The study includes two broad options for consideration:
- Upgrade the existing US 59 roadway and expand it to meet present and future needs.
- Build relief routes around Nacogdoches and Lufkin and Diboll.
The I-69 Angelina and Nacogdoches Counties Committee reviewed the US 59 Master Plan (as the New Location Option) and compared it to an upgrade of existing US 59 (the US 59 Upgrade Option). The committee executive report highlights the next steps in advancing the upgrade of US 59 in Angelina and Nacogdoches counties, such as:
- Completing the Environmental and Schematic Design Process
TxDOT has allocated funding to complete the environmental and schematic design effort for US 59 in the two counties. The committee recommendations for both counties of a “US 59 Upgrade Option with refinements,” combined with public sentiment endorsing the US 59 Upgrade Option, are evidence that upgrades of existing US 59, to the greatest extent possible, should be studied.
- Complete the Diboll Relief Route
The number one priority of Angelina County committee members is advancing the development of the Diboll Relief Route. TxDOT completed the environmental process and had approved schematic design plans in 1999 for this project, but because of the elapsed time an environmental reevaluation will be required. TxDOT is proceeding forward with preparing a reevaluation of the Environmental Assessment (environmental document) and with right-of-way map updates.
- Near Term Improvement Projects
TxDOT will also investigate the possibility of advancing a near-term project in Nacogdoches County including either: 1) the south US 59/Loop 224 interchange improvements (the number one priority of Nacogdoches County committee members); or 2) the US 59/US 259 interchange (falls within the number two priority section of Nacogdoches County committee members).
It should be noted that design and construction funding has not been identified for any of the projects above. Additionally, TxDOT continues to have funding shortfalls in excess of $4 billion per year which makes the financing and delivery of roadway projects challenging. TxDOT will work to develop a long term strategy to identify funding for advancing projects in Angelina and Nacogdoches counties. This may include federal, state and local resources as well as innovative financing tools such as tolls, establishment of a Transportation Reinvestment Zone (TRZ), local participation in right-of-way costs and donations from local land owners. Despite the funding shortfalls, TxDOT remains committed and understands the importance of advancing I-69 throughout Texas, including Angelina and Nacogdoches counties.
I-69 in Texas is Needed
Federal legislation has authorized the development of the I-69 system in Texas along specified U.S. routes, including US 59. The development of I-69 in Texas would relieve traffic congestion caused by a growing population, provide safer travel through the state, improve evacuation routes and support economic development. Existing US 59 does not have the capacity to serve projected traffic volumes and does not meet Interstate standards through Angelina and Nacogdoches counties.
We recommend the public review the latest materials, which includes presentations, reports and I-69 Angelina and Nacogdoches Counties Committee materials.
The I-69 Angelina and Nacogdoches Counties Committee, a citizen-led local stakeholder committee, began meeting in December 2012. The committee is reviewing the US 59 "Upgrade" and "New Location" options and talking with the community and neighbors about their opinions and concerns. The recommendations of the committee, along with citizen input, will guide TxDOT on future I-69 project development.
Comments about the options can be submitted online or mailed to:
Texas Department of Transportation
1805 N. Timberland Drive
Lufkin, TX 75901
TxDOT Lufkin District