August 2020

Volume Number 18


Issue Number 8

Wednesday, August 5, was an exceptionally good day for Big Spring, Texas and Ports-to-Plains Alliance as the ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the completion of the North Hwy 87 Relief Route in Big Spring, Texas! More on this in the newsletter below.

Also included in the newsletter is the 2050 forecast for movement of goods in the Texas portion of the Corridor and traffic congestion relief from the I-27 extension feasibility study that you should find interesting. The Ports-to-Plains Advisory Committee met virtually the first week of August to discuss the Segment Committee report from the Study. The Advisory Committee will meet again in August to continue the review of the report. 

There is a virtual public meeting scheduled on the Ports-to-Plains Feasibility Study scheduled for August 25 & 26 with all the details included below. Please consider logging on to this meeting if you can find time in your schedule. You can ask questions and provide comments as well as learn more about this exciting initiative and what it is projected to do for the Ports-to-Plains region and the entire state.  

Thank you for your interest and support for the Ports-to-Plains Alliance! Together we have a louder voice to GET THINGS DONE! 

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.


Relief Route Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Held in Big Spring, Texas

Big Spring City Councilwoman and Ports-to-Plains Board Member Gloria McDonald Cuts the Ceremonial Ribbon

Photo Courtesy of Bill Schooler

On Wednesday, Aug 5, 2020, a group of dignitaries, elected official from County and City, and citizens met on the North portion of Highway 87 Relief Route bridge to celebrate the completion of that Route. In attendance were Senator Kel Seliger; Blair Shroeder, Regional Director for U.S. Congressman Jodey Arrington; Howard County Judge Kathryn Wiseman and Mayor Pro-Tem, Camilla Strande.

Ports-to-Plains Alliance appreciates the many Big Spring community leaders including the late W.B. Crooker, former Howard County Commissioner and Ports-to-Plains Board Member. We also thank our current board member and City Councilwoman Gloria McDonald for her service on the Ports-to-Plains Board as she has worked tirelessly on this project as well as many other initiatives for Ports-to-Plains. 

"The US 87 Truck Relief Route in Howard County is the Abilene District’s largest-ever project totaling $118m with $25m in Proposition 12 funding from other TxDOT Districts as part of that total," stated Councilwoman Gloria McDonald. "The total length of the Relief Route is 7.5 miles north and 8 miles south. This project is part of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor and is a perfect example of City, County, Region, and State efforts to create an outcome that is beneficial to the entire Nation."

Ports-to-Plains Chairman and Lubbock Economic Alliance President, John Osborne stated, "We are thrilled by the completion of the Relief Route. This new relief route will bring safety to downtown Big Spring while allowing truck traffic to more easily transport goods along the Ports-to-Plains High Priority Corridor. Additionally, it will bring future economic development opportunities to those along the new route. The completion of the relief route is a huge accomplishment and I appreciate all that the city of Big Spring and TxDOT have done to make this project happen."

Ports-to-Plains also thanks the local, state, and federal elected officials who have supported this effort and for the work and support of the Texas Department of Transportation. Our thanks to Ports-to-Plains Chair John Osborne for attending and speaking at the ceremony. An article is included below from the Big Spring Herald with more information on the ribbon cutting ceremony. 

 Ribbon Cutting on Northern US Hwy 87 Relief Route Completion Held in Big Spring

Dignitaries, local leaders - county and city - along with TxDOT representatives and community members gathered together Wednesday morning in celebration of the completion of the North US Hwy 87 Relief Route. 

During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Senator Kel Seliger and State House Representative Drew Darby spoke about the project and the vision behind the construction. Representatives from U.S. Congressman Jodey Arrington's office and TxDOT officials were also present and offered a few thoughts on the project. Read more on this article from Big Spring Herald...

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 San Angelo Chamber holds West Texas Moving Forward Conference 

L-R: Ports-to-Plains Chairman John Osborne, Lubbock, Texas;Texas State Representative Brooks Landgraf (Odessa, Dist. 81); and Texas State Senator Charles Perry (Lubbock, Dist. 28) speaking during the West Texas Moving Forward Conference

San Angelo Leads the Way with the 2020 West Texas Moving Forward Conference

The San Angelo Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2020 West Texas Moving Forward Conference on Tuesday which featured some of the top speakers in Texas.

The event was held, on August 11, at the McNease Convention Center. It brought in experts from key industrial sectors to San Angelo to share their knowledge and opinions regarding the state of West Texas moving forward. The event held a numbers of speakers that spoke on Topics such as energy, agriculture, economics, and education. 

The main two speakers at the conference were US Representative Mike Conaway and chancellor of the Texas Tech University System and president of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Tedd L Mitchell. Read More from San Angelo News LIVE!

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2050 Forecast Movement of Goods Laredo/Coahuila/Nuevo León/Tamaulipas Region

Without seeing the impact of USMCA on the forecast movement of goods, it is already projected to see a 243 percent increase in Total Trade by all modes through the Texas-Mexico Border.  The value of all trade including all modes increases from $408 billion in 2017 to $1.4 trillion in 2050 through Texas.  The Laredo/Coahuila/Nuevo León/Tamaulipas Region describes the ports-of-entry in Laredo, Eagle Pass and Del Rio.

In terms of tonnage, more than 50% of northbound and 70 percent of southbound Total Trade by all Modes passes through Texas to other U.S. states.  Tonnage is forecasted to increase

Forecasts of Total Trade (All Modes) by Tonnage Through the Texas-Mexico Border, 2017–2050 from 107.8 million tons in 2017 to 344.0 million tons in 2050, an increase of 219% with faster growth in the northbound direction (241%).



Specifically, the future movement of goods by truck through the Texas-Mexico border is forecasted to increase from 64.8 million tons in 2017 to 227.5 million tons in 2050, an increase of 251%.  In 2050, the Laredo/Coahuila/Nuevo León/Tamaulipas Region accounts for 133.1 million (59%) of 227.5 million tons moved by trucks (compare a 62% share in 2017).


In terms of the value of goods moved by truck, it grows from $305.5 billion in 2017 to $1.123 billion in 2050, an increase of 268% (compared to an increase of 251% for tonnage).  In 2050, the Laredo Laredo/Coahuila/Nuevo León/Tamaulipas Region is forecasted to account for $555.3 million (49%) of $1.123 billion moved by trucks (compared to 59% share in 2017).

Finally, the future truck movement through Texas-Mexico Border is forecast to grow from 4.3 million in 2017 to 12.3 million in 2050, an increase of 186%.  In 2050, the Laredo/Coahuila/Nuevo León/‌Tamaulipas Region accounts for 7.1 million (58%) of 12.3 million truck movements (compared to 56% share in 2017).

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Determination of Traffic Congestion Relief

The interstate upgrade of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor in Texas results in relatively higher speeds throughout the corridor. As a result, traffic would divert from parallel and intersecting roadways to take advantage of the improved travel time on the Ports-to-Plains Corridor.

(Diversion shown in Ports-to-Plains Interstate Feasibility Study)

Regional Diversion:

Most diversion to the Ports-to-Plains Corridor comes from highways within 100 miles of the corridor.

The interstate upgrade shows a stronger traffic diversion capability over the baseline indicating the ability to reduce traffic congestion from nearby corridors and from other corridors in the state.

In Segment #1, between the New Mexico and Oklahoma borders and the Hale/Lubbock County line, the interstate upgrade diverts east/west trips from the US 57 (Eagle Pass to San Antonio) and US 90 (Del Rio to San Antonio) corridors and attracts north/south trips from US 83, SH 55, and 1-35 between Laredo and San Antonio.

In Segment #2, between Hale/Lubbock County line and the Sutton/Edwards County line, the interstate upgrade also shows a significant forecasted traffic diversion from routes south of Lubbock such as US 385, US 84, and SH 137.

In Segment #3, between the Sutton/Edwards County line and the I-35/Juarez-Lincoln Bridge in Laredo, the interstate upgrade diverts east/west trips from the US 57 (Eagle Pass to San Antonio) and US 90 (Del Rio to San Antonio) corridors. The interstate upgrade also attracts north/south trips from US 83, SH 55, and I-35 between Laredo and San Antonio.

Statewide Diversion:

The interstate upgrade diverts traffic from other corridors state-wide. The data showed significant traffic diversion of more than 5,000 vehicles per day from US 385 south of Hartley, US 385 to US 62 between Odessa and Lubbock, and US 84 between Lubbock and 1-20.

1n Segment #1, between the New Mexico and Oklahoma borders and the Hale/Lubbock County line, the interstate upgrade also shows a significant forecasted traffic diversion north of Amarillo on US 87 toward New Mexico and 1-25. The interstate upgrade attracts trips to US 287 southeast of Amarillo towards Dallas/Fort Worth and diverts trips from 1-40 west of Amarillo and into New Mexico.

Moderate diversion was shown from I-35 from Laredo to San Antonio from Segment #2 and #3, between Hale/Lubbock County line and the I-35/Juarez-Lincoln Bridge in Laredo.

National Diversion:

The conversion of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor to an interstate would also create shifts in national travel patterns.

The Ports-to-Plains Corridor would attract trips to I-44 from St Louis, Missouri to Wichita Falls and continuing towards the corridor while diverting trips away from other east-west routes east of Texas, such as I-10.

An interstate upgrade would also divert traffic from the 1-70/1-135/1-35 route from Denver to Dallas and instead using 1-25 through New Mexico and connecting to US 87 in Texas.

Moderate national diversions - such as trips from the Pacific Northwest being attracted across the Rockies towards Denver and southward to the Ports-to-Plains Corridor – were traced with diversions from I-10 and I-40 to the west.

Binational Diversion:

Key diversion patterns include trips between the Mexican states of Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas south of Texas, the Rocky Mountain and Midwestern states of New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri, and trips between the Gulf of Mexico coast toward the north Mountain and Pacific Northwest states.

The magnitude of diversion and growth are also a response from increases in foreign trade via land ports with industrial areas of Mexico, and international seaport trade that can more easily reach Gulf of Mexico ports due to the Panama Canal expansion.

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TxDOT to Hold Virtual Public Meetings on I-27 Feasibility Study

The Ports-to-Plains Corridor Feasibility Study Team and Texas Department of Transportation have scheduled a round of live online virtual public meetings in August. The public meetings will be held on TuesdayAugust 25 and Wednesday August 26, 2020, via WebEx at 4:00 p.m.  The purpose of the meetings is to present the study’s Advisory Committee recommendations and solicit feedback from the public. The public meetings will include a live presentation and comment opportunity. The public meetings will have identical information presented and are being offered at two different times to allow convenient public participation opportunities since no in-person meeting will be held. The meeting will be recorded and available online for the public to view through Thursday, September 10, 2020.

Ports-to-Plains Study Public Meeting August 25 starting at 4pm (cdt)
Phone: 1-415-655-0003
Meeting number: 160 639 8797
Meeting password: P2Pstudy

Ports-to-Plains Study Public Meeting August 26 (starting at 4 pm (cdt)
Phone: 1-415-655-0003
Meeting number: 160 912 8697
Meeting password: P2PStudy

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 Check out the newest Ports-to-Plains Video!

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Upcoming Events

2020 Events

Aug 20 -- HB 1079 Advisory Board Meeting No. 4
Aug 25 & 26 -- TxDOT Public Meeting on Ports-to-Plains Corridor Interstate Feasibility Study
2020 Ports-to-Plains Annual Conference - CANCELLED

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
Heartland Expressway Association
337 Main Street
Chadron, NE 69337
P: 308-432-4023