September, 2018

Volume Number 16


Issue Number 12

The Ports-to-Plains Annual Conference is scheduled for October 30 through November 1, 2018 in Del Rio, Texas and Acuna, Coahuila.  With a theme of United We Build, the agenda will be packed with speakers looking to the future development of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor. See the article below and follow the link to for information on the agenda, lodging, sponsors and registration.

The issue of NEWSLANE introduces Hance Scarborough LLP as a new representative of the Alliance in Texas.  With a focus on the expansion of Interstate 27, Hance Scarborough will work with the legislature, TxDOT and others.

Finally, in Colorado, Ports-to-Plains Alliance is endorsing Proposition 110 which would provide $357.2 million for projects in Colorado on the Ports-to-Plains and Heartland Expressway corridors.  See a summary of the proposition and its impacts on impacts on Alliance efforts in Colorado.

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.


Hance Scarborough LLP to Represent Ports-to-Plains Alliance in Texas

The Ports-to-Plains Alliance Board of Directors is pleased to announce Hance Scarborough LLP will provide public policy consulting and governmental relations representation for Ports-to-Plains on policy issues and regulatory matters before the Texas Legislature, state administrative and regulatory agencies.

This effort will focus on moving forward the recommendation made by the Texas Freight Mobility Study in 2017 which identified the extension of Interstate 27 from Lubbock to Laredo as one of two Strategic Freight Projects.  Below is the description of the Strategic Project from the Texas Freight Mobility Study.

I-27 Extension – from Lubbock to Laredo

The Ports-to-Plains (I-27) corridor from Laredo to Denver was designated as a high-priority corridor on the National Highway System in 1998, and in 2015, a TxDOT initial assessment report on the I-27 corridor found it to be critical to linking the energy and agricultural sectors to state, national and international trade. It would be a catalyst to spur economic development in this part of the state and support agricultural and energy sector development, the state’s economic engine. The I-27 extension would provide the only major north-south corridor in Texas west of I-35, and it would intersect three major east-west routes: I-10, I-20 and I-40. Currently, nearly 125 miles between Amarillo and Lubbock are designated as I-27. The I-27 extension would upgrade approximately 500 miles from Lubbock to Laredo at a conceptual cost estimate of $5.2 billion. TxDOT has recommended more detailed study of the extension to determine whether an incremental improvement approach or a complete interstate facility approach would meet safety and mobility needs.

Cheri Huddleston will be working with the Alliance on behalf of Hance Scarborough as a legislative and public affairs specialist who joined Hance Scarborough, LLP in December of 2006. She has experience in public policy, government relations, and public relations. Ms. Huddleston served for almost 12 years as a senior staff member for a Texas State Senator. Through her tenure, she gained knowledge of the Senate and House Rules, the legislative process, researching topics, has developed continuing relationships with staff and office holders, helping draft legislation, and analyzing bills. Ms. Huddleston has extensive experience representing clients regarding issues as diverse as alcohol regulation, pharmacy, insurance, workers' compensation, public financing, economic development, and transportation. Ms. Huddleston meets frequently with policy makers and top administrators of state regulatory agencies. She is a graduate of the University of Texas and is the daughter of two practicing pharmacists.

Special Invitation to 21st Annual Ports-to-Plains Alliance Conference

Changes have taken place in the organization over the past year.  This conference will bring those changes into focus under the theme United We Build

In Texas, the expansion of Interstate 27 is one of our top priorities. Having the Texas Freight Mobility Study recommend that expansion as one of two Texas Strategic Projects provided a great opportunity.  The organization must take that recommendation to the completion.  Cheri Huddleston of Hance Scarborough will present on Moving Interstate 27 Initiative Forward.

Alvin New, a new member of the Texas Transportation Commission, will be a Keynote Speaker.  New is a business investor, rancher and former San Angelo Mayor. New is a life-long resident of West Texas and was born in Brownfield. He has lived mostly in or near San Angelo since 1981.

The new Chair of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance, John Osborne will close out the first day speaking to the theme, United We Build. West Texas must be united in its efforts.  John is the President/CEO of the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance.

As usual, the conference will not only be informative, it will also be enjoyable.  Our co-hosts in Del Rio, Texas and Acuña, Coahuila have planned a great showcase of their communities.

We encourage you to send a delegation from your organization to hear the latest so we can learn how to truly carry out the theme...United We Build.

We do have a special rate for members of $125 per person, so take advantage of that rate today. Any person you consider a representative of your organization is eligible for that rate.

Make sure your passport/passcard is current for this conference! Additional information, as well as the working agenda, lodging information and registration, is available online by clicking here.

Ports-to-Plains Supports Proposition 110 on Colorado Ballot

New Transportation Revenue Beneficial to Corridor Development and Communities

Passage of Colorado Proposition 110 in November would provide funding to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to bond $6 billion of transportation projects using the new revenue from a 0.62% increase in state sales tax.  Proposition 110 is a result of a citizen initiative that successfully petitioned on the the November 2018 statewide ballot.  All tax increases in Colorado require a majority of the voters in a General Election to vote Yes.  Details on Proposition 110 are available at

Specifically for the Ports-to-Plains Alliance are four projects totalling $357.2 million that will be included in the bonding program included in Proposition 110. 

  • US 287: Lamar Reliever Route (Ports-to-Plains)
    • This project involves the phased construction of a new, two-lane roadway on US 287 and the realignment of US 50
    • Project Cost: $211 million
    • Project Benefits:
      • Mobility: Addresses congestion issues through downtown Lamar and improves travel time for through traffic.
      • Economic Vitality: Will reduce truck congestion downtown and allow for an improved downtown pedestrian experience.
      • Other: Congressionally designated as a high-priority corridor (Ports to Plains). 
  • Colorado Highway 71 Expansion (Heartland Expressway)
    • The highway—defined by its rural character, rolling farmland, and bisecting interstate highways—can be split into three logical segments: Limon to Brush (including Last Chance and Woodrow), Brush to CO 14 (including Snyder), and CO 14 north to the Colorado-Nebraska state line (traveling through the Pawnee National Grasslands).
    • Project Cost: $40 million
    • Project Benefits:
      • Mobility: CO 71 from Limon north to the Colorado-Nebraska state line is the only unimproved section of the International Ports-to-Plains Corridor, which spans from Mexico to Canada.
      • Economic Vitality: Represents a segment of the Heartland Expressway, one of four federally-designated, high-priority freight corridors advocated for by the Ports-to-Plains Alliance
  • I-76: Fort Morgan to Brush: Phase 4 (Heartland Expressway)
    • Project Description: This project will reconstruct I-76 east of Brush in Morgan County with the reconstruction of both lanes of eastbound and westbound I-76, the interchange at US 6 and two I-76 bridges (spanning the BNSF Railroad and Bijou Creek), that are functionally obsolete.
    • Project Cost: $41.2 million
    • Project Benefits:
      • Mobility: Address safety concerns and system preservation.
      • Other: Reconstructs two functionally obsolete bridges.
  • I-76: Fort Morgan to Brush Phase 5
    • Project Description: Project provides for the reconstruction of I-76 through FortMorgan in Morgan County. The project will reconstruct both lanes of the interstate in the eastbound and westbound directions, reconstruct interchanges at CO 144, CO 52 (Main Street in Fort Morgan) and the Barlow Road interchange with new structures.
    • Project Cost: $65 million
    • Project Benefits:
      • Mobility: The project will address safety concerns and system preservation.

Upcoming Events



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 / Acuna, Coahuila, MX

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