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I-14 Expansion: How do businesses off interstates benefit nearby towns?

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Posted at 4:44 PM, Aug 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-11 16:31:53-04

MADISONVILLE, Texas — Congress is set to vote on a 1 trillion national infrastructure plan this week, it's a plan that includes an expansion of interstate 14 across 5 states, stretching across Texas, including the Brazos Valley.

So how impactful are businesses on the side of the interstate?

A major one comes to mind here in Texas... Buc-ee's.

It's a business with an inviting beaver. The closest Buc-ee's to Bryan College Station is 40 minutes away in Madisonville.

This location gives motorists traveling I-45 between Dallas and Houston a good reason to stop in Madisonville.

"Every time I am on the road... at least once someone is requesting to go... If it ain't me," Herman Watson, Houston resident and frequent traveler said. "As soon as I heard of it, I had to stop and see what all of the fuss was about."

Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the Aggie-owned business is a must-stop when near one.

"They got everything.. you can definitely get gas. They have everything. I love the beef jerky, they have 20 different kinds. There's that. They have a lot of drinks.. They've got everything you need," Watson added.

The convenience store chain was founded by Texas A&M graduate Arch “Beaver” Aplin III.

With talk of I-14 expanding to Bryan-College Station, we wanted to know if the new stretch of blacktop could bring a Buc-ee's to Aggieland. We reached out to Aplin for comment.

His attorney Jeff Nadalo says while it’s not in their immediate plans, they are always looking to expand to new locations that make sense.

40 locations in all …. 38 of them in the Lonestar state. Buc-ee's is a staple on Texas highways.

"I heard it was basically like a big superstore of a gas station... this is probably the most gas pumps I have ever seen before," Jeoff Murray, another traveler who stopped at Buc-ee's said.

We asked the Mayor of Madisonville how impactful businesses similar to Buc-ee's are off interstates within rural towns and in relation to the 5-state I-14 expansion.

"Those types of businesses are good for the city and any new ones coming in will be good," the Mayor of Madisonville William Parten said. "14 (Interstate 14 project) will be a long way off... It's not determined yet where it will go. One of the routes is to come through Madisonville. It would be an asset to Madisonville."

If the expansion of Interstate 14 comes to fruition, travelers hope places like the home to the friendly beaver and perhaps the cleanest roadside restrooms will pop up.

"You'll have a place to fill up... Get anything you need and keep on going," Murray added.