Interstate 69E Texas

I-69E Texas
History
North End
South End

Overview

Interstate 69E overlays all of U.S. 77 from University Boulevard / East Avenue in Brownsville to the Raymondville bypass. A second section of IH 69E is posted along the 6.2-mile stretch of freeway along U.S. 77 between SH 44 at Robstown and IH 37 at Calallen in Corpus Christi.

An additional 1.6 miles of IH 69C was added from SH 44 to FM 892 at Robstown in Fall 2015 to coincide with upgrades of U.S. 77 to Interstate standards.1 This was pre-approved by the Texas Transportation Commission on November 20, 2014.

US 77 south - Kenedy County, TX road work for IH 69E
Grade separation under construction for the future main lanes of IH 69E along U.S. 77 in southern Kenedy County. Photo taken 08/03/19.

Two projects underway through Fall 2020 upgrade U.S. 77 north from Raymondville into southern Kenedy County with the construction of grade separations and main lanes. Northward through Kenedy County, five separate projects will extend IH 69E another 45 miles with additional overpasses and main lane construction along U.S. 77. Totaling $320 million, these projects were in design by January 2019, and partially funded for construction anticipated to begin in 2022.2

Within the TxDOT Corpus Christi District, new bypasses for U.S. 77 around Riviera and Driscoll will complete IH 69E north to IH 37. $104 million in funding was allocated for the Driscoll bypass in March 2017, and work got underway along the new alignment by Summer 2019. Estimated completion on the 5.09 mile Driscoll Relief Route is estimated for April 2022. The four mile long Rivera bypass is a future project anticipated for the 2024-29 time frame.2

History

U.S. 77 through the Lower Rio Grande Valley was upgraded to an expressway by 1965 and to a limited access highway between Harlingen and La Paloma in 1972, and southward to Brownsville by 1985. The stretch between SH 4 and the border crossing south of University Boulevard was upgraded in 2004.

Interstate 69E between Robstown and IH 37 was dedicated as the first section of IH 69 in Texas on December 5, 2011. As suggested by the FHWA, it was redesignated as IH 69E by AASHTO at their Spring 2013 meeting and the Texas Transportation Committee on May 28, 2013. The Robstown portion was approved by FHWA on July 31, 2013 and by AASHTO on October 21, 2013. The branches of IH 69C and IH 69E will come together north of this segment.

The designations of IH 69C and IH 69E were made possible by the 2012 legislation, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). The previous law regarding interstates required that new Interstate highway segments must be connected to an existing system route. The legal revision, supported by several Texas members of Congress and the entire Texas Delegation,3 states that

routes can be designated as part of the Interstate system if the route or a segment of the route meets current Interstate design standards and connects to, or is planned to connect to, an existing Interstate within 25 years.

Route Information

  • North End – Corpus Christi, TX

  • South End – Brownsville, TX

  • Mileage – 61.10

  • Cities – Brownsville, Harlingen, Corpus Christi

  • JunctionsI-2 I-37

Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List

The original three-wye interchange between Interstate 37 and U.S. 77 (IH 69C) in 1971.

The north end of IH 69E at IH 37 was reconstructed in the late 1980s to replace left side ramps with right side ones. The freeway upgrade leading south was completed by 2005.

Industrial Boulevard east at the frontage road system for Interstate 69E & U.S. 77. SH 44 travels along the frontage roads north for 0.4 miles before turning west to Avenue J across Robstown. SH 44 Business travels along Avenue A just to the north as well. Photo taken by Jeff Royston (01/27/16).

SH 44 between Freer and Corpus Christi was designated as part of the I-69 Texas System in the FAST Act of 2015 federal highway bill.

The temporary south end of the U.S. 77 & 83 freeway at SH 4 (International Boulevard) in 1983.

The Veterans International Bridge at Los Tomates links the south end of U.S. 77 & 83 with Matamoros. The tolled four-lane span opened to traffic following a ribbon cutting ceremony held on April 30, 1999. The $19.3-million bridge is part of a heavy truck corridor between U.S. 77 & 83, SH 4 and the Port of Brownsville. A twin span was added on the U.S. side of the border during construction from February 2011 and May 2012.4

IH 69E North Segment

North End I-37 – Corpus Christi, Texas

IH 69E US 77 North at I-37

IH 69E/US 77 north at IH 37 - Corpus Christi, TX

IH 69E/U.S. 77 head 1.5 miles north from CR 48 outside Robstown to the exchange with IH 37 at Calallen in Corpus Christi. Photo taken 08/03/19.

IH 69E/US 77 north at IH 37 - Corpus Christi, TX

Curving northeast, IH 69E/U.S. 77 span FM 624 (Northwest Boulevard) ahead of IH 37. U.S. 77 joins IH 37 north into San Patricio County en route to Victoria. Photo taken 08/03/19.

IH 69E/US 77 north at IH 37 - Corpus Christi, TX

Traffic partitions at the north end of IH 69E for IH 37 south to the Corpus Christi Bayfront and north to San Antonio. Photo taken 08/03/19.

I-37 US 77 South at IH 69E

IH 37/US 77 south at IH 69E - Corpus Christi, TX

U.S. 77 joins IH 37 south ahead of the Nueces River and Nueces County line. The two overlap 2.5 miles southward to split at IH 69E in Corpus Christi. Photo taken 08/03/19.

IH 37/US 77 south at IH 69E - Corpus Christi, TX

IH 37/U.S. 77 parallel the Nueces River south into Calallen in Corpus Christi. A three-wye interchange (Exit 14) follows with IH 69E. Photo taken 08/03/19.

IH 37/US 77 south at IH 69E - Corpus Christi, TX

U.S. 77 branches southward to Robstown, Driscoll, Kingsville and the Rio Grande Valley, IH 37 continues east to Downtown Corpus Christi. Photo taken 08/03/19.

I-37 North at IH 69E US 77

IH 37 north at IH 69E/US 77 - Corpus Christi, TX
IH 37 north at IH 69E/US 77 - Corpus Christi, TX

IH 37 advances toward the three-wye interchange (Exit 14A) with IH 69E & U.S. 77 on a six-lane stretch parallel to Leopard Street. Photos taken 08/03/19.

IH 37 north at IH 69E/US 77 - Corpus Christi, TX
IH 37 north at IH 69E/US 77 - Corpus Christi, TX

Exit 14A parts ways with IH 37 north at the Union Pacific Railroad crossing for both IH 69E & U.S. 77 south to Robstown and FM 624 (Northwest Boulevard) at the Calallen district of Corpus Christi. Photos taken 08/03/19.

South End – Robstown, Texas

IH 69E US 77 South at

IH 69E/US 77 south at FM 892 - Robstown, TX

The final southbound shield for the Robstown segment of IH 69E precedes the Lincoln Avenue (FM 892) underpass. Despite the renumbering to IH 69E in 2013, a replacement of this assembly by 2019 still displays IH 69. Photo taken by Jeff Royston (01/27/16).

IH 69E/US 77 south at US 77B - Robstown, TX

An end shield for IH 69 previously stood at the merge with U.S. 77 Business and transition of U.S. 77 onto an at-grade expressway at County Road 36. Photo taken by Jeff Royston (01/27/16).

US 77 south at FM 2826 - Robstown, TX

The U.S. 77 freeway was extended southward another 2.7 miles from BU-77U to FM 2826 outside Robstown. Photo taken 08/03/19.

US 77 at IH 69E

FM 2826 east at IH 69E/US 77IH 69/US 77 north of FM 2826

The first shields for IH 69E reference the northbound entrance ramp at the grade separated interchange joining FM 2826 with U.S. 77 south of Robstown. Photos taken 08/03/19.

IH 69E/US 77 north at FM 892 - Robstown, TX

U.S. 77 previously upgraded to IH 69E at the frontage road system beginning west of FM 892 (Lincoln Avenue). The freeway bypasses Robstown to the east. Photo taken by Jeff Royston (01/27/16).

IH 69E South Segment

South End US 77 US 83 at University Boulevard – Brownsville, Texas

IH 69E US 77 US 83 South at University Blvd / East Ave

IH 69E/US 77-83 south at SH 4 - Brownsville, TX

The final exit from IH 69E southbound is for SH 4 (International Boulevard / 18th Street) to Downtown Brownsville. Photo taken 08/03/19.

IH 69E/US 77-83 south at University Blvd - Brownsville, TX

The last half mile of IH 69E winds along a viaduct above Lincoln Park and wetland areas north of the Rio Grande. Photo taken 08/03/19.

IH 69E/US 77-83 south at University Blvd - Brownsville, TX

IH 69E concludes at the signalized intersection joining U.S. 77-83 with University Boulevard west to the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley and East Avenue. Photo taken 08/03/19.

IH 69E/US 77-83 south at University Blvd - Brownsville, TX

A shield assembly references IH 69E as continuing with U.S. 77-83 across University Boulevard to the customs station for the Veterans Bridge to Matamoros, Mexico. Photo taken 08/03/19.

IH 69E US 77 US 83 at University Blvd

University Blvd east at IH 69E/US 77-83 - Brownsville, TX

University Boulevard intersects the south end of IH 69E and U.S. 77/83 at the approach to the Veterans Bridge across the Rio Grande. Photo taken 08/03/19.

IH 69E/US 77-83 north - Brownsville, TX

IH 69E begins along side U.S. 77-83 north from University Boulevard and East Avenue in Brownsville. Photo taken 08/03/19.

North End US 77 – north of Raymondville, Texas

US 77 South at IH 69E

IH 69E/US 77 south at BU-77W - Raymondville, TX

4.95 miles south of the Kenedy County line, U.S. 77 separates with U.S. 77 Business (BU-77W) and resumes as IH 69E around the east side of Raymondville. Photo taken 08/03/19.

IH 69E US 77 North at

IH 69E/US 77 north at BU-77W - Raymondville, TX

IH 69E/U.S. 77 merge with U.S. 77 Business (BU-77W) at a wye interchange north of Raymondville. $22.67 million in work through October 31, 2019 upgrades the ensuing 3.98 mile stretch to freeway standards. Photo taken 08/03/19.

Sources

  1. Another 6.1 Miles Added to I-69 Texas System.Alliance for I-69 Texas web site, November 30, 2015.
  2. “Expansion of US 77-I69E making progress.” Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, TX), January 6, 2019.
  3. “Another 116 miles added to I-69 system in Texas.” Wharton Journal Spectator, June 5, 2013.
  4. Texas-Mexico – International Bridges and Border Crossings – Existing and Proposed – 2011, ftp://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/iro/2011_international_bridges.pdf Texas Department of Transportation.

Page updated August 9, 2019.