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Interstate 14 designation moves forward after Senate approval

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An attempt to designate Interstate 14 across five states is a step closer to getting to the president’s desk for final approval.

The U.S. Senate recently unanimously approved an amendment to the pending infrastructure bill workings its way through Congress. The amendment would officially designate Interstate 14 as a corridor across Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, according to a news release from the I-14/Gulf Coast Strategic Highway Coalition.

The I-14/Gulf Coast Strategic Highway Coalition is made up of cities, counties, local authorities and economic development organizations.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Georgia, offered the amendment jointly.

All 10 U.S. senators in the states that would receive the Interstate 14 designation were in support.

If completed, Interstate 14 would run 1,300 miles from Midland-Odessa to Augusta, Georgia, linking several military installations, and could take decades for a full build out, the release said.

“I applaud my Senate colleagues for supporting this bipartisan amendment to designate future Interstate-14 across Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, so we can begin the necessary work to upgrade this road system and connect strategic military installations across our states,” Cruz said in the release.

Warnock said he was proud to help push the interstate’s potential approval.

“This planned route would connect military installations across Georgia and drive economic opportunities to our rural communities,” he said in the release.

John Thompson, chairman of the coalition, said the interstate would link a dozen military installations across the five states.

The interstate would provide for more efficient freight movement and would provide additional roadway capacity between Interstates 10 and 20.

In addition, I-14 could become a natural disaster evacuation route and a high-elevation alternative to Interstate 10.

On Dec. 8, 2015, the Herald reported that U.S. Highway 190 would be named Interstate 14.

On Jan. 26, 2017, the Texas Transportation Commission announced that U.S. Highway 190 from Copperas Cove to Belton had received the first official designation as Interstate 14.

Local members of the coalition are:

David Blackburn, Bell County Judge — Board Vice Chair

Adrian Cannady, president of the Temple Economic Development Corporation

John Crutchfield, president/CEO of the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce

Tim Davis, Temple mayor

Keith Sledd, president of the Heart of Texas Defense Alliance

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