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TxDOT explores I-14 Central Texas Corridor

November 01, 2023 - 00:00
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    Examiner Photo by Matthew Ybarra

Texas Department of Transportation Bryan District conducted an openhouse style meeting Oct. 24, at Grimes County Fairgrounds in Navasota as part of an I-14 Central Texas Corridor Feasibility and Route Study.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) was signed into law Nov. 15, 2021 and authorized the I-14 system in Texas to be an extended network of highways across Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. The Study will align with ongoing I-14 development and planning efforts in Texas to ensure consistency and continuity of the interstate corridor from west Texas to Louisiana.

According to TxDOT, the goal of I-14 is to provide safe and reliable eastwest connectivity, improve traffic mobility including freight, relieve congestion caused by increasing traffic demand, and support deployment from our military bases to strategic ports. Currently, approximately 25 miles of the system have been designated and signed as I-14 in Texas from I-35 in Belton to US 190E in Copperas Cove.

The Study began in 2022 and is anticipated to last 7 years but is likely to take longer. Groundbreaking may take up to 20 years. The Study includes approximately 125 miles across 11 counties between Rogers in Bell County to Huntsville in Walker County.

The Study aims to implement a transparent project development process, collect public and stakeholder input, and identify potential risks. It will be conducted in three phases, each including public involvement: • Phase 1 – Corridor Feasibility Study (3 years anticipated) Outcome: Recommend up to three feasible corridors to move forward into the Route Study.

• Phase 2 – Transition Period (1 year anticipated) Outcome: Develop a Route Study Implementation Plan and collect additional data as needed in preparation for the next phase.

• Phase 3 – Route Study (3 years anticipated) Outcome: Evaluate up to three viable route alternatives and identify a recommended preferred route; prepare preliminary cost estimates and a Schematic Implementation Plan for future project development.

Potential routes between Brazos and Walker County include following Texas 30 or along Texas 45 and US 190. The Texas 30 route would include a portion of Grimes County including Shiro, Roans Prairie and Carlos. If the Texas 45/ US 190 route is used, it will go through Madison County.

TxDOT Public Information Officer, Bobby Colwell said the goal of The Study is to receive input from the community to see if the project is needed, wanted and which route is preferred.

There are two additional in-person open house style meetings in the Brazos Valley that people can attend to learn more about I-14.

• Wednesday, Nov. 1, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Hearne Elementary School, 1210 Hackberry St Hearne, TX 77859.

• Thursday, Nov. 2, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Yards of Cameron, 301 Adams Ave. Cameron, TX 76520.

Information from the meeting is also available online, https://www. studies/bryan/i14-corridor- study.html.