ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - The acceptance of the Texas Department of Transportation's offer to buy a piece of land in front of the Angelina County Airport came at the same time as a meeting of the I-69 advisory committee.
"They've selected about $2 billion worth of projects a little over a year ago," said Lufkin district engineer Cheryl Flood. "The committee made some recommendations, and right now we got, I think, about 27 projects along the corridor funded."
The Diboll Relief Route and the Moffett Route back to 103 are a small part of the interstate that will one day run to Missouri.
"You know, it's real positive," said advisory committee member Wes Suiter. "The next couple years, we've got a lot going on here in the Lufkin district."
The purchase of the land in front of the airport is the first step to bringing the interstate through Diboll.
"A lot going on now, a lot going on here in the next couple of years," Suiter said. "It's going to be funded; the funding's already been approved. Just finishing up the position for the right of way."
The 2021 connection to a new flyover in Nacogdoches is another project already approved for funding.
"The work that the committee has done is going to pay off in a big way," said Nacogdoches City Manager Jim Jeffers.
Jeffers said that bids for the construction will begin in spring of 2019.
"It's a $75-million project, and it is a direct connect on the south side of town, which will help to relieve congestion," Jeffers said.
Members of the advisory committee also said the extensions will benefit the area.
"Anytime you have an interstate coming through your area, that's what big industry and big business look for is an interstate connectivity, where they can get their products up and down, on rail and on freight movement," Suiter said.
The I-69 plan calls for improving segments of existing highways along US 59. Those small segments will eventually be linked to form the interstate.