Interstate 69W overlays the western 1.75 miles of Loop 20 between the World Trade Bridge and IH 35 in north Laredo. This stretch doubles as the southernmost section 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 involved adding ramps at the exchange with IH 35, building new overpasses for the IH 69W main lanes and extending the freeway 2.2 miles east to International Boulevard. Costing $24.5 million, work at the systems interchange with IH 35 ran until November 21, 2019.
Phase 2 is part of the US 59 Loop Upgrade project that will extend the six lane freeway southward 7.20 miles with interchanges added at Shiloh Road, Del Mar Boulevard, University Boulevard, Jacaman Boulevard and Airport Drive. Funded within the 2021-24 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, the project outlines construction of three phases:
Phase 1 – $165 million, anticipated to let for construction in September 2022, from International Boulevard south 0.4 miles.
Phase 2 – $60 million, anticipated to let for construction in August 2024, from 0.36 miles south of International Boulevard to 0.12 miles south of E Corridor Road.
Phase 3 – $60 million, anticipated to let for construction in August 2024, from 0.4 miles north of E Corridor Road to U.S. 59 and BU 59Z
Environmental Assessments were completed by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) for Phases 1 and 2 and one for Phase 3 is ongoing.
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 (FHWA) 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