Your Connection to the

Ports-to-Plains Region

August 30, 2016

Volume Number 14
Issue Number 17

I was in Denver about a week ago and commented to a friend that I was surprised to see so many people wearing Broncos jerseys in the middle of summer.  He pointed out that the Broncos had a game that night and those people were downtown eating an early dinner before heading over to the stadium.  Wow, where did the summer go!  The kids are in school, football has started and we are heading into Labor Day weekend.  That also means that the Ports-to-Plains Annual Conference is just around the corner, September 13 – 15 in San Angelo, Texas.

Actually, the conference is a couple of weeks earlier this year than usual, so you do not want to delay making your plans to attend any longer.  The PTP staff, along with our co-hosts from the City of San Angelo and the City of San Angelo Development Corporation have been working hard all summer to put on a great conference.  Heck, we actually had our first planning meeting last December, which shows just how much effort has been put into ensuring that you have a great experience.  We have an outstanding lineup of speakers assembled to deliver great information that you can take home to help you grow your communities.  We also have people registered to attend all the way from Canada to Mexico, creating a tremendous networking opportunity.  Finally we have great entertainment lined up so you will have a good time as well.  So don’t wait any longer.  Go to today to register for the Ports-to-Plains Annual Conference.

 Michael Reeves, President

Ports-to-Plains Top 6

Registration Now Open

 See you in San Angelo, TX on September 13-15, 2016


Click on the image above for additional information including the Conference Summary, Agenda, Sponsors, Accommodations, and Registration Link.

EARLY REGISTRATION for $150.00 ends August 30, 2016



The Agenda has been finalized.  Attend and hear the latest information on the River of Commerce that runs through the Ports-to-Plains Alliance region including:

  • THE RIVER OF COMMERCE IN A STATE ECONOMY… IMPORTANCE OF INFRASTRUCTURE - James Bass, Executive Director, Texas Department of Transportation
  • CONFLUENCE OF RIVERS OF COMMERCE: I-69, I-14 AND I-27  - Judge John Thompson, Chairman, Gulf Coast Strategic Highway Coalition, Former Chairman, Alliance For I-69
  • THE RIVER RUNS THROUGH NORTH AMERICA… BALANCE OF TRADE AND SECURITY - José Cruz Hernández, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems and David Kettles, Government of Alberta
  • THE RIVER REQUIRES MULTIMODAL CONNECTIONS… RAIL 101 - Federico Diaz Page, Texas Pacifico Railroad

  • LEGISLATIVE PERSPECTIVES ON THE RIVER OF COMMERCE… TIME TO FULFILL THOSE PROMISES - State Representative Dustin Burrows, Texas House District 83 and Timothy Parker, New Mexico Department of Transportation
  • HEALTH CARE FEEDS INTO NORTH AMERICA’S RIVER OF COMMERCE - Dr. Tedd Mitchell, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

  • COMMERCE CONNECTING NORTH AMERICA TO YOUR CITY - Matthew Rooney, George W. Bush Presidential Center

  • PARTNERS ALONG THE RIVERUpdates for all Ports-to-Plains Alliance Parner Organizations including Eastern Alberta Trade Corridor, Heartland Expressway, Theodore Roosevelt Expressway and the original Ports-to-Plains Corridor

Spouse’s Tour

Wednesday, September 14th from 10:00am to 2:00pm departing from the Clarion hotel. It is a shopping tour and lunch. Signup at Registration Desk.

#ThenStaytheWeekendinSan AngeloTexas

See information on Post Conference Activites including a Fishing Event and RiverFest below.

Comment Period on National Multimodal Freight Network Closes September 6th

Ports-to-Plains Alliance and its U.S. partners, Heartland Expressway Association and Theodore Roosevelt Expressway, are submitting letters to USDOT by the September 6, 2016 deadline regarding the Final National Multimodal Freight Network. This network, which will be designated by USDOT by December 4, 2016.

The Alliance has urged the state DOTs to make similar comments by the deadline.

Even though there is no specific funding in FAST Act for National Munltimodal Freight Network, it is critical for a rural corridor to be included because the NMFN will be used to:

  • assist states in guiding resources;
  • inform freight planning;
  • assist in prioritizing federal investment (e.g., FASTLANE grants);
  • assess and support Federal investments to meet multimodal freight policy goals.

The Alliance is making the following comments:

  • The Alliance respectfully requests the Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy to give special consideration for addition to the Final National Multimodal Freight Network for multi-state corridors like the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Corridor, especially where such corridors are made up of congressionally-designated high priority corridors and are critical to international freight movements. 
  • Additionally the Alliance requests the Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy to identify portions of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Corridor that meet the criteria for Critical Rural Freight Facilities and Corridors for inclusion in the National Multimodal Freight Network.
The first primary request is driven by the fact that High Priority Corridors on the National Highway System have been identified by Congress since 1992 and should be considered for inclusion in the Final National Multimodal Freight Network.

The second request to identify the Alliance corridors as Critical Rural Freight Facilities and Corridors is driven by the criteria identified in the FAST Act including

  • being multi-state rural arterials 
  • provide access or service to energy exploration, development, installation, or production areas. 
  • provide access or service to agriculture facilities including grain elevators and other facilities connecting agriculture production to processing facilities.
  • connect to international ports of entry including ports of entry in Texas at Laredo, Eagle Pass and Del Rio.
  • a number of ports in North Dakota and Montana between Sweetgrass, MT and Portal, ND.
  • address the stated goals and considerations that are outlined in the FAST Act.

If you or your organization wish to make comments supporting these designations to the Final National Multimodal Freight Network, contact Joe Kiely, Vice Presdent of Operations at or call him at 719-740-2240 to get details about the process.

National Working Summit on Transportation in Rural America

We know transportation moves rural America. Rural communities need safe, viable roads and multi-modal systems to move people from place to place; and to move goods and services to markets, often across long distances. Without reliable and well-maintained transportation networks through rural areas, visitors cannot enjoy iconic travel and recreation opportunities; and businesses cannot ensure coast-to-coast delivery of goods.

Why now?

Increased national emphasis on reducing fatal and injury crashes. A safe, efficient and advanced transportation system is a foundational building block – an essential bridge that enables tourism, technology development, agriculture, commerce and other key elements of prosperous rural communities and a vibrant national economy. If action is going to happen, it is now.

What makes this summit different?

You. This summit is all-inclusive, bringing together key leaders and grassroots stakeholders to articulate key safety and transportation issues that impact quality of life and economic prosperity in rural areas, and to identify collaborative opportunities to advocate for and implement initiatives that advance the deployment of a safe, efficient, seamless, and financially sustainable rural transportation network.

Link to Summit Information

#MeetMeinSanAngelo  #ThenStaytheWeekendinSan Angelo
Stay in San Angelo an Extra Couple of Days for the Stripe’s River Fest

Fishing Event

The City of San Angelo is sponsoring a Fishing Event on Thursday, September 15th for those who are interested. Ten poles will be available with bait starting at 6:00 pm at the San Angelo Bosque on the Concho. Fish are added to the river every two weeks throughout the summer including channel catfish on September 2nd.

Stripe’s River Fest

Randy Rogers Band to headline Stripes River Fest Sept. 16-17
The Randy Rogers Band, one of the biggest acts in Texas country music, headlines the Stripes River Fest 2016, which returns to the banks of the Concho River September 16-17 with three concerts, a competitive washer-pitching tournament and a teeming kids court.

Many River Fest activities are free.

Tickets to the Randy Rogers Band concert on Saturday, Sept. 17, are on sale only at All tickets are general admission and cost $20. VIP packages are available for $60 each. Children 12 and younger will be admitted free.

River Fest’s festivities begin Friday, September 16, with a concert headlined by Tejano artist AJ Castillo, who performs in both Spanish and English. Stefani Montiel and Los Tejanos will open the show, which begins at 7 p.m. at the Bill Aylor Sr. Memorial RiverStage, 16 E. Avenue A, and continues through midnight. Gates open at 6 p.m.

For complete information and tickets 

Link to RiverFest Ad


2016 Colorado Transportation Summit – November 1, 2016

The focus of the 2016 Colorado Transportation Matters Summit will be the customer experience. Join us as we showcase how technology and best practices in transportation around the country (and even outside of the transportation sector!) can elevate and possibly even transform the customer experience as they pursue freedom and connection through travel.

The Ports-to-Plains Alliance is sponsoring the Summit

Link to Summit Information

We need to rebuild rural infrastructure… Farm and Dairy Magazine

In fat times and lean alike, farmers and ranchers know they have to spend money to make money. A worn-out combine, like a worn-out bull, is too costly to keep — even if you have to borrow the money to replace it.

That’s the way it works with our nation, too; we need to continually invest in its operation, even if that requires borrowing, to make our future more certain.

When it comes to the nation’s infrastructure, however, we’ve spent 30 years borrowing time, not money. Now, according to a May 2016 report by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), “The nation needs to spend $3.32 trillion (over the next decade) to keep its ports, highways, bridges, trains, water, and electric facilities up to date.”
“But,” it adds, we have “funded only $1.88 trillion of that.”

Worse, Reuters notes in its review of the report, “The shortfall rises to $5.18 trillion through 2040 without new funding commitments.” Read on…

Upcoming Events

August 30-31 - Williston Economic Summit and Trade Show, Williston, ND

September 7-9 - National Working Summit on Transportation in Rural America, Denver, CO

September 13 - Ports-to-Plains Alliance Board Meeting in San Angelo, TX

September 13-15 - 19th Ports-to-Plains Alliance Conference in San Angelo, TX

November 1 - Colorado Transportation Summit, Denver, CO

 Ports-to-Plains Alliance Staff

Michael Reeves
5401 N MLK Blvd. #395
Lubbock, TX 79403
P: 806-775-2338
F: 806-775-3981

Duffy Hinkle
Vice President of Membership & Marketing
5401 N MLK Blvd. #395
Lubbock, TX 79403
P: 806-775-3373
F: 806-775-3981

Fernando Madero
Vice President of Mexico Operations
Jazmines 123, Torreon Jardin
Torreon, Mexico
P: 011 52 (871) 120 1030

Joe Kiely
Vice President of Operations
PO Box 9
Limon, CO 80828
P: 303-586-1787
F: 719-775-9073

Jeri Strong
Executive Assistant
Ports-To-Plains Alliance
5401 N. MLK Blvd. Ste. 395
Lubbock, TX 79403
P: 806-775-3369

Richard "Buzz" David
Economic and Business Development
5629 NE Foster Rd.
Bainbridge Island, WA  09110
P: 806-678-3160

Cal Klewin
Executive Director
Theodore Roosevelt Expressway
PO Box 1306
22 E Broadway
Williston, ND 58802
P: 701-577-8110

Deb Cottier
Board of Directors
Heartland Expressway Association
706 West Third St.
Chadron, NE 69337
P: 308-432-4032

Jay Slemp
Eastern Alberta Trade Corridor
212 2nd Ave. W
Box 820
Hanna AB T0J 1P0
P: 403-854-0424