Interstate 169 Texas
Interstate 169 overlays the westernmost 1.5 miles of SH 550, an eventual ten-mile toll road linking Interstate 69E & U.S. 77-83 in north Brownsville with the Port of Brownsville. Construction along the two remaining portions of SH 550 kicks off in winter 2016. Work finishes the expressway mainline between the companion frontage roads.5
A group of Texas dignitaries gathered at the intersection of Baker Lane and Frontage Road by the SH 550 toll road to unveil the first sign for Interstate 169 on February 16, 2016.6 When the entire toll road is completed, SH 550 will be resigned fully as IH 169.
AASHTO approved the establishment of Interstate 169 at their May 15, 2015 meeting. The U.S. Department of Transportation followed on November 5, 2015,5 and the Texas Transportation Commission approved 1.5 miles of IH 169 at their meeting on December 17, 2015. Managed by the Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority, SH 550 was developed to improve access to the Port of Brownsville and associated industrial areas to the east of Brownsville. The toll road replaced the former route of FM 551.
The initial 1.9 mile segment of the toll road opened on March 10, 2011 with new travel lanes and overpasses above FM 1847 (Paredes Line Road) and a UP Railroad line. This piece of infrastructure cost $10 million and was untolled until May 10, 2011.1
Work continued on the second phase of SH 550, a 3.01-mile stretch named the Port Spur. The $34-million project constructed new roadway from FM 3248 southeast to Texas 48 (Brownsville-Port Isabel Highway) and a new main entrance to the Port of Brownsville. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the Port Spur on May 29, 2013.1,3 The SH 550 Port of Brownsville entrance opened following another ribbon cutting held on February 19, 2014.4
Phase three of SH 550 consists of building the remaining portions of the expressway mainline and their companion frontage road system. This includes work to build a high speed interchange with Interstate 69E & U.S. 77-83.1 $44 million in construction on phase three commenced in March 2013, with direct connectivity between I-69E and the Port established in January 2015.2
|IH 169 ends at IH 69E & U.S. 77-83 on the north side of Brownsville. IH 69E runs south to central Brownsville and northwest to San Benito and Harlingen.
|The current east end of IH 169 is located at Old Alice Road in north Brownsville. The east end will eventually be at SH 44 and the Port of Brownsville main entrance.
"SH 550: A direct connection to international trade." Brownsville Economic Development Council, December 17, 2013.
"Big money transportation projects make gains in 2014." The Herald (Brownsville, TX) January 2, 2015.
"S.H. 550 ribbon-cutting crowd gets big I-69 news." The Herald (Brownsville, TX) May 29, 2013.
"PORT OF BROWNSVILLE - New State Highway 550 connector entry opens." The Herald (Brownsville, TX) February 20, 2014.
"SH 550 segment gets new name" The Herald (Brownsville, TX) November 9, 2015.
"Portion of Cameron County highway gets new designation." The Monitor (Brownsville, TX), February 16, 2016.
Page Updated February 18, 2016.