Interstate 69W overlays the western 1.75 miles of the Loop 20 freeway between the World Trade Bridge and IH 35 in north Laredo. This stretch doubles as the southernmost stretch of U.S. 59. The planned route of IH 69W takes the interstate northeast from Laredo to George West, the future north end of IH 69C, and onward to Victoria and a rendezvous with IH 69E.
Loop 20/U.S. 59 east from IH 35 will become a part of IH 69W as upgrades to the roadway are completed. A two phase project was outlined in Summer 2014 for upgrading Loop 20 to a limited access highway.1 Phase 1 involves adding ramps at the exchange with IH 35, building new overpasses for the IH 69W main lanes and extending the freeway east to International Boulevard. Costing $24.5 million, work at the systems interchange with IH 35 runs until November 21, 2019. Once complete, the Loop 20/U.S. 59 freeway will extend nearly 2.5 miles east of IH 35.
Phase 2 will lengthen the freeway portion southward with interchanges added at Shiloh Road, Del Mar Boulevard, University Boulevard, Jacaman Boulevard and Airport Drive. Estimated at $21.5 million, the grade separation at Shiloh Road is anticipated to start by 2023. Work on the remainder of SL 20 south to BU-59Z is slated for the 2024-29 time frame.
The Texas Transportation Commission approved the redesignation of 1.4 miles of Loop 20 in Laredo as Interstate 69W on June 26, 2014. This followed approval by the Federal Highway Administration on June 17, 2014.1 The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approved the realignment of U.S. 59 northward from Saunders Street along Loop 20 (Bob Bullock Loop) to the World Trade Bridge on May 29, 2014. The former route along Saunders Street west to IH 35 in Laredo was renumbered as U.S. 59 Business (BU-59Z).
Work broke ground on May 23, 2016 to convert the existing at-grade crossing between Loop 20/U.S. 59 and International Boulevard into an interchange. The International Boulevard Overpass Project required no additional right of way, reducing the overall cost.2 The $22 million project wrapped up in November 2017 after 18 months of construction.3