AUSTIN, Texas (KFDA) - Governor Greg Abbott signed Texas House Bill 1079 yesterday that will direct the Texas Department of Transportation to conduct a comprehensive study of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor, a project that would improve and extend Interstate 27.
Texas House Bill 1079 was signed by Governor Abbott yesterday, which will direct TxDOT to conduct a comprehensive study of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor, evaluating the feasibility of and the costs and logistical matters associated with, improvements that create a four-lane divided highway.
The study is said to provide detailed improvements to extend I-27 both north and south, including the Ports-to-Plains Corridor north of Amarillo to the Texas-Oklahoma border and south of Lubbock to Laredo.
Next steps include TxDOT creating an Interstate 27 Advisory Committee, consisting of the county judge, an elected official, or the administrator of the county’s road department, as designated by the mayor, of Amarillo, Big Spring, Carrizo Springs, Dalhart, Del Rio, Dumas, Eagle Pass, Eldorado, Lamesa, Laredo, Lubbock, Midland, Odessa, San Angelo, Sonora, Sterling City, Stratford and Tahoka.
TxDOT will also establish committees for each geographic segment along the corridor in conjunction with the Advisory Committee. Segment committees will submit a report by June 30, 2020 to the Advisory committee providing input for the study conducted by the TxDOT.
TxDOT will submit a report on the results of the study to the governor, lieutenant governor, speaker of the house of representatives and presiding officer of each standing committee of the legislature no later than January 1, 2021.
Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope says this action will reinforce planning efforts that have been ongoing for years.
“For decades, Lubbock city leaders planned for the continued growth in and around Lubbock,” said Mayor Pope. “They recognized the importance of improving local infrastructure and championed for proactive transportation projects like the Marsha Sharp Freeway, and Loop 88. The extension of I-27 remains a top priority of our city and will continue that legacy. Governor Abbott signing HB 1079 is a critical step in preparing for the area’s future needs, and I applaud the West Texas delegation in Austin that supported this measure through the legislative process.”
In a press release, Governor Abbott extended a special thanks to area officials for their legislative support, including Representative Four Price, Senator Kel Seliger, Amarillo City Manager Jared Miller and Deputy City Manager Michelle Bonner.