New life is being pumped into a plan to build a superhighway stretching from Mexico through the United States up into Canada. The I-69 Project has been on the drawing board for almost twenty years, but a lack of funding for construction has kept it at a stalemate. Now those who feel most passionately about it are looking to the private sector to get things moving in Texas.
The chairman of Texas Transportation Commission, Ric Williamson says, "The ideal candidate for Trans Texas Corridor 69 would be a partnership between timber interests, manufacturing interests in the Missouri areas, manufacturing interests in Monterrey, Mexico, road builders who are familiar with the East Texas terrain, I can't name names because that would sound like I was favoring someone, but road builders in the Houston area that are comfortable with the terrain and local banking interests that understand what the manufacturing background of East Texas is, that would be the ideal partnership."
Williamson, along with Lufkin Mayor Louis Bronaugh and Vice Chairman of the Alliance for I-69 Texas, was in Lufkin on Monday to announce the search for a long-term strategic partner. Williamson says, "It is apparent to the Texas transportation Commission that neither the federal government nor the state government has the resources to pay for I-69. Private investment is our best alternative to move forward on this important project."
Developers would be asked to submit statements detailing their experience in developing and financing large, multi-modal transportation projects. These statements also would include a conceptual proposal to finance, design, construct, operate and maintain I-69/TTC.