Interstate 14’s Route Officially Expands to San Angelo, Midland and Odessa
Monday, President Joe Biden officially signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 into law. By virtue of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure bill becoming law, the corridor for Interstate 14 was officially expanded east of Texas into the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. I-14's route was also expanded westward to include the cities of San Angelo, Midland and Odessa in West Texas.
According to the Gulf Coast Strategic Highway Coalition, an interstate highway signed I-14N will start at the intersection I-20 and Texas State Highway 158 in Midland. I-14N will continue east on Texas 158 to US 87 in Sterling City. I-14N will then follow the current US 87 route from San Angelo to Eden and end at I-14/US 190 in Brady. In addition, US 83 will be upgraded to interstate highway standards from Eden, south to Menard and intersect with I-10 in Junction.
Another change to the previously designated I-14 is that US 190 west of Brady and concluding at Interstate Highway 10's intersection with US 385 will be signed as I-14S. US 385 from its intersection with I-10, northbound to Odessa, will also be upgraded to interstate highway standards.
The signing of I-14N (north) and I-14S (south) will be just like the current signing of I-35E and I-35W for the two segments of Interstate 35 through Dallas/Fort Worth.
The net result of these upgrades will be that both Midland, and Odessa, will have new highway connections to both I-10 and I-14. Also, San Angelo and Goodfellow Air Force Base will become connected to the Interstate Highway System via I-14.
Another change in Texas for Interstate 14 is the creation of Interstate 214 as a loop around Bryan/College Station. The Texas Department of Transportation will have to conduct planning and environmental studies before determining the route for I-214.
Officially, the newly designated I-14 route runs from Midland-Odessa across Central Texas continuing east to Alexandria, Louisiana, then to Laurel, Mississippi, continuing east to Montgomery, Alabama, and Columbus, Georgia before terminating at Augusta, Georgia.
I-14 will be built primarily by incrementally upgrading existing highways in each of the states.
“We understand that building I-14 will require billions of dollars and many years to complete but we are on our way,” said John Thompson, chairman of the I-14 Gulf Coast Strategic Highway Coalition which has been building grassroots support for I-14 over the past decade.
“The I-14 system will improve connectivity between regions, provide freight movement efficiency, link important military facilities and strategic seaports, create a high elevation alternative for coastal sections of I-10 that are prone to flooding, and spur economic development opportunities along the 1,300 mile path,” he said.
The first sections of the I-14 corridor in Texas was approved by Congress in 2015 and a 25-mile section of freeway from Killeen/Fort Hood to I-35 in Central Texas became I-14 in 2017.
The I-14 Gulf Coast Strategic Highway Coalition also noted that the Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia state departments of transportation all provided Congress with letters supporting the new interstate corridor.
“We must now work to win funding for planning and construction of projects on the corridor, work that must be done with Congress, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the departments of transportation in each of the states,” Thompson said.
The new Interstate 14 corridor will provide interstate highway routes to link a number of military facilities in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. They are: Fort Bliss at El Paso, Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo, Fort Hood at Killeen, Fort Polk in Louisiana, Camp Shelby at Hattiesburg, Kessler AFB at Biloxi, Maxwell AFB at Montgomery, Fort Benning at Columbus, Robins AFB at Macon, Fort Gordon near Augusta and Fort Stewart near Savannah.