The Lubbock City Council wants the federal government to extend Interstate 27. A non-binding resolution addressed to both federal and state officials was on the City Council agenda for Tuesday.
One possible extension of I-27 from Lubbock to Laredo goes through Big Spring. Another possibility takes I-27 though Midland.
“This resolution supports the designation of the extension of Interstate 27 as a future interstate by the U.S. Congress…” City of Lubbock records said.
“The proposed extension would connect Interstate 27 with the Interstates 20 and 10 in Texas,” the city said. “Further, the eventual extension will serve three existing border crossings with Mexico and provide additional support to the energy and agricultural industries.”
Getting a route designated would only be one step in the process. Getting money to actually do the project is a much more daunting prospect.
A portion of the resolution said:
WHEREAS, extending Interstate 27 in Texas is also a cost-effective option. The Texas Department of Transportation’s Initial Assessment Report on the Extension of 1-27/Ports to Plains Corridor estimated that it would cost about $7 billion to upgrade the nearly 1,000 miles of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor from the northern tip of Texas to Laredo. To extend Interstate-27 approximately 500 miles from Lubbock to Laredo is projected to cost $5.2 billion. Compare that to the $4.8 billion it cost to rebuild 28 mile section of Interstate 35 east from Interstate 635 to U.S. Highway 380 in Dallas County; and
WHEREAS, an additional cost saving option is associated with the primarily east-west, recently designated, Interstate 14 which includes a proposed segment that overlaps the Ports-to-Plains Corridor between Midland-Odessa and San Angelo, presenting an opportunity for that segment to be jointly designated as Interstate 14 and Interstate 27; and
WHEREAS, a future Interstate designation will be a significant new economic development tool for communities along the corridor. Site selectors for manufacturers, warehousing and distribution recommend sites along an interstate highway and travel services businesses such as hotels, truck stops, convenience stores and restaurants, which can have a dramatic impact on small communities will also expand. This will create much needed new jobs and expanded tax base in rural West Texas;