July 2021



Volume Number 19


Issue Number 7

Ports-to-Plains should be hearing soon from the Texas Department of Transportation on details regarding the first meeting scheduled for the Ports-to-Plains I-27 Advisory Committee. A meeting with seven already appointed mayors will meet prior to the first full Advisory Committee meeting to select three economic development professionals and industry representatives from agriculture, energy and international trade from across the Texas Ports-to-Plains Corridor.

Ten County Judges or their designees will also serve on this Committee and have been appointed. Both of these meetings will take place before Oct. 1, 2021. The legislation from S.B. 1474 creates this long-term I-27 Advisory Committee to provide TxDOT with information regarding concerns and interests along the Ports-to-Plains Corridor, as well as advise TxDOT on transportation improvements that impact the Ports-to-Plains Corridor.

The 117th Congress continues to work on passing its version of the new Transportation Reauthorization Bill.  The current bill will expire on Sept. 30, 2021. The U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the bill earlier this month and the U.S. Senate has passed their version through the EPW Committee and the Commerce Committee and is now awaiting action by the Finance Committee and by the full Senate. Ports-to-Plains Alliance is working hard to ensure the future interstate designation for Texas and New Mexico is included in the final bill.

Heartland Expressway Association is announcing its upcoming Annual Meeting date as well as information about it below. 

Ports-to-Plains Alliance will not be holding an Annual Meeting this year. We are looking into the possibility of holding it in the spring of 2022 and will keep you posted. 

Please forward this newsletter to anyone you know who may be interested and thank you for your support of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance!

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.


U.S. House of Representatives Pass $715 Billion Transportation Reauthorization Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed its version of the Transportation Reauthorization Bill (H.R. 3684). The Ports-to-Plains Alliance is extremely appreciative to Texas Congressmen Jodey Arrington (CD-19), Henry Cuellar (CD-28), Ronny Jackson (CD-13), Tony Gonzalez (CD-23), August Pfluger (CD-11) and Texas Congresswoman Kay Granger (CD-12), along with Nebraska Congressman Adrian Smith (CD-3) and Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas (CD-3) for supporting our efforts to have the Port-to Plains Corridor designated as a future interstate.

The bill includes language designating the Ports-to-Plains Corridor in Texas and New Mexico as a Future Interstate Highway. The $715 billion package approved by the House includes a $547 billion surface reauthorization bill along with $168 billion for drinking and wastewater infrastructure.

H.R. 3684 would provide budget authority over the 2022-2026 period for the Department of Transportation (DOT) to continue operating programs funded from the Highway Trust Fund. The bill also would authorize the appropriation of funds for rail programs and certain other transportation programs administered by DOT and other federal agencies.

The House Bill also includes the following Congressionally Directed Projects along the Ports-to-Plains Corridor:

    • $11.8m for Phase 3A -SL 88 from Memphis to CR2240 Ave U (TXDOT Project ID: 1502-01-029) Lubbock, Texas
    • $8.1m for Phase 3B- SL 88 from Chicago Ave to Memphis Ave. (TXDOT Project ID: 1502-01-030) Lubbock, Texas
    • 3.25m for U.S. 287 from Boise City North to Colorado (Ports-to-Plains Corridor)
    • $10m for L62A Heartland Expressway Phase III in Minatare, Nebraska

The U.S. Senate is now working on its version of the bill, which has passed the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee and the Commerce Committee and is awaiting action by the Finance Committee and by the full Senate. The Senate version does not yet include language for designating the future interstate in Texas and New Mexico, so the focus for Ports-to-Plains now is to get the designation into the Manager’s Amendment or a separate amendment when the bill goes to the Senate floor.

Once the Senate passes its version of the reauthorization bill, the Senate and House will take it to the Conference Committee to reconcile the two versions.

The good news is because the designation language is in the House bill, it will be considered for the final reauthorization bill, however, having the designation language in both the House and Senate versions makes it more likely to be included in the final version.

Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz are key, along with New Mexico Senators Ben Ray Lujan and Martin Heinrich in the success of this effort. 

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Save the Date for the Heartland Expressway Association Annual Meeting!




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Check out the newest Ports-to-Plains Video!

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Ports-to-Plains Alliance Staff

Duffy Hinkle

Vice President of Membership & Marketing
PO Box 16226
Lubbock, TX 79490
P: 806-790-7196

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