WASHINGTON — U.S. Reps. Brian Babin (TX-36), a member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, and Ralph Abraham (LA-5) today announced the creation of the bipartisan Congressional I-14 Caucus. The caucus will advance the goals of Rep. Babin’s H.R. 6111, the I-14 Expansion & Improvement Act of 2018, by providing an official platform for Members of Congress to communicate and collaborate with local officials and stakeholders on the development, financing and construction of the new interstate highway in the Southeast U.S.
The bill promoted by the caucus, Rep. Babin’s H.R. 6111, authorizes an expanded interstate route across Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana, using the general pattern of existing roads and highways but, importantly, leaves the final route determination to state and local officials. The bill builds upon the designation secured by Rep. Babin in the 2015 FAST Act highway bill, the original authorizing legislation for I-14, establishing the Central Texas Corridor as the future I-14, and does not eliminate any currently authorized routes. The route could eventually extend across Alabama to Georgia.
"Our interstate highway system truly connects our nation from coast to coast and represents American ingenuity at its best, but as populations shift and new economic and military centers emerge, the need to strengthen those connections requires action,” said Rep. Babin. “The economic boost from this interstate highway will extend far beyond the designated route to strengthen communities throughout the surrounding regions, and I am pleased that my colleagues have committed to work together to see this highway constructed and its many benefits realized. I-14 will provide significant advancements to better integrate ports and military installations with our existing infrastructure network and is already known as the ‘Forts to Ports’ highway. I am particularly pleased the bill includes a nonstop interstate connection from Goodfellow Air Force Base in West Texas to the strategic seaport in Beaumont, Texas.
“To spur economic growth, President Trump has called for Congressional action to make robust improvements to our nation's transportation infrastructure, and this caucus will work to ensure I-14 receives full consideration as new highway bill legislation is written in the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. Through combining our efforts, our caucus will work with officials and stakeholders both in Washington and the impacted states and communities to achieve our shared purpose of better connecting areas which have seen economic and population growth as well as making available new economic opportunities to rural areas underserved by current transportation routes.”
H.R. 6111 has been referred to the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, where efforts to write a new comprehensive national infrastructure bill are underway. Joining Reps. Babin and Abraham as charter members of the Congressional I-14 Caucus are Reps. Drew Ferguson (GA-03), Roger Williams (TX-25), Mike Conaway (TX-11), Bill Flores (TX-17), Mike Johnson (LA-04), Gene Green (TX-29) and John Carter (TX-31).
Click here to view the bill text.
Click here to view a map of the current and proposed I-14 routes.