February 2024  Volume 22  Issue 2


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.

Be Sure Newsletter Email is Allowed

As you may have noticed, the monthly Ports-to-Plains Newsletter is sent through our member database. Please be sure the email address pal@memberclicks-mail.net is allowed on your system.



“If you build it, he will come.”  If you like baseball as much as I do, you will recognize this line from one of the great baseball movies “The Field of Dreams” where an Iowa farmer is persuaded to build a baseball field out in the middle of a corn field.  All through that movie the conventional wisdom was that this was a crazy endeavor and destined to fail.  It didn’t pass the corn field paradigm test.  You can’t take a rich piece of fertile farmland and destroy a valuable corn crop to build a baseball field!! This movie closes with a great dialogue from James Earl Jones about how people will come from all over to reach this hallowed ground and witness the game of baseball.  I especially like the statement where he talks about the people will experience “memories that will be so thick, they will have to brush them away from their faces”.


 In a way, what we are trying to build is the transportation corridor of our dreams.  A transportation and trade corridor that connects the ports with Mexico to the ports with Canada, and every midwestern city and county in-between.  With over 40% of the corridor already upgraded to four lanes or better, the dream could very well become a reality.  However, we must continue to convince conventional wisdom to change the corridor upgrade paradigm.  This paradigm dictates that before we can invest in upgrading a corridor it must meet certain criteria like increased freight movement, large traffic volumes, and accelerated crash rates.  It becomes easy to justify not building a corridor like the Ports-to-Plains through the rural part of the country because it just can’t compete with other higher priority corridors in other parts of the state.  

The point is, when we were building out the federal interstate highway system from the east coast to the west, if we had relied solely on the criteria mentioned above to cross states like Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming to name a few, we would have never built that interstate system.  So, what criteria did we use to justify interstates, or four lane divided highways in these rural states?  One of the early criteria used to justify the interstate highway system was the rapid deployment of our country’s military armament from the east to the west coast.  We had just finished fighting a world war in both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres and President Eisenhower had a vision of the German Autobahn crossing our great country.  That criteria is still valid today as we think about how our Department of Defense is considering using part of our corridor from Denver to Beaumont for what they call a “Power Platform Projection,” another term for their rapid deployment of force.  

But, if you are looking for more reasons to justify the purpose and need of an expanded transportation system along our corridor, look no further than the IH 27 feasibility study conducted by TxDOT under house bill 1079.  In addition to the estimated 21% crash rate reduction, and the 34% average daily truck traffic increase by 2050, the built-out corridor shows an annual $2.84 billion increase to the state’s GDP and a $4.1 billion annual travel cost savings.  With a benefit to cost ration of 2.4 and a $17.8 billion return on our investment, it becomes hard not to build out this corridor.  That sounds like good business and a great investment to me!  That is why we are seeking funding for feasibility studies up and down the corridor.  What we think it will show is the need to accommodate population growth in the Midwest, military movement, tourism traffic demand, in addition to the increased traffic demand for commodities such as agricultural and energy, “If you build it, that will come.”   

more to come …


Lauren D. Garduño


What is All the Interest in New International Bridges About?

The Ports of Entry at Del Rio, Eagle Pass and Laredo all will be served by the Interstate Highway being developed along the Ports-to-Plains Corridor. Each one of these communities is working on developing expansion of existing bridges as well as new international bridges. Why??? The answer comes from the Texas-Mexico Border Trade Master Plan.


While in 2019, Del Rio-Ciudad Acuña International Bridge average crossing time was about 30 minutes, it will be over 9 hours in 2050.
Camino Real International Bridge is forecast to experience the greatest change in average crossing times, from 8 minutes in 2019 to 572 minutes in 2050, equivalent to 7,050 percent cumulative growth.


The 2019 crossing time at the World Trade Bridge averaged 30 minutes. The World Trade Bridge shows an increase in Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) crossing times between 2019 and 2050, with average crossing time increasing by 497 minutes (1,655 percent cumulative growth) to 527 minutes. The average crossing time at the World Trade Bridge is forecast to exceed 8 hours in 2050. Laredo-Columbia Solidary Bridge is forecast to exceed 5 hours, 30 minutes.

Congratulations to the Port of Laredo as it is the number 1 port in the United States compared to 450 airports, seaports, and border crossings!

The Port of Eagle Pass, Camino Real International Bridge ranked 10th compared to 450 airports, seaports, and border crossings.  Congratulations to Eagle Pass.

In 2023, trade at Del Rio International Bridge, TX was valued at $5.74 billion, an increase of 4.62 percent through December. Exports totaled $2.23 billion, down 2.03 percent while imports were valued at $3.51 billion, up 9.32 percent.


Del Rio International Bridge, TX ranked No. 94 by value among all of the nation’s 450-plus airports, seaports and border crossings. Ranking it just against other border crossings, it ranked No. 31 by value.

Without developing additional facilities at these key ports of entry, the delays in 2050 will increase to 5-9+ hours.  This should give these communities a loud voice in moving forward.


Fact Sheets from I-27 Advisory Committee

The I-27 Advisory Committee has released additional Fact Sheets.


Click an image below to view or download the Fact Sheet.


Lauren Garduño

President & CEO

Ports-to-Plains Alliance

Abilene, TX 79602
Cell: (325) 514-4114 

Joe Kiely

Vice President of Operations

Ports-to-Plains Alliance

PO Box 758

Limon, CO 80828

Cell: (719) 740-2240



Tina Scarborough

Business Manager

Ports-to-Plains Alliance

Lubbock, TX

(806) 777-4162



Cal Klewin

Executive Director

Theodore Roosevelt Expressway Association

PO Box 1306

Williston, ND 58802



Deb Cottier


Heartland Expressway Association

337 Main Street

Chadron, NE 69337




Connect with Us: