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Entries in Ports-to-Plains Alliance (39)

Tuesday
Nov142017

New ATRI Research Provides Clear Guidance on Infrastructure Investment

ATRI

Novemver 14, 2017 

As the Ports-to-Plains Alliance continues its advocacy for fixing the federal Highway Trust Fund and for the state level funding, we believe it is critical to look carefully at transportation funding options. The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) recently released A Framework for Infrastructure Funding which assesses the nation’s infrastructure funding options.  Did you know that to support the nation’s infrastructure, the trucking industry pays $41.3 billion in federal and state highway-user taxes.  The trucking industry, in fact, pays nearly 46 percent of highway user fees collected for the Highway Trust Fund.

The Ports-to-Plains Alliance hopes you will not only read the news release but download the complete assessment.  As the news release indicates, “the only meaningful mechanism for attaining the administration’s vision for a large-scale infrastructure program is through a federal fuel tax increase.  The inefficiency of other mechanisms, including mileage-based user fees and increased tolling, will fall far short of the needed revenue stream without placing undue hardship on system users.”


The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), a well-known leader in transportation-related research, is an organization whose hallmark is innovative thinking, critical analysis and uncompromised excellence. As part of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) Federation, ATRI benefits from the broad support of the ATA and its members.

The ATA represents over 35,000 motor carriers through the affiliated trucking associations in 50 states. As a result of ATRI’s prominence within the trucking industry, state and federal agencies turn to ATRI for trucking-related research, particularly when industry insight and cooperation is essential to the success of the project. 
Friday
Jun092017

TxDOT and Ports to Plains Alliance improve transportation in West Texas

Fox 34

June 9, 2017

LUBBOCK, Texas - The president traveled to Ohio touting a one trillion dollar infrastructure plan. TxDOT and the Ports to Plains Alliance discussed how to improve the transportation of goods here in the state.

The Ports to Plains corridor plays a big role as the new Texas Freight Mobility Plan is underway.

The transportation of goods across the state is a big part of our economy and the Texas Freight Mobility plan is a movement focusing on the transportation of those goods.

"The most important element of the plan is that it looks at how we can move goods," said Caroline Mays Section Director for Freight and International Trade for the Texas Department of Transportation. "That helps companies locate in Texas, stay in Texas, expand in Texas and also provides jobs for Texans and improve the quality of life. "

At the moment, the Ports to Plains corridor runs from Lubbock to Amarillo, but it could be much greater. 

"We have identified the Ports to Plains corridor as a principal corridor because it connects the Mexican border and goes all the way to Canada," Mays said. "In terms of moving goods, not just within the state, but also in a national and in a multi-state, it plays a key role."

 Read on...

Tuesday
May302017

2017 Energy and Agriculture Summit to be Held in Denver

Everything Lubbock

May 30, 2017

The Ports-To-Plains Alliance announced today it will host the 2017 Energy and Agriculture Summit June 13-14 in Denver, Colorado.

Organizations and individuals focused on energy and agriculture will have an opportunity to learn more about these critical economic drivers through dynamic panel discussions, keynote speakers and industry networking event
“The goal of the 2017 Energy and Agriculture Summit is to tell our economic story of energy and agriculture productivity,” explains Michael Reeves, president of the Ports-To-Plains Alliance. “The Summit will give industry leaders a platform to discuss pressing issues and learn how together, we can drive change.”
The 2017 Energy and Agriculture Summit, which will be held at the Denver Airport Marriott at Gateway Park, offers a great opportunity to foster innovation, cooperation and success across the Ports-To-Plains region.

Tuesday
May232017

Heartland Expressway gaining traction in Washington

Scottsbluff Star Herald

May 23, 2017

Deb Cottier, Heartland Expressway AssociationWith chatter of President Trump’s proposed $1 trillion-infrastructure package, The Heartland Expressway is gaining traction on Capitol Hill, according to Daniel Bennett of Panhandle Area Development District and Scottsbluff City Manager Nathan Johnson.

Bennett, Johnson and Kimball City Administrator Dan Dean participated in a fly-in to the nation’s capital at the end of April, joining a delegation from the Ports-to-Plains Alliance. Ports-to-Plains is a grassroots organization of over 275 communities and businesses, including the Heartland Expressway, the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway in North and South Dakota, and the Eastern Alberta (Canada) Trade Corridor Coalition. Their goal is to advocate for a robust international transportation infrastructure to promote economic security and prosperity throughout North America’s energy and agricultural heartland including Mexico to Canada.

Tuesday
May022017

Getting more out of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Corridor

May 2, 2017

One of the exciting things about traveling the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Corridor is seeing the economic development benefits of the increased number of travelers along the corridor.  Over the past couple of years, small towns have seen new hotels and truck stops… Dumas, TX; Stratford, TX; Boise City, OK; Eads, CO and Brush, CO have all seen this type of growth and there are others.

The question that is often asked is, what can we do to get even more economic benefit?  Our member, the Town of Limon, found one way to create a community vision designed to increase the economic benefit of its highway corridor as well as its quality of life.  Limon, a town with a population of under 2,000, rests at a highway hub where five major highways come together including the Ports-to-Plains Corridor and Interstate 70.  This small town, once bypassed by Interstate 70, has seen significant economic growth over the years including numerous truck stops, hotels, restaurants and convenience stores. Yet, the town continues to evaluate its potential and found that many of the travelers had no idea of the destinations available off the town’s highway interchanges. Despite reaching about 80,000 lodging nights a year, most visitors never explored the rest of the town to find out what was there.  Few recognized the cultural experience of the Limon Heritage Museum, the recreation opportunities offered by the Tamarack Golf Course, swimming pool, and fishing pond or the entertainment options of a historical movie theatre, bowling alley and local restaurants.

When Limon updated its Comprehensive Plan in 2014-15, it focused on economic development. The local citizens recognized the value of the transportation system including the Ports-to-Plains Corridor, but also recognized that they could still do better.  As a result multiple goals in the Comp Plan addressed the need to explore ways to provide the visitors a better understanding of what this small town had to offer, in the short and long term, and ways to encourage those travelers to #ExploreLimon. CLICK HERE to view or download the Comprehensive Plan.

These goals led the Town to apply on a national basis to host a Citizens’ Institute on Rural Designä (CIRD).  The CIRD program is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, USDA-Rural Development, Project for Public Spaces and Orton Family Foundation.  Limon was one of seven (7) communities across the nation to be selected from the 52 applications.  Following eight months of preparation, the CIRD workshop was held over a three-day period, February 27-March 1, 2017.  The Workshop included presentations focusing on wayfaring/signage and development of bicycle/pedestrian trails, but the majority of time was spent with community members creating visions for these two topics. The community was joined by National and State Resource Teams which brought significant expertise and energy to the small community. 

To see the final report, please CLICK HERE.  There are some great ideas included in the report for small community implementation.

For more information on CIRD, CLICK HERE.

As a result of the CIRD Workshop, the State Resource Team opened an even larger door to explore and implement not only the visions for wayfaring/signage and bicycle/pedestrian paths but many of the other projects included in the Comprehensive Plan.  The State Resource team has offered to host another project funders meeting to hear Limon’s “Grand Plan” and make commitment for funding a variety of long term community projects.  The transportation system continues to be a huge catalyst for accomplishing any of the goals and objectives defined during the planning process.  Without that transportation system, it is hard to picture Limon’s economy and quality of life.  That is one reason for Limon’s commitment to the Ports-to-Plains Alliance. 

Limon’s economic plans are not limited to increasing and improving the visitors’ numbers and experience.  You will see in the Comp Plan that the community is also supporting of efforts to recruit primary jobs.  During the same period Limon was granted the authority to operate a Foreign Trade Zone and continues to look to provide a base for manufacturing, assembly and distribution.

Rural communities need to find ways to create the vision of their community for the future.  Hanging on to the status quo is not vision.  If you have questions, please contact Joe Kiely, who serves Ports-to-Plains Alliance as its Vice President of Operations (719-740-2240 – joe.kiely@portstoplains.com)

Thursday
Sep102015

Milton Pax Ask City For A Resolution in Support of a Constitutional Amendment 

Milton Pax is a member of the Board of Directors of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance.  Ports-to-Plains Alliance supports the passage of Proposition 7 in Texas.

High Plains Observer

September 10, 2015

Milton Pax has always been passionate about our roads in the Texas Panhandle. In fact in 2010 Milton Pax was named Road Hand of the Year. Milton Pax is among those names of Road Hand award recipients that are inscribed on the Road Hand Hall of Honor plaque that hangs in the foyer of the historic Dewitt C. Green Highway Building in Austin.

Tuesday he stepped in front of the City Commissioners at their meeting to ask them to support Proposition 7 that will be on this November's ballot.

Mr. Pax said that Texas used to have the best roads in the country but that isn't the case anymore.

The purpose of Prop 7 is to provide a new, stable source of funding for transportation in Texas, dedicated to the construction and maintenance of roads. Upon passage, Prop 7 will dedicate a portion of the general sales and use tax and the motor vehicle sales tax to the general highway fund. Voting yes on proposition 7 will NOT raise your taxes.   Read on…

Friday
Apr172015

Bill to raise $3.5 billion for highways coming to Colorado Legislature

Click here for complete article > Denver Business Journal

April 17, 2015

This bill includes an estimated $100 million allocated to the Heartland Expressway north of Limon.

Evening rush hour traffic builds on C470 near Yosemite, one of many congested roads throughout Colorado |Kathleen Lavine | Denver Business Journal Business leaders and legislators are working on a plan to renew the state's transportation bonds first sold in 1999 and generate $3.5 billion to be spent on expanding Colorado highways over the next 20 years.

State Sen. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs, is expected to introduce a bill Monday that would authorize a November ballot initiative asking statewide voters to approve the extended TRANS bonds (Transportation Revenue Anticipation Notes).

The measure will have a list of 50 priority projects identified by Colorado Department of Transportation — from Interstate 70 widening to Interstate 25 expansion between Denver and Fort Collins to work on more rural roadways like U.S. Highway 50 — and will seek to bond against 50 percent of the anticipated gas-tax revenue coming in from the federal government…

Tuesday
Feb032015

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy Co. provides a perspective on why wind energy matters 

Click here for complete article > The Hill

A Berkshire Hathaway company, MidAmerican Energy, is about halfway done with building up to $1.9 billion worth of wind farms in Iowa. We will be able to able to utilize wind resources in a manner that can represent the equivalent of about half the needs of our retail customers by 2016.

Why are we investing in wind? Well, we look at five factors...