Major highway investments for trucks traveling through Laredo port of entry

LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) – Major highway investments are coming to the Laredo area, paving the way for a new interstate as part of a highway expansion project.

Interstate-27, as it will be called, will be a four-lane federal highway, using the Texas and New Mexico portions of the Ports-to-Plains corridor. Interstate-27 aims to reduce congestion on I-35 and would provide another trade route through west Texas.

$7.5 million will be used to conduct traffic and survey analysis in the I-35 section of the project prior to the project moving forward. Mayor Pete Saenz says, ”this is where thousands of trucks traverse through our bridges everyday end up in those highways and they take goods and services to other communities, but they’re connected to Laredo and if there’s a connection, there’s money to be made, and livelihoods to be made as well.”

Congressman Henry Cuellar, who made the announcement, says with the new interstate, Laredo will become the only land port of entry with access to four major interstate corridors: I-35, I-69, I-2 or highway 83 as we know it, and ultimately I-27.

Below is the original press release:

President Biden signed legislation into law designating the Texas and New Mexico portions of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor as a future interstate. Establishing a four-lane, federal highway from Texas through the Heartland is critical to enhancing America’s agriculture and energy dominance.

U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28), a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, secured the language authorizing the designation in the FY22 Appropriations package. He also secured $7.5 million for the I-35 corridor project to conduct comprehensive evaluations and analysis from ports of entry to inland ports. Additionally, the FY22 Appropriations legislation includes $245 million in federal funding for rail- highway improvements, more than $2 trillion for highway infrastructure programs and $625 million for consolidated rail infrastructure and safety improvements.

With this interstate development, Laredo will become the only land port of entry with access to four major interstate corridors: I-35, I-69, I-2 (83 South), and I-27. This will help facilitate the approximately 4,457,547 commercial trucks that cross the border every year. Additionally, the I-27 corridor will help facilitate good traveling to more than 60 countries.

“I am very excited that the I-27 highway expansion project is now written into law with the passage of the FY22 omnibus appropriations bill. This designation will make Texas and New Mexico eligible for increased federal funding to complete the I-27 highway expansion project, creating economic growth, jobs, trade opportunities across those two states. The I-27 expansion will grow the Texas GDP by $17.2 billion and create 178,000 construction jobs. It will also add 17,000 long-term employment opportunities in the new I-27 corridor. With this project, Laredo will also become the only port of entry that has four corridors:  I-35, I-69, I-2, and I-27—a boon for our trade economy. As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to fund projects in south Texas that bring good-paying jobs and ease quality of life for my constituents.” – Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-28)

“The designation of future Interstate 27 is remarkable news for Laredo. As the busiest land port in North American handling more about $250 billion in trade, Port Laredo must have additional and more efficient routes to move product to market, and this first step toward the construction of a new Interstate from Laredo to Canada is a great start,” said Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz. “I want to personally thank Congressman Henry Cuellar for his unending efforts to see this project forward. However, I also want to express my sincere gratitude to President Biden, the Texas Congressional delegation and the Ports-to-Plains group for all their work. This new federal roadway will give Port Laredo direct access to four Interstate corridors.”

Background on I-27 developments:

  • The interstate is aimed at reducing congestion on I-35 and would provide another important trade route through West Texas.
  • The passage of the I-27 designation is a critical step in highway expansion that will increase Texas Gross Domestic Product by $55.6 billion in the first 20 years.
  • The expansion of the I-27 corridor is critical to linking the energy and agricultural industries to state, national, and international trade, and it will result in $690 million per year in travel cost savings outside of the corridor.

“I’m very proud to have worked with Rep. Cuellar, the Ports-to-Plains Alliance, and Texas Mayors in securing the designation of the I-27 for West Texas. Establishing a four lane, federal highway through West Texas is imperative to enhancing America’s agriculture and energy dominance. This investment in rural America will strengthen the supply from the largest agricultural and energy production centers to the rest of the country. The process of bringing this interstate to Texas and New Mexico is not over, but this designation is an important and exciting first step.” – Rep. Jodey C. Arrington (TX-19)

“The impact of this designation is tremendous as it allows for the enhancement of infrastructure for domestic and international markets, creates safer roads for leisure and business travels, and connects underrepresented communities throughout the Corridor with outside markets,” John Osborne, chairman of the board for Ports-to-Plains Alliance. “We would not be celebrating this historic moment without the support of Congressman Arrington and Cuellar, as well as our team of advocates at Hance Scarborough. We are grateful for their leadership and support of this project.” – President & CEO of Lubbock Economic Development Alliance John Osborne

“The Ports to Plains Regional effort has been ongoing for decades, and today the interstate designation for I-27 has finally been signed into law. Thank you to Congressman Jodey Arrington for his leadership on this project. This momentous achievement is due to the unwavering support from leaders like Randy Neugebauer and Robert Duncan. This designation will ultimately improve necessary infrastructure and increase safety in Texas for commerce and visitors. This is a huge local, regional, and state-wide win.” – Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope

Copyright 2022 KGNS. All rights reserved.

For more headlines. click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.