Ports-to-Plains hosts town hall meeting
by C.F. David
About 20 residents of Cimarron County listened as Joe Kiely, the City Manager of Limon, Colorado, and a consultant to the Ports-to-Plains Trade Corridor, discussed the progress of the trade corridor and it's perceived economic benefits to the communities and counties it will pass through.
In a handout, Ward explained that the planned corridor from Laredo, Texas to Denver, Colo., would cover about 1,360 miles; 511 miles of the roadway are already four or six-lane highways.
The handout also indicated that the 19 miles from Boise City to the Colorado border and another three and one-half miles of roadway south of Boise City were priority projects for the years of 2005-2010.
As presently planned the shorter construction would be a four lane median divided concrete highway connecting Highway 287 on the north and south ends of Boise City. This three-mile project is estimated to cost some $10.4 million.
The larger 19-mile segment of roadway will cost an estimated $69.8 million and will consist of reconstruction and or expansion of the existing asphalt roadway to four lanes. The total estimated cost of both projects will be $80.2 million.
Kiely explained that the Ports-to-Plains committee was working closely to help pass the proposed new highway bill. The bill, if it passes and escapes a threatened presidential veto, would cover six fiscal years and be capable of having projects such as Port-to-Plains earmarked for federal dollars.
Economically, the building and completion of the trade corrider would have several economic advantages to Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Colorado.
It is estimated that the project could create 40 thousand new jobs with an estimated monetary impact of $4.5 billion.
At present, the average annual daily traffic, (AADT) through Boise City is 2,350 units with 1,220 of those being commerical trucks. By 2030 the AADT is estimated at 7,900, with 3,140 being trucks.
“This isn't a case of ‘If you build it, they will come.' ” Kiely said. “They are coming anyway.”
Boise City News