The Ports-to-Plains discussion continues, as Representative Jodey Arrington (R-TX-19) and Representative Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) along with several other representatives at the local level, announced the issuance of Ports-to-Plains Highway Act of 2020 during a Monday morning tele-conference.
“I’m very proud to be working across the aisle with my good friend and colleague, Rep. Henry Cuellar, on this important legislation,” said U.S. Representative Jodey Arrington (TX-19).
During the press conference Arrington said that establishing a four-lane, federal highway from West Texas through the Heartland is critical to enhancing America’s agriculture and energy dominance. The interstate is aimed at reducing congestion on I-35 and would provide another important trade route through West Texas.
“This means for Big spring is industrial and economic growth. It would make Big Spring the sixth city in Texas to have crossing interstates. Any city with that advantage, industries are interested in locating. With industry comes job and economy increases. Warehousing will also be a future business. As Mexico and Canada are already partners in Ports to Plains and with the trade agreements already in place, that will be another advantage for growth in our area. This designation is an exciting step in the process of US-87 becoming IS-27,” Gloria McDonald, Director with Ports to Plains, said.
According to the TxDOT impact finding for I-27 designation, there would be a 76% return on investment. In the first 20 years, $55.6 billion would be gained in Texas GDP and $690 million per year in Texas travel cost savings outside the corridor. The data shows a 21% decrease in crash rate for a total of $450 million in safety improvements. The project would result in the creation of 17,710 jobs and expand regional truck delivery market and reduce travel time causing an efficient exchange of goods. The project which spans more than 1,300 miles runs from Laredo up through Texas, through Colorado, through the mid-West into Canada.
According to Arrington, the passing of HR7151is the next step – in this already 20 years process – that will allow for this area to vie for funding in the appropriation process. Without the designation, there won't be an opportunity to get into the ring for funding dollars.