A small part of construction on new Interstate 14 is underway. Now a student coalition is promoting a complete I-14 stretching from Georgia to west Texas. The Youth Infrastructure Coalition wants an I-14 that would create an east-west alternative accross the southern reaches of the US between I-10 and I-20. Frank Lumpkin, YIC’s founder started the group to promote infrastructure and economic growth in an underserved area. In Texas, I-14 would run from the Louisiana border near Jasper, through Huntsville, Bryan/College Station, Temple/Killeen and hook up with I-10 near Fort Stockton.
“If you look at a map and take the demographics of those regions, you’ll find the median household income average is about 22 percent below the average for the entire United States. So, there’s definitely disparity and facts show it.”
YIC envisions I-14 being created primarily be the expansion and improvement of existing highways as a less expensive alternative to building an entirely new highway. In contrast to Rick Perry’s Texas Trans-Corridor proposal – which drew near universal outrage and opposition – I-14 seems to be winning local support as a number of municipalities that would be affected have passed resolutions in support of the super-highway.
San Angelo really wants an Interstate Highway running through its front yard (with apologies to John Mellencamp). Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) has introduced legislation to the House of Representatives that supports expanding Interstate 14 through Midland and San Angelo. The expanded route would begin at I-20 outside of Midland and run through San Angelo to meet the planned route of I-14 at Brady, with another spur connecting to I-10 near Junction.
The most likely method for getting approval would come if the planned expansion could be attached to a major infrastructure bill such as that languishing in Congress with scant attention from the Trump administration. Although it would be nice to have a clearer shot at heading to parts west, Red isn’t holding his breath while waiting for this one.
The first 25 miles of Interstate 14, or I-14 are nearing completion and will likely be opened near Fort Hood in Killeen before summer. The first segment is a conversion of US 190 to Interstate condition and status. The segment runs west from I-35 in Belton is intended to provide direct access to the main gate at Fort Hood in Killeen.
The purported intent of I-14 is to provide improved highway connections between U.S. Army facilities at Fort Hood, Fort Bliss and Fort Polk and the military deployment ports at Beaumont and Corpus Christi. I-14 is the result of the 2015 act of Congress created the Central Texas Corridor generally along the US 190 route. Various groups are pushing for expansion of the project to provide Interstate access to San Angelo and a connection with I-20 in Midland-Odessa.
Newly designated Interstate 14 will stretch from the South Carolina/Georgia border all the way to I-10 in West Texas. The super highway will largely follow the route of U.S. 190 through Texas. Texas cities to be linked by the new Interstate will include Menard, Brady, San Saba, Lampasas, Temple/Belton/Killeen, Hearne, College Station/Bryan, North Zulch, Madisonville, Livingston, Woodville and Jasper.