Your Connection to the

Ports-to-Plains Region

January 31, 2017

Volume Number 15
Issue Number 03

Ports-to-Plains supporters in Texas have a great opportunity to have their voices heard over the next month as TxDOT will host a series of public workshops across the state to gather input for issues you would like to include in their update of the Texas Freight Mobility Plan. The first workshop is scheduled for January 31 in Laredo. Other workshops are scheduled for Midland/Odessa February 22 and Lubbock on February 23. Click here for a complete list of the workshops as well as registration information.

TxDOT released the Texas Freight Mobility Plan in late 2015, but it must be updated so it is compliant with the federal transportation legislation, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act that was enacted after the Freight Plan was published. The Texas Freight Mobility Plan was very positive for Ports-to-Plains. Some specific quotes from the Plan include:

  • “Give additional consideration to the extension or designation of other interstate routes. Examples include I-27 and upgrades to portions of US 190 to interstate standards.”
  • “… Ports-to-Plains roadways (US 277 and US 287) are vital non-interstate Primary Freight Network Corridors.”
  • “Examples of vital Secondary Freight Network / Emerging Freight Corridors include:…US 87 a Ports-to-Plains roadway…”

Please make plans to attend a workshop close to you and express how important Ports-to-Plains and an extended Interstate 27 are to you, your business and your community.

And if you haven’t already please go to and sign onto our resolution supporting the extension of Interstate 27.

 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.


Extension of I-27/Ports to Plains Corridor

The proposed extension of Interstate 27 will also serve the agriculture industry including many of Texas top counties for the production of cotton, cattle, sheep and goats and other commodities.

See more about the opportunity to support the Interstate 27 extension during the Texas Freight Workshop below.

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)

Most Americans don’t want new tolls to pay for road and bridge improvements, poll says

A plan to pump up to $1 trillion into infrastructure by luring private investors won’t win public support if it means new tolls on existing roads and bridges, according to a new poll.

In Washington Post-ABC News poll, 66 percent of those surveyed said they oppose a plan that would grant close to $140 billion in tax credits to investors who put their money into roads, bridges and transit in return for the right to impose tolls.

While the survey question made no mention of the incoming president, prior to the election Donald J. Trump proposed giving private investors an 82 percent tax credit to put money into projects, credits that theoretically would reduce their need to profit from the investment.

Trump said his plan would lead to up to $1 trillion worth of new projects. He said the more than $137 billion cost of the tax credit would balance out because tax revenue would be recouped by taxing the wages of people put to work on the projects and from taxes paid by contractors hired to do the work.

But even with tax credit incentives, investors are unlikely to put their money into projects that don’t provide a revenue stream, most likely in the form of tolls on roads and bridges.

The question asked in the Post-ABC poll was:

Read on…

What Happens If NAFTA Goes Away?

Free Trade is Not Free

In effect since 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has caused no shortage of controversies. Criticisms have ranged from Ross Perot’s prediction that it would lead to a “giant sucking sound” destroying American jobs, to Donald Trump’s indictment of the agreement as a “disaster” and “the worst trade deal.” As Trump assumes power, his threats to repeal NAFTA altogether force us to entertain a previously unthinkable scenario: What happens if NAFTA goes away? The answer to this question boils down to what NAFTA has brought to the United States — and to Texas.

  • What Has NAFTA Brought To The Country?
  • What About Texas?
  • If NAFTA Goes Away
  • Keep Calm And Remember: “Free Trade” Is Not Free

Read on...

Mark your Calendars to join us for the
20th Anniversary Reunion Ports-to-Plains Alliance Conference
September 12-14, 2017 -- Lubbock, TX

Largest Project on Ports-to-Plains Corridor to Date Receives Federal Approval

In Colorado, the Ports-to-Plains corridor is often viewed only as the rural corridor extending between Oklahoma and Nebraska via U.S. Highway 287 and Colorado Highway 71. Yet the congressional High Priority Corridor on the National Highway System designation also includes both Interstate 70 from Limon to Denver and Interstate 76 from Brush to Denver.

The Central 70 Project includes:

  • Reconstruction of a 10-mile stretch of I-70 between I-25 and Tower Road. 
  • Adding one new tolled express lane in each direction of the highway. 
  • Tearing down the aging 53-year old I-70 viaduct across north Denver. 
  • Sinking a portion of the highway, between Brighton and Colorado boulevards, up to 40 feet below ground level.

This announcement comes after a fourteen (14) years of review through an Environmental Impact Statement.

Link to Central 70 Project Website

Comments from Ports-to-Plains Alliance members include:

“We commend CDOT for their planning effort on the Central 70 Project that has done a great job of striking a balance among the needs and interests of commuters, the local community, and the business sector. We look forward to work beginning on this critical project and providing some much needed relief on this congested corridor," said Colorado Motor Carriers Association President Greg Fulton.

“Investing in transportation is a top priority for the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. Increasing capacity throughout our state so that we can more efficiently move people and goods to and through Colorado is a critical component of our economic development. I-70 is one of our state's most important arteries for business and personal use, and we join the Colorado Department of Transportation in recognizing the need to improve it. Now that there is a record of decision for this stretch of I-70, we can move forward in that investment and ensure our entire region benefits from it.” Kelly Brough, President and CEO, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. (Denver Metro Economic Development Corporation is part of the Chamber)

Feds sign off on $1.2B overhaul of I-70 across north Denver

Denver Business Journal

The controversial $1.2 billion controversial plan to expand Interstate 70 through north Denver was approved today by the Federal Highway Administration.

The plan includes sinking a portion of I-70 near Interstate 25 and putting a lid on it.


The federal approval follows a 14-year effort to figure out how to unclog the major corridor for the city, state and nation.

“Improving I-70 will improve the quality of life for thousands in the Denver area, and improve public safety for hundreds of thousands each day,” said Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau.

“This project will make travel safer and more efficient in one of the Rocky Mountain region’s busiest areas, setting the stage for years’ of economic growth,” Nadeau said.

The FHWA’s “record of decision” outlines what will be built, how it will be paid for, and what steps the Colorado Department of Transportation must take to mitigate the project’s environmental and community impacts.

Read on…

Texas Freight Workshops

This is an important opportunity to provide your organization and personal support of TXDOT looking at the potential of expanding Interstate 27. Several items from the Texas Freight Mobility Plan can be emphasissed in your comments:

  • By 2040 over 73 percent of Texas’ population and 82 percent of the state’s employment is projected to be located within five miles of an interstate
  • The state must focus not only on improving existing facilities, but also on developing future freight corridors to move products to markets and exports
  • Give additional consideration to the extension or designation of other interstate routes. Examples include I-27 and upgrades to portions of US Highway 190 to interstate standards

Laredo, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
IBC Bank Annex, 2416 Jacaman Rd., Laredo, TX 78043

Midland/Odessa, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
University of Texas of the Permian Basin, CEED Auditorium, 1310 North FM 1788, Midland, Texas 79707

Lubbock, Thursday, Feb. 23, 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Plains Cotton Coop Association, 3301 East 50th St., Lubbock, TX 79404

These workshops are an important opportunity to let TxDOT know that extending I-27 is a top priority for our region. Please register for one of the following workshop by following this link 

Economic Development: City, county working to bring jobs to Plainview with new business park

The City of Plainview could soon be home to a new business park, a venture Hale County and the city are working on together.

One of the main goals for the project is to provide more jobs.

"Roughly three years ago, Cargill Corporation closed here in Plainview," said Wendell Dunlap, Mayor for the City of Plainview, "and that afternoon, we realized for the very first time that we were not prepared to bring in new businesses."

The closure took nearly 2,000 jobs with it.

"We've been very very fortunate," he said. "For about a year we felt it. But, we have moved on."

Mayor Dunlap tells us the city and Hale County are going into business together.

"It's a 50/50 partnership on purchasing the land and also, on the operation of the land," he explains.

With about 100 acres of land already purchased, including the old Jimmy Dean plant, the city is hoping to create more jobs for folks who live out here.

Read on…


June 13-14, 2017, Denver, CO


Energy and agriculture provide a key basic economy across the Ports-to-Plains region which requires a robust transportation system to connect those resources with global markets.  Our communities and others must be able to tell the story… provide clear information in response to attacks on these rural economy drivers.  TOGETHER DRIVING CHANGE will focus on bringing together an agenda that will enable attendees to tell the economic story of energy and agriculture productivity.

Economic Development:A budding growth industry for Alberta's economy

Agriculture is a growth industry in every sense and that means economic growth in Alberta.

Farming and ranching have always been staples of the Alberta economy and the province has a global reputation for top-quality products and excellence in food safety and sustainability. Now, Calgary and southern Alberta are an emerging centre for all aspects of agribusiness.

At a time when Canada’s energy sector is desperate for access to global markets, agriculture is already export-oriented and tied into supply chains worldwide.

Alberta agriculture and agri-food products are exported to 140 countries.

However, Albertans aren’t content to simply be hewers of wood, drawers of water or even reapers of crops. There’s a growing opportunity to do more – to develop and manufacture value-added products for consumers – to grow and diversify the sector.

Innovations around crop sciences and livestock are creating business opportunities and agribusiness is a key sector in the 10-year economic strategy for Calgary Building on our Energy that supports growth and diversification.

Food processing and manufacturing employees about 18,600 Albertans and accounts for more than 20 per cent of all manufacturing in the province. A 23.4 per cent increase in sales in 2015 – the most in two decades – meant Alberta contributed $13.6 billion to Canada’s $95.7 billion in food manufacturing sales, third after only Ontario and Quebec.

Read on… 

Economic Development: Two Consultants Forecast Site Selection Trends for 2017 (Podcast)

13 Ways: Chapter 6 - Don't Paint

This is for those concerned about the future of their community and are looking for answers on how to find success.

13 Ways: Chapter 6 - Don't Paint

Upcoming Events


January 31 - Texas Freight Mobility Plan Workshop, Laredo, TX

February 1-3 - Voices of Rural Colorado, Denver, CO

February 5-7 - 2017 Texas Transportation Forum, Austin, TX

February 7 - Ports-to-Plains Alliance Board of Directors Meeting, Austin, TX

February 22 - Texas Freight Mobility Plan Workshop, Midland, TX

February 23 - Texas Freight Mobility Plan Workshop, Lubbock, TX

March 7-9 - Alliance Staff in Washington, DC

April 25 - Ports-to-Plains Alliance Board of Directors Quarterly Meeting, Washington, DC

April 24-28 Washington DC Fly-in, Washington DC

June 12 - Ports-to-Plains Alliance Board of Directors Meeting, Denver, CO

June 13-14 - Ports-to-Plains Alliance Energy & Agriculture Summit, Denver, CO

September 12-14 - 20th Annual Ports-to-Plains Alliance Conference, Lubbock, TX

 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

Fernando Madero
Vice President of Mexico Operations
Jazmines 123, Torreon Jardin
Torreon, Mexico
P: 011 52 (871) 120 1030

Joe Kiely
Vice President of Operations
PO Box 9
Limon, CO 80828
P: 303-586-1787
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

Richard "Buzz" David
Economic and Business Development
5629 NE Foster Rd.
Bainbridge Island, WA  09110
P: 806-678-3160

Cal Klewin
Executive Director
Theodore Roosevelt Expressway
PO Box 1306
22 E Broadway
Williston, ND 58802
P: 701-577-8110

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