property owners upset over possible I-69 southern route
DAVID TEWES, The Victoria Advocate
and Ellen Buchanan were looking forward to spending the rest of
their retirement years in their new home near the scenic
Guadalupe River bottom.
they’re wondering whether that dream will become a nightmare.
$290,000 house in southern Victoria County and 266 acres that
have been in Ellen’s family since 1883 could be in the path of
the Trans-Texas Corridor/Interstate 69.
just be devastated,” said Lee, 69. “This is a very serious
environmental impact study done for the Texas Department of
Transportation shows the preferred route for the super highway
would be north of Victoria. State transportation officials have
said that’s based strictly on environmental issues and could
officials know that and are pushing for a route south of
Victoria that uses as much existing U.S. 59 right of way as
Metropolitan Planning Organization, the county’s transportation
coordinating body, is drafting a letter calling for the state to
take the highway south. The county commissioners court and the
city council have passed resolutions requesting the state use as
much existing right of way as possible in developing the
feel like the county commissioners and city folks aren’t really
looking at the situation, ”Buchanan said. “It doesn’t make
logical sense to go south of town.”
would involve building more and larger bridges, which would add
tremendously to the cost, he said. The highway would also act as
a dam and cause the Guadalupe’s floodwaters to back up into
downtown Victoria, he said.
Charlie Baros, 75, owns three tracts of land that total 400
acres. Each could be in the south path of the highway.
property wouldn’t be worth anything,” he said. “It would totally
the landowners south of Victoria aren’t speaking up and they
aren’t being represented by their elected officials, Baros said.
don’t have anybody out there defending us,” he said. “That’s why
I’m a little concerned about it.”
County Commissioner Wayne Dierlam, who is also chairman of the
Metropolitan Planning Organization, said either route would come
through his precinct.
don’t know how you’re going to win in this situation,” he said.
“Nobody wants it to go over their property. There’s no easy
Dierlam said he needs more time to study the issue, the south
route seems to make more sense.
would be closer to the industrial plants and the ports in
Victoria and Calhoun counties. It could also use some of the
U.S. 59 right of way, which means less private property would be
don’t want to take anybody’s land,” he said. “I feel sorry for
anybody that’s going to get it.”
County Commissioner Gary Burns’ precinct in the southwest part
of the county would also be affected by either route. But he
prefers the south.
really don’t think they’ll choose the northern route when they
get all of the facts,” he said. “Preferably it will be the
southern route using existing right of way.”
Burns said that’s why he’s urging everyone with an interest to
attend a town hall meeting Tuesday on the project. It will begin
at 6:30 p.m. in the Victoria Community Center.