NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - At this hour, Nacogdoches City Council is reviewing five priorities in the proposed Interstate 69 project.
Road improvements of this magnitude lead some motorists to say it will never be completed.
Officials are pleased the project may actually be stepped up. The Interstate 69 project is making progress even though ...
"There were high ranking TxDOT officials who said I 69 would never be built and it is being built," said Jim Jeffers, Nacogdoches' city manager.
Jeffers' case in point is that Nacogdoches is on the verge of being approved for the $75-million direct connect at Highway 59 South and Highway 7 West. Right of way purchases are underway with an anticipated 2019 or sooner start-up date.
To keep traffic moving, officials now prioritize improvements north of Nacogdoches.
"And so, it's at that 259 interchange and that would be the next priority and hopefully it won't take 25 to 30 years to get there," Jeffers said.
Designated tax monies from the state, combined with the president's desire to improve the nation's infrastructure could move highway projects forward.
"And it's going to be important we have projects in the waiting as those funds become available," Jeffers said.
Other priorities include a Garrison relief route, improvements at Austin Street and U.S. 59, and frontage roads on North Stallings Drive.
Improved bypasses would remove heavy truck traffic from downtown Nacogdoches. Passenger motorists would have the same option. Are city officials worried?
"With the volume of traffic and with it continuing to increase, we think it's a plus, that it's not a minus," Jeffers said.
Also advancing are relief routes around Diboll and Corrigan designed to speed up vehicle travel to and from Houston.