March 30, 2023

New Mexico and Texas could get new interstate

A new interstate, I-27, could run from Laredo, Texas to Raton as part of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor.

U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján, a Democrat from New Mexico, signed onto bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, Republicans from Texas, to formally name the Ports-to-Plains Corridor Interstate 27.

U.S. Rep. Jodey Arrington, a Republican from Texas,introduced the bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“I was proud to work together with Senator Cruz to designate a portion of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor as an addition to the interstate system last Congress,” Luján said in a news release. “We are continuing to work together to support the development of this corridor in New Mexico and Texas. Our interstates are vital for New Mexico’s economy and safe transportation, and I look forward to advancing this legislation.”

Luján and Cruz added language to the 2022 Fiscal Omnibus Appropriations legislation that designated the part of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor as part of the Interstate System; however, it did so without assigning the route an official interstate route number. This new legislation, S. 992 and HR 1821, adds the interstate route number.

The pieces of legislation were both introduced on March 28 and were given committee assignments.

“I’m proud to have spearheaded and passed the first iteration of Ports-to-Plains. The Cruz- Luján legislation was a tremendous bipartisan victory for Texans and for our nation’s critical infrastructure,” Cruz said in a news release. “It will provide access to more efficient and effective transportation, cut costs and support our critical infrastructure. Today, I’m proud to introduce the next step in that journey, legislation to formally name Interstate 27, which will become a vital part of our national highway system for generations to come.”

The Ports-to-Plains Corridor is a trade corridor expected to run from the U.S.-Mexico Border at Laredo, Texas to Denver, Colorado where it will hook onto the Heartland Expressway from Colorado through Nebraska and into Wyoming and is expected to continue into Alberta, Canada, according to the Ports-to-Plains Alliance.