Sen. Cruz Cosponsors Legislation to Designate Ports-to-Plains Corridor as Future Interstate
As a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, I cosponsored S. 4701, the Ports-to-Plains Highway Act, legislation introduced by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) to designate the portion of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor from Laredo, Texas up to Denver, Colorado, as a future addition to the interstate highway system.
As I said:
"Designating the Ports-to-Plains Corridor as an interstate would have a positive effect on not only the 26 counties along the corridor, but across the entire state of Texas and the country as a whole. No state in the union has more invested in trade with our neighbors than Texas, and due to the USMCA Trade agreement, trade between Mexico and Canada has increased substantially, benefitting Texas farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and small businesses. Upgrading this corridor would allow for millions of dollars in travel savings for businesses and increase access for the 2.2 million Texas jobs dependent on international trade. I look forward to continue to work with my colleagues to ensure Texas, and our country, has the infrastructure needed to keep us fiercely competitive on the international stage."
Sen. Gardner said:
"With Colorado's population growing at one of the fastest rates in the country, it is critical that we are making necessary investments in our state's infrastructure. The Ports-to-Plains Corridor is key to Colorado's connectivity and the movement of goods, and it's important we understand and consider our long-term infrastructure needs in the future. I appreciate the work of local stakeholders to support the corridor, and I will continue my efforts to support Colorado's infrastructure needs at the federal level."
The legislation is also sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who said:
"Texas is already the largest state exporter of goods, and adding an artery connecting us to Mexico and Canada will mean better access to markets for Texas farmers, ranchers, and producers. I look forward to working with my colleagues representing states all along the Ports-to-Plains Corridor to bring this plan to fruition."
Cathy Shull, Executive Director of Pro 15 and member of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Board of Directors, said:
"We are thrilled for this momentous legislation which will designate a future interstate along the Ports-to-Plains Corridor and bring a significant economic impact to the region as well as safety improvements for travelers on I-25. Once completed, the infrastructure will alleviate heavy congestion by redirecting freight traffic east, paving the way for future economic development in eastern Colorado and increasing the productivity of drivers transporting Colorado exported goods to Mexico and Canada."
The Ports-to-Plains Corridor aims to facilitate an additional key North-South route to bolster the transportation of goods and people. The Department of Transportation's (DOT's) Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) has projected nationwide freight moved by trucks could increase by 44 percent from 2015 levels by 2045, and according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), Colorado exported $1.3 billion in goods to Mexico in 2018. Trade between Colorado and Mexico is expected to increase because of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which went into effect on July 1, 2020.
The Ports-to-Plains Corridor is currently designated as a High Priority Corridor on the National Highway System. Previously, the Colorado Department of Transportation joined State Departments of Transportation from Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico in releasing a Corridor Development and Management Plan for Ports-to-Plains.
This bill serves as a companion to H.R. 7151, legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by U.S. Representatives Jodey Arrington (R-Texas), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Kay Granger (R-Texas), Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.).