Reliever route hearing slated Tuesday

Those who feel passionate about the Port-to-Plains truck reliever route around Big Spring should attend a public meeting here Tuesday.The Texas Department of Transportation will hold the hearing at the Dora Roberts Community Center. Those attending will be able to view exhibits as early as 5 p.m. Registration will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the meeting will get underway at 6:30 p.m.The purpose of the hearing is to discuss the social, economic and environmental effects — and present the preferred alignment of the proposed route. Currently, the route is to run south on U.S Highway 87 to FM 700 and loop to the west, picking up Highway 87 again at RM 33, south of the city.Cost is estimated at $148 million. The project will require acquisition of new right-of-way, vary in width from 250 feet to 360 feet, and be 14 miles long.There will be an opportunity at the conclusion of Tuesday's presentation for the public to comment, either orally or in writing. Comment will also be accepted for 10 days after the meeting.The proposed reliever route is part of a Mexico-to-Canada super highway, known as Port-to-Plains. Locally, some residents have said Big Spring will benefit by routing truck traffic around the city. Others have said the route will direct other traffic away from the city, therefore hurting local businesses.