BIG SPRING, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) will speak at the Ports-to-Plains Alliance’s annual conference on Friday in Big Spring at 10 a.m. at 200 East Third Street.

According to a news release from the office of the senator, Cruz will speak at the conference to talk about his efforts to designate the I-27 Ports-to-Plains corridor as a potential “Future Interstate” making it eligible to receive additional federal funds. The funds would be used to complete the I-27 highway expansion project.

In 2021, Cruz, along with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senator Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), introduced the Ports-to-Plains Highway Act which aimed to designate a portion of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor as a future addition to the interstate highway system. The legislation was co-sponsored by Cruz and Cornyn in 2020.

The Ports-to-Plains Corridor is aimed at facilitating an additional North-South route to effort the transportation of goods and people. The Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) Bureau of Transportation Statistics states that the bolstering of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor could potentially increase nationwide freight moved by trucks by 44% by 2045.

A study by TxDOT and Ports-to-Plains Advisory Committee states that upgrading the Ports-to-Plains Corridor could potentially result in a 76% return on investment, $4.1 billion in annual travel cost savings, 22,110 new jobs, and a $2.8 billion annual increase in state GDP.