U.S. Reps. file to designate the future extension of I-27 - FOX34 Lubbock

U.S. Reps. file to designate the future extension of I-27

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LUBBOCK, Texas -
A highway expansion that has been in the works for decades, made some headway today as the Ports-to-Plains Highway Act of 2020 was introduced. 
 
I-27 currently runs from Lubbock to Amarillo.
 
Under the plan proposed by both Lubbock Republican Jodey Arrington and Laredo Democrat Henry Cuellar, it would expand to run from Canada to Mexico.
 
"5 percent is what the infrastructure currently in this important corridor represents relative to the rest of the country," Arrington said. "But it's 55 percent of the nations economic activity."
 
Texas is currently the largest trading state in the nation.
 
"Texas does over $100 billion dollars in trade with Mexico alone," Arrington said. "And we need to facilitate the new $70 plus billion that will accrue to our economy through the new partnership with Mexico."
 
The estimated cost is around 23 and a half billion dollars. A Tx-DOT feasibility study showed that the return would be worth it. Mayor Dan Pope shared some of the findings. 
 
"In 20 years, we would recoup 76 percent of the initial investment," Pope said. "It means $640 million dollars a year in GDP gain to the state of Texas and $4.1 billion in travel time savings on a annual basis."
 
John Osborne, the chairman of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance, also shared that the corridor would provide a lot of jobs.
 
"Even today, we can see that this would add 178,000 jobs just in construction alone to build this," Osborne said. "And that is so important in today's challenging times."          
 

On top of booming the economy, the study showed this corridor would relieve some I-35 congestion and reduce crashes.  

"Between 25 and 40 percent decrease in crashes and transportation related accidents," Arrington said. "Hundreds of millions with respect to safety."
 
It will likely be 20 more years until cars will be driving this road, but Arrington said this designation is the first step in being able to fund the project. 
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