Back in the late 1990s, a study was conducted to ascertain the best alternate route for evacuations going north on Highway 59 in the Diboll area.
After about 15 years of meetings and planning sessions, the members of the I-69 Angelina and Nacogdoches Counties Committee gave presented their recommendations to Texas Department of Transportation officials.
And, the results of that study haven’t changed.
The I-69 project will travel north along Highway 59 to just south of Diboll, near the new weigh station, and then veer east off Highway 59 and retie into the highway near the Angelina County Airport.
It’s being called the Diboll Relief Route and is the No. 1 priority among the Angelina County segments, said Kelly Morris, TxDOT’s manager for I-69 project. However, there are no construction funds allocated for the project and no timetable for when the project will commence.
The reason the Diboll Relief Route is a priority is that it already has cleared environmental studies and some rights-of-way already have been purchased.
It is expected that the Diboll Relief Route will include overpasses at any county roads, with the only access mid-route perhaps being at FM 1818.
Diboll Mayor John McClain and Diboll City Manager Dennis McDuffie have been members of the I-69 committee.
“I think it will help (Diboll’s economy),” McClain said. “We will have the opportunity to acquire land and develop new business along the interstate.”