U.S. 87 reliever route project still on track: Airport connection project seeking competitive grant

Staff Writer

Don’t worry, folks. The U.S. Highway 87 reliever route under construction west of Big Spring will be built.
A report Wednesday on CBS 7’s News at 10 program was posted on that station’s website under the headline “Funding for Big Spring reliever route uncertain.” That’s not quite true.
Funding for the reliever route itself is in place and construction on the final phase of the project is on schedule to finish up in January 2019. What’s slightly less certain is funding for a Big Spring project to build roads connecting the McMahon-Wrinkle Airport and Industrial Park to the reliever route on the west, allowing a smoother flow of traffic to and from the site.
"We want to have connectivity to the reliever route, of course. It was built into the original design of the road around it," said Airport Director Jim Little. "When that road around the airport and around the city was built, they left only two exits, an area on the south side, and an exit on the west side.
Mayor Larry McClellan said the reliever route means a lot of economic opportunity for Big Spring.
“When we get this together, I feel like we’re going to have an airpark/industrial park that’s going to be able to service the needs here around Big Spring, but maybe the entire Permian Basin,” said McLellan. “We know that this boom is coming, and to get ready for the boom and be prepared and be able to benefit from it, we need to have things in place not when it gets here, but we need to be ahead of the game. That certainly is going to be something that we are going to continue, to build up that airpark, build up those roads, and build up inside.”
The city has applied for a federal TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Grant to help with the project. That’s the part of the funding that is uncertain, as the CBS 7 report makes clear farther into the story.
See Sunday's Herald for the rest of the story.