John Thompson, chairman of the I-14 Gulf Coast Strategic Highway Coalition. “The I-14 system will improve connectivity between regions, provide freight movement efficiency, link important military facilities and strategic seaports, create a high elevation alternative for coastal sections of I-10 that are prone to flooding, and spur economic development opportunities along the 1,300-mile path."
The new bill expands the Texas designation to include San Angelo and Midland-Odessa. It will also include the four north-south future interstate spurs that will connect I-14 to Interstate 10 and serve the Port of Corpus Christi, the Port of Houston, and the ports at Beaumont and Port Arthur.
I-14 will also add a north-south spur connection to the Port of Gulfport, Mississippi. Additionally, the designation includes a future interstate loop at Bryan-College Station designated Interstate 214.
One of the most significant benefits of providing interstate linkage between a dozen military facilities served by the I-14 corridor is that these connections will add to the military value of each of the installations.
Interstate-14 will better link Fort Bliss at El Paso, Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo, Fort Hood at Killeen, Fort Polk in Louisiana, Camp Shelby at Hattiesburg, Kessler AFB at Biloxi, Maxwell AFB at Montgomery, Fort Benning at Columbus, Robins AFB at Macon, Fort Gordon near Augusta and Fort Stewart near Savannah.
Texas lawmakers both at the local and national levels have been instrumental in securing the legislation that made I-14 a reality for the state.
Tom Green County Judge Steve Floyd serves as the Coalition Secretary-Treasurer and Congressman Brian Babin of Woodville has been sponsoring the bill since he began serving in 2015.
Earlier this year, it was included in a House transportation bill and became the basis of an amendment to the bipartisan infrastructure bill offered by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia.
The I-14 designation had the support of all 10 senators and every member of the House along the corridor.
In West Texas, the I-14 corridor follows SH 158 and US 87 from Midland to San Angelo and Brady then runs east on US 190 to tie into the existing section of I-14 at Killeen.
The corridor then runs east to Bryan/College Station and Huntsville before generally following US 190 through East Texas, crossing the Sabine River on LA 8 near Fort Polk at Leesville, Louisiana.