The U.S. House of Representatives approved HR 3288 on July 23, 2009. HR3288 provides annual appropriations for the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies for fiscal year 2010. The bill included $500,000 for I-69 Texas as requested by several members of the Texas congressional delegation including Representatives Hall, Brady, Olson, Al Green and Jackson Lee. The Alliance for I-69 Texas, in coordination with TxDOT, initially requested the funds to expedite the federal agency environmental review necessary to advance I-69. The final FY 2010 federal funding level will be determined once the Senate version of the spending bill is conferenced with the House version sometime this fall.
“The Alliance for I-69 Texas is pleased that congressional support for I-69 continues. This strategic funding will enable TxDOT to move I-69 through the environmental clearance process so that our focus and resources can be directed at constructing I-69. Building I-69 in Texas is critical to enhancing freight movement and economic development as well as safety for the travelling public along the approximate 1,000 miles,” remarked Alliance for I-69 Texas Chairman John Thompson, Polk County Judge.
The Alliance for I-69 Texas is a membership-based organization created in 1994 with the goal of advancing the development of I-69 in Texas. When completed, I-69 will serve as the most direct trade route linking the industrial centers of Mexico, the United States and Canada. As trade with Mexico has multiplied since the enactment of NAFTA legislation, nearly half of total U.S. truck-borne trade with Mexico utilizes I-69 border crossings from Laredo to the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Texas is home to several major ports, including the top ranked U.S. port in foreign waterborne tonnage, the Port of Houston. All of these ports of entry rely on access to major highways along the proposed route of I-69.