Alternative Funding Considered for Ports-to-Plains Project
Source: McGraw-Hill Construction
TxDOT will study private investments and partnerships in an effort to expedite the completion of the proposed Ports-to-Plains Corridor.
TxDOT Considers Alternative Funding For Ports-to-Plains Corridor
With funding scarce for the long-sought Ports-to-Plains corridor, state transportation officials are looking at opportunities for private investment and partnerships to pay for moving freight and utilities along the trade corridor.
TxDOT will consider Ports-to-Plains funding alternatives in a study that should be completed early next year.
The research will look at how local governments and regional entities can partner with the private sector to finance needed infrastructure. The potential for utility transmission along the corridor will be assessed, as well as the role of rail and the trade relationship among the nation’s plains states.
Ports-to-Plains is a proposed divided highway corridor stretching from Laredo through West Texas to Denver, Colo. Designated as a High Priority Corridor by Congress in 1998, the Ports-to-Plains corridor is intended to expand economic opportunity and serve international trade from Mexico to Canada.
Despite the congressional designation, adequate federal funding has not been provided to cover the cost of the project.
Using Ports-to-Plains as a case study, TxDOT will research the best potential applications of the Trans-Texas Corridor concept for routes that may not attract tolling as a primary revenue source.
“The utilities industries have found a home in West Texas, and we want to study what potential opportunities are available for attracting private sector investment for utility transmission to other parts of the state,” said Mike Behrens, executive director of TxDOT. He added that such an investment could help pay for road improvements “needed to make Ports-to-Plains a reality.