66ºF

Ask 2: Why was U.S. Highway 59 changed to Interstate 69?

Traffic moves along a freeway in Houston on Sept. 6, 2017. (KPRC)
Traffic moves along a freeway in Houston on Sept. 6, 2017. (KPRC)

Question: “Why was highway 59 changed to 69?”

Answer: The Texas Transportation Commission started designating parts of U.S. Highway 59 to Interstate 69 in the Houston area in 2012.

In June 2012, the agency approved the name change for a 35-mile stretch of highway from just north of the Liberty County line south to IH-610 North Loop in Houston.

About six months later, the commission agreed on renaming a 28.4-mile stretch from the West Loop south near Spur 529 in Rosenberg.

In March 2015, it approved to close the 11-mile gap from the North Loop south to the West Loop.

“The Texas Transportation Commission finds that the designation will facilitate the flow of traffic, promote public safety and maintain continuity of the state highway system,” said Danny Perez with the Texas Department of Transportation.

In the works for many years, I-69 is a multi-state highway known as the “NAFTA Highway” linking the Mexican and Canadian borders and many U.S. metro areas.

Despite the designation, Houstonians have and will continue to see the U.S. 59 signs.

“I-69 is designated concurrent with U.S. 59; therefore, signs for U.S. 59 will remain in place,” said Perez.

Work on U.S. 59 between CR-227 in Wharton County and Spur 10 in Fort Bend County is currently under construction and will also be designated in the future.