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Ports-to-Plains Alliance

Monday
Dec152014

Theodore Roosevelt Expressway: Emergency manager calls for safety review of Highway 85

Powell said there are inherent problems with the four-lane highway in which the undivided median is used for a turning lane and, illegally, as another passing lane.

Click here for complete article > Bismarck Tribune

December 13, 2014

Karolin Rockvoy, the emergency manager for McKenzie County, says the new four-lane on Highway 85 poses some risks and hazards and she's calling for more safety features.Karolin Rockvoy left the scene of what turned out to be a fatal accident on Highway 85 Tuesday and picked up the phone.

She didn't know then that it was this year's 20th highway death in McKenzie County. The victim of the three-vehicle crash north of Alexander was airlifted out and later died at the hospital.

Rockvoy is the county emergency manager, and her phone calls get answered. She's asking the state Department of Transportation for a safety review of the new stretch of four lanes of Highway 85 from Watford City and past Alexander…

Tuesday
Dec022014

Texas highway money doesn’t always go to highways

Click here for complete article > KXAN

November 26, 2014

Every time you go to the pump you pay for the upkeep and construction of Texas roads. But lawmakers spend millions of your highway money on other things and it’s been happening for years.

Like a lot of us, Jason Beville dreads his drive to work. Music helps him forget about the nine mile, 45 minute trip.

“Here, there’s just too many people in too small a space. It seems like there’s not enough ways to get around. If I want to go downtown, I got to take MoPac or I got to get on Lamar. Either way, it’s a death wish,” said Beville.

Fifteen cents per gallon of gas goes to the State Highway Fund, money intended for road construction projects. However, each year, lawmakers use millions of dollars to pay for other departments. The Department of Public Safety gets the most. But money also goes to employee benefits, the Department of Insurance, the Attorney General’s Office, the Department of Motor Vehicles and others. All while the Department of Transportation (TxDOT) says it is billions of dollars in the hole each year…

Wednesday
Nov262014

Cold Lake, AB: Imperial Oil always looking to improve technology

A photo of Imperial Oil's Mahkeses factility located roughly 50 kilometres outside of Cold Lake.Click here for complete article > Bonnyville Nouvelle

November 25, 2014

With the expansion Nabiye project almost complete, Imperial Oil’s Cold Lake operations is set to reach a combined production level of approximately 193,000 barrels of oil per day. 

Nabiye, which is Dené for Otter, will join four other plants – Leming, Maskaw, Mahihkan and Mahkeses – at the company’s Cold Lake operations. Together these facilities, consisting of 4,600 active wells, cover roughly 780 square kilometers of oil sands leases 50 kilometers northwest of Cold Lake.

It was in 2010 when Imperial Oil received regulatory approval to proceed with development of the $2 billion Nabiye project.

After nearly four years of planning research and construction Nabiye is projected to start up production by the end of 2014…

Tuesday
Nov252014

Small Business Growth from Natural Gas Production and Exports

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

November 13, 2014

New Report Shows Energy Sector - Led By Small and Medium Size Firms - Added Significant Small Businesses and Jobs, While Overall U.S. Economy Witnessed Losses

In the midst of a historic energy revolution, United States energy sector companies - particularly small and midsize businesses – are adding new businesses and jobs at a far greater pace than the overall economy, according to a new report released today by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council).  These gains, the report adds, could be expanded even further through additional liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports.

"Our country has undergone nothing short of an energy revolution over the past decade, shifting from the position of energy dependence to one of energy abundance," said Raymond J. Keating, SBE Council chief economist and author of the report. "We are now the top natural gas producer in the world and the largest combined oil and natural gas producer. Our increased energy production has brought about tremendous small business and job growth with indirect benefits spreading up and down the supply chain all across the country. Expanding LNG exports would be the icing on the cake by encouraging future investments and the creation of even more businesses and jobs in our thriving energy sector. "…

Click here for complete report.

Monday
Nov242014

Falling apart: America's neglected infrastructure

60 Minutes/CBS Video Link

The following is a script of "Falling Apart" which aired on Nov. 23, 2014. Steve Kroft is the correspondent. James Jacoby, Michael Karzis and Maria Gavrilovic, producers.

There are a lot of people in the United States right now who think the country is falling apart, and at least in one respect they're correct. Our roads and bridges are crumbling, our airports are out of date and the vast majority of our seaports are in danger of becoming obsolete.  All the result of decades of neglect. None of this is really in dispute. Business leaders, labor unions, governors, mayors, congressmen and presidents have complained about a lack of funding for years, but aside from a one time cash infusion from the stimulus program, nothing much has changed. There is still no consensus on how to solve the problem or where to get the massive amounts of money needed to fix it, just another example of political paralysis in Washington…

Saturday
Nov082014

Oil and Gas Drilling and Well Development Process

A Frac Spread; Image Credit: Kansas Geological SurveyThe following links provide an in-depth look at the oil and gas drilling and well development process.  Understanding the process is important for local government and community leaders.  The information was provided by DrillingInfo.com.

Unlocking Downhole Treasure

Friday
Oct312014

Boom times take new Highway 85 bypass

Three additional reliever routes were opened on the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway on Tuesday, October 28th.  These investment are on top of projects expanding U.S. Highway 85 from Williston to Watford City to four-lane divided.

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Bismarck Tribune

October 28, 2014

ALEXANDER, N.D. — Lisa Lucas, a California girl in a stocking cap with a little boy in hand and a baby on board, is the reason for the bypass around Alexander.

It is for her and others trying to live out these rambunctious boom times that the state of North Dakota invested $160 million to take state highways around Alexander and Watford City instead of through them.

On Tuesday, after chilly but boisterous ribbon cuttings out on the pavement of both projects, the signal lights at Watford City went into operation. Back in town, it was like someone threw a shutoff switch. Gone was the noise of thousands of trucks, and a pedestrian could walk across the old U.S. Highway 85 intersection without feeling like it was a suicide mission.

It felt the same in Alexander, where the Main Street that used to be the main highway was quiet, just like the good old days. The noisy traffic on U.S. Highway 85 can no longer be heard, much less seen.

Lucas, who had pulled up to the Alexander Post Office to pick up the new baby crib shipped to her, said she likes the little town she and her husband settled into a year ago a lot more now that the traffic is gone.

“It feels like the country is supposed to feel,” Lucas said. “Even the locals are coming outside more.” 

Continue Reading…

Saturday
Oct252014

Ports to Plains expansion construction headed to the Panhandle

NewsChannel10.com

October 23, 2014

Amarillo, TX - More transportation construction is coming to the panhandle, and Amarillo has plans to bring more business to the area with it.

The Ports to Plains Corridor is a trade route running from Mexico all the way up to Canada. Expanding the corridor to meet the demand of traffic passing through it has been a project in the making for nearly twenty years and now there is finally funding to make some progress.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is investing more than $900 million into 59 projects along the Texas portion of the Ports to Plains Corridor. Almost half of those projects are right here in the Panhandle… Continue Reading