Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Master plan for 'Ports-to-Plains Corridor' in the works

Ports-to-Plains Corridor Enters A More Serious Planning Phase

October 2, 2007

Liz Moucka
Texas Contractor
Reed ACP Construction Data
Copyright 2007

Austin, Tex. – The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) announced it will form a working group to develop a financial master plan a Ports-to-Plains Corridor, which would create new jobs and economic opportunity for West Texas. Ports-to-Plains is a proposed divided highway corridor stretching from Laredo on the Mexican border, through Midland/Odessa, Lubbock, and Amarillo in West Texas north to Denver, Colorado.

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.

Earlier this year, Cambridge Systematics issued a report to TxDOT outlining the rural development opportunities if Ports-to-Plains is built as part of the proposed Trans-Texas Corridor project. In addition to being be a catalyst for economic development and job creation, the Ports-to-Plains Corridor could provide a way to transfer energy generated by wind turbines in West Texas to other parts of Texas and the southwest. Wind farms are currently located in 14 West Texas counties creating electrical generation capacity rated at 3,676 MW.

Electrical generation capacity is expected to reach 7,038 MW in western counties by 2010, according to the Public Utility Commission of Texas. Additionally, with nearly 40 percent of all U.S. agricultural products being exported, a Ports-to-Plains route would help farmers and ranchers from West Texas and throughout the U.S. Midwest compete in the global marketplace.

Construction Underway On Union Pacific Intermodal Yard In San Antonio

San Antonio, Tex. – General contractor SpawGlass and earthmoving contractor M. Hanna Construction have begun site preparations on the 300-acre Union Pacific Intermodal facility on the south side of San Antonio. The $90 million state-of-the-art terminal is expected to generate $2.48 billion in cumulative economic impact for the area over 20 years. Located strategically between rail lines traveling to and from the West Coast and Mexico, the 300-acre rail port will ship and receive containers and trailers with household goods and other items supporting retailers and distribution centers, as well as auto parts for the new Toyota plant in San Antonio.

The routes easily accessed by the facility will be along San Antonio’s Loop 410; Interstate 35 and the future Trans-Texas Corridor TTC-35 (Laredo to Dallas/Fort Worth and northern states); State Hwy. 37 (Port of Corpus Christi); I-10 (Houston and the Southeastern U.S. and El Paso on to Los Angeles). First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc., a leading provider of industrial real estate supply chain solutions, in partnership with 4M Realty, has been selected as the developer for the facility. Access and egress points for trucks and automobiles at Interstate 35, will increase the viability of an adjacent business park which First Industrial is currently planning.

When completed in late 2008, the new facility will use a combination of advanced computer systems and technology to coordinate all movement of rail cars, trucks, trailers and containers so that a truck entering or leaving the facility will be stopped at the gate for only 30 to 45 seconds, compared to the national average of four minutes.

© 2007 Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. : www.acppubs.com

To search TTC News Archives click HERE

To view the Trans-Texas Corridor Blog click HERE