November 2019

Volume Number 17


Issue Number 10

The Ports-to-Plains Alliance would like to express its thanks to all the committee members, public, TxDOT and its consulting team for making the first round of HB 1079 meetings a tremendous success.  Your role was critical.  The HB 1079 Ports-to-Plains Feasibility Study process will continue to be intense and your participation will continue to be key to the outcomes.  If you were not able to attend or are interested in comparing the existing conditions across the corridor, there are links to the three different segment presentations on the Existing Conditions and Needs.  MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR THE NEXT ROUND OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS IN FEBRUARY 2020.

As you will see below improvements continue to be funded across the entire corridor.  New funding in Colorado and plans to obtain right-of-way and relocate utilities on a long segment of the TRE on U.S. Highway 85 in North Dakota are this month's highlights.

Congratulations to all the re-elected members of the Board of Directors.  A special thank you to Gaynelle Riffe of Stratford, TX.  Gaynelle chose not to run for the Board this time, but has served on the Board since it was established.  She has and will continue to be a strong supporter of Ports-to-Plains.  Thank you Gaynelle.

Please contact Joe Kiely, Vice President of Operations or Duffy Hinkle, Vice President of Membership and Marketing with questions.

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.


Segment Committee Meetings for HB 1079

The first round of Segment Committee meetings, required by House Bill 1079, have been held. Thank you to all the Committee members that attended as well as the attendees from the public.  Your commitment is making a difference.

Segment Committee Map 


Segment No. 3 Committee met in Del Rio on November 4th. Mayor Bruno Lozano of the City of Del Rio and Webb County Judge Tano E. Tijerina were elected as Segment Committee No. 3 Chair and Vice-Chair respectively.


Segment Committee No. 2 met November 18th in Big Spring.  Mayor of the City of San Angelo, Brenda Gunter, was elected as Chair of Segment Committee No. 2 and Lubbock County Judge Howard Parrish as Vice-Chair.


Segment Committee No. 1 met in Amarillo on November 20th and Jared Miller, City of Amarillo Manager, was elected as Chair.  Milton Pax of Dumas, a former County Commissioner, was elected as Vice-Chair.


Texas State Representative Four Price

Each Segment Committee had essentially the same agenda, but the presentations were tailored to the needs of the specific segment.  The members of each segment committee were presented with the Current Conditions of their segment and asked to respond to a series of questions about the needs of their specific segment.  Questions included:

  • Which goals of the corridor feasibility study are the most important to you?
  • What are the key needs and challenges in Segment #?
  • What are the potential opportunities in Segment #?
  • What factors do you think will influence population, income, and employment in Segment # over the next 30 years?
  • What are the key needs and challenges for moving people and freight in Segment #?
  • What factors do you think will influence future freight movement in Segment #?
  • How does energy production influence the transportation needs in Segment #?
  • How does agricultural production influence the transportation needs in Segment #?
  • Where are the bottlenecks for traffic on Segment # and what is the cause?
  • What do you think will influence future traffic conditions in Segment #?
  • What are the key pavement and bridge needs and challenges in Segment #?
  • What areas and issues contribute to safety needs and challenges in Segment #?

The responses to these questions will be used to write Chapter 3 of each Segment Committee report.  If you would like to review the presentations on Existing Segment Conditions and Needs, you can download each segment below.

Segment No. 1 - New Mexico and Oklahoma borders to Hale/Lubbock County line (5.13 mb)

Segment No. 2 - Hale/Lubbock County line to Sutton/Edwards County line (7.81 mb)

Segment No. 3 - Sutton/Edwards County line to I-35/Juarez-Lincoln Bridge in Laredo (8.97 mb)

Round two of Segment Committees will be held in February 2020 as follows:

  • February 3, 2020 - Segment Committee No. 3 in Laredo
  • February 5, 2020 – Segment Committee No. 2 in San Angelo
  • February 6, 2020 – Segment Committee No. 1 in Amarillo

Please contact Joe Kiely ( or 719-740-2240) or Duffy Hinkle ( or 806-368-6235) with questions.

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TRE U.S. Highway 85 Segment 1 Plans Are Revealed

Having obtained a Record of Decision in March 2019 and with the Long X Bridge construction underway, what is next is the question?  North Dakota DOT (NDDOT) went a long way towards answering that question with a Decision Document, dated October 24, 2019, which outlined next steps and a timeline for those steps.

First, the Decision Document (DD-102419) referenced a slide project north of the Long X Bridge that is scheduled to be bid in 2021 at an estimated cost of $10 million using federal funds.

The DD-102419 primarily outlined the process of obtaining Right-of-Way (ROW) and Utility Relocation for Segment 1, U.S. 85 between the Long X Bridge and Watford City, and a process of obtaining consultants to assist in this effort.

NDDOT will be hiring a consultant to assisting in developing final design, permits and studies for Segment 1 by Fall of 2022.  This would include completing ROW acquisition and Utility Relocation on the following schedule:

  • ROW Acquisition - Fall 2020 through Fall 2021/Spring 2022
  • Utility Relocation - Spring 2022 through Fall 2022


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Colorado Transportation Funding

On Thursday, November 21 2019, the Colorado Transportation Commission approved three Ports-to-Plains corridor projects on U.S. 40/287, between the Oklahoma/Colorado border and Limon, totaling $27.5 million.  This amount is in addition to the over $28 million in NHFP, INFRA and FASTER and SAFETY Funds committed to the corridor earlier this year.

National Highway Freight Program Funding (NHFP)

The Continuation of U.S.40/287 Passing Lanes project was awarded $4.5 million to CDOT Region 4 from the FY2019-2020 NHFP. The passing lanes project will be in addition to $4.5 million in FY2018 NHFP funding for Region 4.

In the description of the projects provided to the Transportation Commission, it stated, “This project will strategically add new passing lanes or extend existing passing lanes at critical locations - MP 386 (US 40), 123 (US 287) to MP 446 (US 40), 133 (US 287).” Further the description stated, “It is the goal of the region to provide a minimum of 8 miles of passing lanes for every 20 mile stretch along our freight corridors” and “This is the first step in fulfilling the Ports-to-Plains Corridor Development and Management Plan which recommended that this corridor be expanded to a 4-lane cross section.”

This Region 4 funding is also in addition to the $8.297 million INFRA Grant for Improving Safety and Freight Efficiency Along Southeastern Colorado’s Ports-to-Plains Corridor (US 287 Passing Lanes Project) that was approved in July 2019. The INFRA grant, along with $4.5 million in NHFP, and $11 million Faster and Safety funds, will add 12 miles of passing lanes to the Ports-to-Plains corridor in Region 2.

Colorado Senate Bill 17-267

Colorado Senate Bill 17-267 generates an estimated $1.88 billion for transportation projects through lease purchase agreements in fiscal year (FY) 2019 through FY 2022 and provides the Colorado Transportation Commission the authority to designate and select projects for this purpose and at least 25 percent of SB 17-267 funds must be spent in counties with fewer than 50,000 residents as of July 2015.

The Ports-to-Plains corridor is the beneficiary of $23 million in SB 17-267 funds.  The U.S. 287 Bridge Preventative Maintenance Phases 1 & 2 was awarded $5,000,000 to repair nine bridges in Region 2 to ensure their safety on the Ports-to-Plains corridor.  The oldest of the bridges was built in 1935.  Two of the bridges are north of Eads and seven are close to Springfield.

Additionally, the Ports-to-Plains corridor received $18 million for the U.S. 287 (A-Park Street South) - Lamar Downtown Concrete Paving.  This major rural paving project was a priority in Lamar and Prowers County.

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Board of Directors Election Results

In accordance to the Ports-to-Plains Bylaws, the Annual Meeting of Members for November 22, 2019 at 2:00 pm has now been conducted. The board member election ballots for the upcoming two-year term beginning Jan 1, 2020 have been counted. All of the board members on this year’s ballot were re-elected to the Board.

The board members re-elected to serve the 2020-2021 term are:

John Bertsch - Plainview, TX

Steve Burgess – Limon, CO

Ramsey English Cantu – Eagle Pass TX

Bobby Gonzales – Lamesa, TX

Gloria McDonald – Big Spring, TX

Ginger Nelson – Amarillo, TX

Milton Pax – Dumas, TX

Steve Smith – Sonora, TX

Gaynelle Riffe, Stratford, TX did not seek re-election. Thank you to Gaynelle Riffe for her years of service and commitment to Ports-to-Plains.  Gaynelle has served on the Board of Directors since the organization was established.

Gaynell Riife, Stratford, TX

Congratulations to all of you and thank you for your commitment to serving on the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Board of Directors!

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Border Transportation Master Plan :Stakeholder Meeting Invitation/Invitación de Reunión del Taller de Grupos de Interés

The Texas Department of Transportation requests your participation at the next Stakeholder Workshop for the Laredo/Coahuila/Nuevo León/Tamaulipas Region for the Texas-Mexico Border Transportation Master Plan (BTMP).

This is the second series of workshops TxDOT has hosted throughout the border region to get input on multimodal transportation needs, issues, challenges, and potential opportunities and solutions for efficiently and safely moving people and goods across the border, in the border region, and beyond. The topics for this workshop include:

  • Goals & Objectives
  • Overview and Status of Data Collection
  • Discussion on Corridor Identification & Designation

 The intended audience for this workshop includes binational public and private sector stakeholders, brokers and logistics firms, cargo owners, and other trade transportation industry professionals.

  • When:  December 3, 2019
                  10 a.m.-12 p.m. CST
  • Where: Laredo College, Ft. McIntosh Campus, Harold R. Yeary Library & Executive Conference Center
                  1 West End Washington St.
                  Laredo, TX 78040

Link to Notice

Please RSVP your intent to participate at the link below or by responding to this email. We look forward to your attendance and participation!

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  Border Transportation Master Plan: Public Meeting Invitation/Invitación de Reunión Pública

TxDOT is working with U.S. and Mexican agencies and stakeholders to update the Texas-Mexico Border Transportation Master Plan (BTMP). The master plan will identify the cross-border challenges of moving people and goods and will include analysis of existing transportation systems — roadway, transit, pedestrian, pipeline, air, rail, ports and waterways. 

Individuals can attend the public meeting for the Laredo/Coahuila/Nuevo León/Tamaulipas Region to learn about the status of the BTMP and share their input. The meeting will be facilitated with a presentation beginning 30 minutes after the start of the meeting.

  • When:   December 3, 2019
                   5-7 p.m. CST
  • Where: Laredo College, Ft. McIntosh Campus, Harold R. Yeary Library & Executive Conference Center
                  1 West End Washington St.
                  Laredo, TX 78040

Link to Notice

Click here to RSV


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Upcoming Events



December 3 - Texas-Mexico Border Transportation Master Plan Stakeholder Meeting, Laredo, TX

December 3 - Texas-Mexico Border Transportation Master Plan Public Meeting, Laredo, TX




February 3 - HB 1079 Segment Committee Meeting No. 2 for Segment Committee 3, Laredo, TX
February 5 - HB 1079 Segment Committee Meeting No. 2 for Segment Committee 2, San Angelo, TX
February 6 - HB 1079 Segment Committee Meeting No. 2 for Segment Committee 2, Amarillo, TX
February 9-11 - Texas Transportation Forum, San Antonio, TX
February 19 - HB 1079 Ports-to-Plains Advisory Committee Meeting No. 2, San Angelo, TX (tentative)

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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