I-69 Advisory Committee provides recommendations

NACOGDOCHES-LUFKIN (KTRE) - Back in March the I-69 Advisory Committee began studying transportation recommendations for the Texas governor. Its job is completed. The I-69 recommendations are at the printers now. A bound document will be sent off soon, but tonight you are getting one of the first looks at months of research.

Basically, there are five recommendations. Top of the list is to abandon the Trans-Texas Corridor, a road network that threatens east Texas farmland. Second, is to follow the U.S. 59 footprint, but compensate all landowners along the route. This means about $15-billion is needed to fund the project. The committee doesn't rule out indexing the gas tax and toll roads. I 69 advisory member Nolan Alders said, "That's our goal right now is to present the legislature, which we have, our recommendations and I think they're valid. I think they're good. I think they're workable. I think a bunch of it will be in place."

The committee also likes the idea of a freight shuttle. That's an elevated rail system built in the median to transport materials. Lufkin Mayor Jack Gorden serves on the I 69 advisory committee member. "Our desire is that is be used as a vehicle to create jobs in east Texas, not simply to get people passing through east Texas."

You can learn more about the I-69 recommendations on Wednesday at the Nacogdoches noon rotary meeting at the Fredonia Hotel.