Ports-to-Plains Investors










Ports-to-Plains Alliance

Entries in USDOT (5)


Chao Tells Conference ‘Time Has Come’ to Rebuild U.S. Transportation Infrastructure

AASHTO Journal

March 6, 2017

U.S. Transportation Secretary, Elaine Chao"The time has come for a new program of national rebuilding," U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao told leaders of state departments of transportation at an annual Washington, D.C., conference of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

In her prepared remarks as posted on a USDOT website, Chao echoed a signature statement issued the night before by President Trump as he said he would ask Congress for a major new infrastructure investment program.

Trump in his Feb. 28 speech to a joint session of Congress highlighted improvements he wants to make in transportation systems. Chao, in her March 1 keynote remarks at the AASHTO "Washington Briefing," told the state agency CEOs that "already, numerous meetings have been held – at the White House and at the Department of Transportation – with key infrastructure stakeholders from all over the country."

Read on...


The Road to Better Transportation

U.S. News

January 4, 2017

The importance of transportation infrastructure for American society cannot be overstated. Our highway system, ports, airports and railroads are the arteries of the economy, moving goods, services and workers inside cities and between states.

In urban areas, public transit plays an equally important role not just for workers but for connecting all Americans to opportunities in their communities. In New York City, some 55 percent of all commuters take public transit every day. As our cities become more congested, a growing transit system can provide an alternative to driving. At the same time, our population of baby boomers will most likely rely on public transit as they age. Improvements in public transit can spur economic development and increase the capacity to move people.

Yet despite its significance, we as a nation have neglected our transportation infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers' 2013 report card graded the national transportation infrastructure from a high of C+ for bridges and rail to an embarrassing D for aviation, roads, and public transit. It estimates that highway congestion costs the U.S. economy $101 billion annually and that $170 billion per year of annual investment is needed to make significant improvements. Likewise, deficiencies in our transit systems cost another $90 billion per year.

Read on...


Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Project Submissions

USDOT/FHWA has called for applications for the FASTLANE Discretionary Grant Program.  This funding was made availlable through the FAST Act under the Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects (NSFHP) Program.  While this is a highly competitive program for a total of $800 million nationally, two Ports-to-Plains Alliance projects have been selected for submission by the April 14th application deadline. Each state is able to submit three projects and other entites are also able to submit applications so the competition will be tough. 

Current U.S. 85 Long X Bridge, ND

The Ports-to-Plains Alliance wishes to thank both the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) for deciding to submit projects along the corridor. NDNOT will be submitting the U.S. 85 Long X Bridge Project as a Small Category project. The FAST Act requires that a minimum of 10% of the $800 million allocations goes to projects in the Small Category.  CDOT will be submitting the U.S. 287 Lamar Truck Reliever Route as a Large Project.  Both projects will meet the threshold of being rural area projects.  At least 25 percent of all NSFHP funds are reserved for projects – either large or small projects – in rural areas.


Ports-to-Plains Corridor Through Downtown Lamar, CO

The FAST Act establishes the Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects (NSFHP) program to provide financial assistance – grants or credit assistance – to nationally and regionally significant freight and highway projects that align with the program goals to:

  • improve safety, efficiency, and reliability of the movement of freight and people;
  • generate national or regional economic benefits and an increase in global economic competitiveness of the U.S;
  • reduce highway congestion and bottlenecks;
  • improve connectivity between modes of freight transportation;
  • enhance the resiliency of critical highway infrastructure and help protect the environment;
  • improve roadways vital to national energy security;
  • address the impact of population growth on the movement of people and freight, and mitigate the impacts of freight movements on communities.

Ports-to-Plains Alliance urges FHWA Administrator to Provide Guidance on Critical Rural Freight Corridors

On April 4, 2016, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce hosted the Administrator’s Roundtable on the Freight Economywhich included Gregory Nadeau, FHWA Administrator and Tretha Chromey, Senior Policy Advisor, FHWA Freight Program Office along with John Cater, FHWA Colorado Division Administrator and Shailen Bhatt, Executive Director at Colorado Department of Transportation.

The Roundtable included overviews of the Freight Economy and Federal Freight Funding.  At the center of the roundtable was a facilitated discussion of trends, challenges and opportunities.

Joe Kiely, Vice President of Operations for the Ports-to-Plains Alliance, was able to initiate a discussion about the importance of guidance from USDOT/FHWA on the process for states to designate Critical Rural Freight Corridors (CRFC).  At the core of the importance is eligibility to be included in the final National Multimodal Freight Network which, pursuant to the FAST Act must be finalized by December 4, 2016.

Gary Beedy, Genoa, CO, a member of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Board of Directors, was able make a strong case for the Heartland Expressway (Colorado Highway 71) as an alternative truck route for north/south freight on Interstate 25 north of Denver.


USDOT: Cash running out for roads, bridges

The trust fund began the fiscal year with $1.6 billion. A few weeks later, $9.7 billion was transferred into it from the general fund. (Congress had authorized a $10.4 billion transfer, but that was reduced under sequestration.)

Click here for complete article > Washington Post

February 18, 2014

The Federal Highway Trust Fund, which uses the 18.4 cent federal gas tax to pay for roads and bridges, will run out of money in the third week of August, the U.S. Department of Transportation projected on Tuesday.

USDOT began spotlighting the looming funding crisis several months ago. The federal agency hoped to get more attention from average Americans, many of whom seem unaware that a source their state transportation agencies have relied on for decades is about to dry up…