FLINT TWP. —Tracey Tucker, building director and director of economic enhancement, represented the Township at a Washington DC Fly-In, designed to promote interests along the I-69 freeway which runs from the Canadian border at Port Huron through Texas.
The caucus was designed to bring together Senators and Representatives from all eight states that I-69 travels through. I-69 in Michigan is complete but there are several sections in other states needing funding to be completed.
Twenty-six people from eight states attended the caucus.
Besides Tucker, the Michigan delegation included Janice Karcher, Executive Director of the Flint & Genesee Regional Chamber and Justin Horvath President & CEO of the Shiawassee Economic. Development Partnership.
They were joined by delegations from Indiana, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee. The meeting resulted in an understanding that representatives from “across the aisle” would be able to work together on developing the I-60 corridor, Tucker said in her report to the township board. “We think several will become part of the caucus that were not before,” she said.
“In addition to the I-69 issues, we spoke to the Michigan Senators and Representatives about local issues including: the freight study for our railways, autonomous vehicle testing, water issues, jobs programs, spec building investment,” Tucker said.
Her report included a progress update on I-69 in all eight states.
In Texas, about 55% of the I-69 miles are either designated or in some phase of active development or funding. More than 1,100 miles of existing highways (US 59, US 77, US 281 and US 84) will eventually be upgraded to make up the Texas I-69 System. A total of 160.8 miles of I-69 have been added to the Interstate Highway System so far including 75.3 miles in the Houston area, 72.8 miles in the Rio Grande Valley plus segments at Texarkana, Corpus Christi and Laredo. Another 47 miles was added as the I-2 connector between I-69E and I-69W near the Texas-Mexico border.
In Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development continues to move forward with environmental clearance of I-69 alignments on approximately 120 miles through the northwest corner of Louisiana.
Environmental clearance has been approved for all of the 184-mile-long I-69 route in southern Arkansas. In Tennessee, I-69 currently extends to the north side of Memphis where a I-269 loop is being constructed to connect with a section being built in Mississippi.
A 15-mile section of I-69 in northwest Mississippi was opened to traffic in 2006. I-69 runs concurrently on I-55 from Hernando, Mississippi, to I-40 on the north side of Memphis, Work also is continuing on the future Interstate 269, which will be part of the I-69 system.
In Kentucky, 98 miles of Interstate 69 has been added to the Interstate Highway System all 155 miles in the state could be under shield in the next two to three years, except for proposed construction of an Ohio River bridge. BridgeLink, an advocacy group of business and political leaders from Kentucky and Indiana, is pushing for construction of an I-69 bridge over the Ohio River at Henderson, Kentucky.
The Indiana Department of Transportation has also commissioned a traffic study for the Ohio River Bridges.
I-69 from the Michigan state line to Indianapolis has been complete for decades. Recent efforts have been focused on the 142 miles from Indianapolis to the Kentucky state line at the Ohio River.
I -69 is completely built out in Michigan, so the focus is on economic growth. Two major regional collaborations are active – the I -69 International Trade Corridor (four counties adjacent to Canadian border) and the I -69 Thumb Region. Plans to enhance cargo and passenger movement on I-69 include the Blue Water Bridge Plaza, the I-69/I-96 interchange and welcome center, and at the U.S.-Canada border crossing.