MIDLAND, Texas — The I-27 expansion has been in the works for years and it will soon become a reality. Last week the federal designation was signed by President Joe Biden.
This means the I-27's Ports-to-Plains corridor will stretch from Laredo, Texas to Raton, New Mexico. The road previously only connected Lubbock to Amarillo. This comes after the expansion Interstate 14 signed into law last year.
NewsWest 9 spoke with James Beauchamp, the President of MOTRAN. He said working on these projects are game changers for the economy, but also for the safety of people.
"As you start having access roads, you start solving a lot of those past issues and make roads a lot safer when you add overpasses and those types of structures," said Beauchamp. "From a trucking and industrial perspective, you are saving 20 to 30 minutes when you aren't at a stop sign that is full of vehicles."
Beauchamp said the Midland-Odessa area is known for its impacts in the economy in the state and the country. He believes there is a need for those connections across the state.
"We are providing over 10 percent of the states revenue," said Beauchamp. "We want to make sure, when we move forward on these projects, that we see a promising potential. We are putting that money based on the commerce, safety, population, freight, and all those things."
Beauchamp told NewsWest 9 that the projects are not built over night. He said the process is slow, but beneficial in the long run.
"What is going to happen is that you are going to take a four lane road way like U.S. 158, and make it four lanes divided," said Beauchamp. "Over time you come and add access roads and structures where they need an over pass. Years later you make incremental improvements that bring it to an interstate standard that you can slap interstate signs on."
Beauchamp said now that the expansion has been signed, agencies can now begin raising funds to make it happen. Road project improvements will be made that lead to the final outcome.