July 24, 2018

Volume Number 16


Issue Number 11


This issue of NEWSLANE consists of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Quarterly Report to Membership outlining accomplishments in the 2nd Quarter 2018.  This complete report may be downloaded HERE.  Please share with your staff and organizational leadership.

We are a voice for our small town, grassroots members who may otherwise not have access to the right audiences, as well as a conduit for industry to come together in support and promotion of transportation improvements.

We are committed to working as an Alliance to improve transportation infrastructure and business networks opportunities, by advocating for appropriate funding levels, so business and industry can thrive.

We are focused on the economic and business interests that are the lifeblood of the region.


Federal INFRA Grant Awarded to Heartland Expressway Expansion Project

  • The Nebraska Department of Transportation has been selected as the recipient for an $18.3 million federal grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA).
  • Currently, the first ten miles south of Alliance of the four-lane expansion project on U.S. 385 between Alliance and L-62A is nearing completion and this grant funding will be dedicated to the next segment south to L-62A. That leg of the project is expected to be completed by 2020. Following the completion of that leg, the next step will be construction on the stretch between Minatare and Angora Hill, which is projected to begin in 2024.
  • In the Alliance's meeting with USDOT staff in April during the Washington DC Fly-in, this project was an example that while not having the ability to attract private financing, it was still a critical rural project. The Alliance is pleased that the Administration chose this project for funding and thanks the Nebraska Congressional Delegation for supporting this project. Senator Deb Fischer specifically mentioned the Heartland Expressway in several meetings that included Secretary Chao. Finally, the Alliance thanks the Nebraska Department of Transportation for submitting it.

Interstate 27 Expansion

  • An initial draft of Talking Points was developed addressing estimated costs; conclusions of the Initial Assessment Report: Extension of I-27/Ports to Plains Corridor, TXDOT, November 2015 and the Texas Freight Mobility Plan, TxDOT, November 2, 2017; rural fatality rates; cost of traffic congestion along Interstate 35; and truck border crossings.

Theodore Roosevelt Expressway Improvements

  • U.S. 85 from Watford City N.D. to I-94 at Belfield N.D. for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)
    • The Draft EIS covers a 62-mile segment of the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway with an estimated cost of $500 million
    • The public meetings and comment period have ended and it is expected that the EIS will be completed this fall.
  • Long X Bridge
    • This project is a portion of the segment being addressed by the EIS.
    • The North Dakota Department of Transportation included $50 million in its 201802021 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) for this project.

Historical Construction Expansion Projects Mapping

Staff created maps showing the historical progress of the construction expansion projects across the entire Alliance Corridor. Texas mapping is divided by TXDOT Districts. These maps are available at: https://portstoplains.com/images/2018_historical_construction_expansion_projects_complete.pdf

The total federal and state investment across the nine-state corridor is $3.6 billion.

Mark Your Calendar for the Ports-to-Plains Annual Conference

Mark your calendars! The 21st Ports-to-Plains Alliance Annual Conference has been scheduled for October 30 - November 1, 2018 in Del Rio, Texas and Acuña, Coahuila, Mexico

Stay tuned! More details coming soon!

Upcoming Events



July 27 - Ports-to-Plains Alliance Quarterly Board of Directors Meeting, Lubbock, TX

October 30 - Ports-to-Plains Alliance Quarterly Board of Directors Meeting, Del Rio, Texas

October 30- November 1 - 21st Ports-to-Plains Annual Conference, Del Rio, Texas

Ports-to-Plains Alliance Staff

Duffy Hinkle

Vice President of Membership & Marketing
1500 Broadway, Suite 600
Lubbock, TX 79401
P: 806-368-6235

Joe Kiely
Vice President of Operations
PO Box 758
Limon, CO 80828
P: 719-740-2240

Cal Klewin
Executive Director
Theodore Roosevelt Expressway
PO Box 1306
22 E Broadway
Williston, ND 58802
P: 701-523-6171

Deb Cottier
Board of Directors
Heartland Expressway Association
706 West Third St.
Chadron, NE 69337
P: 308-432-4023