Your Connection

to the

Ports-to-Plains Region

January 3, 2018

Volume Number 16
Issue Number 01

I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season and are well rested and refreshed as you return to work in the New Year. In our first newsletter of 2018 we are happy to deliver our 2017 report card that highlights our accomplishments. And you will also see that we are hitting the ground running this month. There has been much discussion in Washington about a much-anticipated federal infrastructure package. Rep. Jodey Arrington of Texas, one of the co-chairs of the Ports-to-Plains Congressional Caucus, spoke about his efforts to ensure that Ports-to-Plains needs are addressed in any federal highway funding bill this year. We also have reports of progress from our partners in Cd. Acuna, Mexico on their efforts to improve the corridor south of the border.

We are excited about the many opportunities that are before us and will be working hard to take Ports-to-Plains even further in 2018. We welcome the opportunity to share the many great things we are working on for you. Please call or email us if you would like to schedule a presentation from a Ports-to-Plains representative at one of your civic clubs or other community meetings.

 Michael Reeves, President

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.


2017 Ports-to-Plains Report Card (click image)

As funding gap grows, how do we pay for transportation infrastructure?

While people generally support investing in transportation infrastructure, they fiercely oppose increases in user fees or taxes to support this investment. This funding problem is further compounded by the opaqueness of transportation revenue mechanisms such as the gas tax, which makes it difficult for the traveling public to easily discern how much they pay for infrastructure and what value they derive from it.

In the opening session of CTS’s 2017 research conference, Joung Lee, policy director at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), examined the latest direction in infrastructure funding at the federal level, offered examples of innovation happening at the state level, and discussed policy and political considerations when it comes to transportation revenue and financing tools. 

“Currently, there is no political appetite to provide stable long-term funding for the Highway Trust Fund; however, the path we are on is simply not sustainable,” Lee explained. “The difference between the money going in and the money going out hasn’t matched since 2008, and in the last few years we’ve led a hand-to-mouth existence with general fund transfers. On top of that, the gas tax has lost significant purchasing power due to inflation—the price of nearly everything has increased, but the gas tax rate hasn’t been adjusted since 1993, which is the longest it has ever gone without being adjusted.”

Read on...  

Arrington seeks federal assistance for I-27 expansion

Lubbock Congressman Jodey Arrington says he is advocating for federal money in West Texas. Specifically, for the Ports-to-Plains Corridor.

That project would connect I-27 to Laredo.

"We've got a lot of congestion on I-35 and other highways and bi-ways throughout the state, and we've got a tremendous amount of important product -- the food, fuel and fiber for this country -- has to make its way to the East and West coasts, and I can't think of a better investment to do that," Arrington said.

The congressman says he also wants to build out high speed internet infrastructure.

He says that's desperately needed in the many rural communities throughout District 19.

Full Story...

With change of destination to rid of the old ways of the train in disuse of Zaragoza, Morelos and Ciudad Acuña

In order to improve its connectivity between the Mazatlan-Acuña transnational highway with the Highway 57, the legislator of the PRI, Verónica Martínez García proposed the change of route to rid of the old railroad tracks that are in disuse in Zaragoza, Morelos and Acuña.
In support of a joint request made by members of the National Chamber of Industry, commerce, business organizations, tourism Sector and municipal governments of that region, the member made the request to the Institute of Administration and Valuations of national goods through a point of agreement presented at the rostrum, which was approved.

Verónica Martínez noted that in the northern region municipalities such as Zaragoza, Morelos and Acuña have roads obstructed by the old route of the train in disuse that, to change their destination, can become a great potential.

"These populations are blocked from north to south by the Ports to Plains highway project which begins in Canada and comes to prop up directly from the river, Texas, but when crossing to Acuña, there is no way for the goods to transit through the bottleneck that is generated in this area. "

In addition, she said, with the construction of this beltway, the wind towers can be built in the right of way of railroad tracks, generating electricity and guaranteeing operations friendly with the environment.

The PRI legislator recalled that the beltways serve a twofold purpose: they vent traffic from an urban center that is traversed by a long itinerary route and facilitates connectivity by transforming junctions into fast access routes.

Therefore, by changing the destination to the Beltway, competitiveness, economic growth and social welfare are strengthened by having state-of-the-art facilities in the road system, urban infrastructure and terrestrial communications.

Read on...

Extension of I-27/Ports-to-Plains Corridor

The proposed extension of Interstate 27 connects major West Texas population and economic centers including Amarillo, Lubbock, Midland-Odessa and San Angelo in addition to numerous smaller communities.

Has your organization considered the resolution supporting the Extension of Interstate 27?

Have you individually added your name supporting the Resolution?

Please share with your Texas Friends!

Please click here to add your personal name to the Resolution in Support of Expansion on Interstate 27

Please click here to downland a draft organizational resolution for consideration by local governments and non-profit organizations.  (Word Document) 

Upcoming Events


January 23, 2018 - Quarterly Ports-to-Plains Board Meeting, Amarillo, Texas

February 15, 2018 - SelectUSA Manufacturing Forum, Toronto, Canada

April 12, 2018 - SelectUSA Canada Conference, Calgary, Alberta

 Ports-to-Plains Alliance Staff

Michael Reeves
5401 N MLK Blvd. #395
Lubbock, TX 79403
P: 806-775-2338
F: 806-775-3981

Duffy Hinkle
Vice President of Membership & Marketing
5401 N MLK Blvd. #395
Lubbock, TX 79403
P: 806-775-3373
F: 806-775-3981

Joe Kiely
Vice President of Operations
PO Box 9
Limon, CO 80828
P: 719-740-2240
F: 719-775-9073

Jeri Strong
Executive Assistant
Ports-To-Plains Alliance
5401 N. MLK Blvd. Ste. 395
Lubbock, TX 79403
P: 806-775-3369

Cal Klewin
Executive Director
Theodore Roosevelt Expressway
PO Box 1306
22 E Broadway
Williston, ND 58802
P: 701-523-6171

Deb Cottier
Board of Directors
Heartland Expressway Association
706 West Third St.
Chadron, NE 69337
P: 308-432-4023

Jay Slemp
Eastern Alberta Trade Corridor
212 2nd Ave. W
Box 820
Hanna AB T0J 1P0
P: 403-854-0424