Ports-to-Plains System in Texas
The Ports-to-Plains System in Texas is a 963-mile corridor and will connect four interstates, 24 state highways and 17 U.S. highways to enhance statewide and rural connectivity. The new system intends to support a growing population, economic centers of West and South Texas, facilitate the movement of goods, international trade and key industries supporting national defense along the corridor.
The 86th Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1079 (HB 1079) relating to a study by TxDOT of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor, including an evaluation of the feasibility of certain improvements to Interstate Highway 27 (I-27). The governor signed the bill into law on June 10, 2019. The creation of an I-27 Advisory Committee was a policy recommendation from the Ports-to-Plains Corridor Advisory Committee as part of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor Interstate Feasibility Study completed in 2020.
The 963-mile corridor spans 26 Texas counties and includes portions of:
- US 83
- US 87
- US 277
- US 287
- SH 158
- SH 349
Currently, approximately 124 miles of the system have been designated and signed as I-27 in Texas from I-40 in Amarillo to SL 289 on the south side of Lubbock.
The building of the Ports-to-Plains System in Texas will be a decades-long strategic initiative and be developed through a series of incremental upgrades to bring existing highways up to interstate standards.
Once the highway sections have been upgraded to interstate standards, TxDOT will request interstate highway designation from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and AASHTO.
In 2023, TxDOT will lead a statewide planning effort to develop an implementation strategy to upgrade the network of highways in Texas to interstate standards. This strategy will be developed in coordination with the TxDOT Districts where the roadways that comprise the Ports-to-Plains System are located. This planning effort will include stakeholder identification and engagement, public meetings to inform the public about the new interstate highway system, and data collection and analyses to document the existing and future roadway characteristics. The implementation strategy will build upon the previous efforts completed during the Feasibility Study. The planning process will culminate in an implementation strategy report in support of an implementation plan, serving as a guide to the TxDOT Districts for future project-specific planning and programming for construction.