20 June 2008

News on Interstate 69 Louisiana Segment

(Note: I did NOT steal the shield picture from AARoads, I just learned how to use lighting effects in the GIMP to replicate their effect.)

Shreveport Times: Louisiana route narrowed but cloudy

So, the announcement that Texas is going to use existing highways for IH 69 does kind of affect where it's going to run through Louisiana, or if it's going to run through the state at all. Right now, the strongest possibility is that it's going to run along US 59 in Texas, up to the junction with US 84 and US 96 in Teneha, and from there east to Logansport generally along US 84, running into Louisiana and angling northeast toward Arkansas along entirely new roads.

Another idea takes IH 69 from Teneha north along US 59 all the way to IH 30 near Texarkana, bypassing Louisiana entirely. In my opinion, this is the bad idea.

Some plans have the TTC (Trans-Texas Corridor) still in the works, just in a different form, using US 59 northward from Teneha as IH 69 takes the path to the east. I have no opinion on this, other than that IH 69 needs to come into Louisiana. Northern Louisiana badly needs the development another Interstate would bring.

1 comment:

Anthony Kennerson said...

I'm not so sure about I-69 bypassing Louisiana entirely, since the route has pretty much been set by recent studies as bypassing Shreveport-Bossier City to the southeast. Plus, the route through Mississippi and Arkansas is pretty much set as well.

My guess is that even with the decision of TxDOT to use mostly existing corridors for the TTC-69/I-69 project, I fail to see how they can avoid using at least some new alignment in Northeast Texas, especially for the segments going to Texarkana and the segment leading into Louisiana which would connect with the LA I-69 segment ear Stonewall. At the very least, they will have to run relief routes around Carthage, Lufkin and Teneha; as well as probably run relief bypasses at Marshall and near Texarkana to meet the proposed Western Bypass connecting I-30 with proposed I-49 north of there going to Fort Smith.

On the other hand, though...if they want to totally bypass North Louisiana and run the TTC-69 totally to Texarkana, then they had better reconsider the idea of a alternate routing using the US 165 corridor from I-10 east of Lake Charles through Alexandria and Monroe to meet the extension of I-530 at Monticello, and then northeastward from there. That would probably suck big time for North Louisiana, but it makes much more sense for freeway grade consistency for Louisiana...and at least, North Louisiana could land as a consolation prize a completed I-49 through downtown Shreveport and a completed I-220/LA 3132 Inner Loop.

Just my two cents...