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The Texas Department of Transportation, or TxDOT, is now moving to apply its four-football-fields-wide NAFTA superhighway plan of building new train-truck-car-pipeline corridors to the states of Oklahoma and Colorado in a design that stretches from the Mexican border at Laredo, Texas, to Denver, Colo.

The concept is for the states of Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado to apply the TTC toll road concept first developed by TxDOT for the more urban routes parallel to Interstate 35 (TTC-35) and along the route of Interstate 69 (TTC-69) into the largely rural areas along the Ports-to-Plains Corridor, creating what TxDOT calls “Rural Trans-Texas Corridors.”

To advance this plan, the Ports-to-Plains Trade Corridor Coalition, a trade association sponsored by the consulates of Mexico and Canada, along with the TxDOT and the Colorado Department of Transportation, is co-sponsoring a “Great Plains 2007” international conference scheduled to be held at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in Denver Sept. 19-21, 2007.

The conference brochure recommends that the confab be attended by real estate developers, transportation planners, highway services business executives, as well as state, local, county, and municipal public officials and international trade professionals.

An April 2007 TxDOT study on the Ports-to-Plains Trade Corridor Coalition website documents the tie between the two groups.

The study acknowledges that the Trans-Texas Corridor, or TTC, initiative begun by Texas Gov. Rick Perry in 2002 has so far focused on building new NAFTA superhighways parallel to Interstate 35 (TTC-35) and along the Interstate 69 corridor (TTC-69).

“Since its inception more than a decade ago, the Coalition, in partnership with TxDOT, has successfully developed a system of four-lane divided highways to enhance trade and safety,” the TxDOT study says. “While some portions of the highway corridor are still in need of improvement, the Coalition is examining other multimodal transportation needs as it moves forward.”



Proposed Ports-to-Plains Corridor

The study then argues the Ports-to-Plains Corridor offers an opportunity to apply the TTC technology to NAFTA superhighway development in rural settings.


A map on the group’s website shows the Ports-to-Plains Trade Corridor entering the United States at Neuvo Laredo in Mexico, directly across the border from Laredo, Texas. From there the route proceeds north along Texas Highway 277 where it connects with Highway 87 at San Angelo, Texas. The corridor then proceeds north through Oklahoma and ends in Denver along Interstate 70.

The TxDOT study concludes by recommending new highway construction be undertaken parallel to the existing Ports-to-Plains Trade Corridor route to apply the TTC superhighway design north through Oklahoma into Denver.

Also recommended is that the Colorado Department of Transportation along with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation seek a public-private-partnership to finance the deal.

As WND has previously reported, the $180 billion needed to build the 4,000-mile TTC network planned for construction over the next 50 years will be financed by Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, S.A., a foreign investment consortium based in Spain. Cintra will own the leasing and operating rights on TTC highways for 50 years after their construction is complete.

A press release on the TxDOT website confirms the agency is looking for a public-private-partnership to help finance the construction of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor along the TTC design.

WND has also reported Perry has received substantial campaign contributions from Cintra and Zachry Construction Company, the San Antonio-based construction firm selected by TxDOT to build out the TTC.

WND has established that Cintra is represented in the United States by Bracewell & Giuliani, Republican Party presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani’s Houston-based law firm.

The homepage of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor Coalition website proclaims, “Together, the communities along the Ports-to-Plains Trade Corridor are becoming the Gateway to trade throughout the nation and with Mexico and Canada.”

The homepage also links the Ports-to-Plains Trade Corridor to the millions of containers from China that are planned to enter North America through Mexican ports, commenting, “The Trade Corridor will allow for the development of less congested ports of entry along the Texas/Mexican border.”

Among the trade group’s members are 23 towns in Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma and New Mexico, as well 19 counties from the same states.

WND has also documented that NASCO (North America’s SuperCorridor Coalition, Inc.), a Dallas-based trade association supporting the development of Interstate Highways 35, 29 and 94 as international trade corridors, has the state of Oklahoma, the Minnesota Department of Transportation and TxDOT as members.

The Federal Highway Administration has designated the Ports-to-Plains Corridor as a “High Priority Corridor” on the National Highway System.

WND repeatedly has reported the Federal Highway Administration is promoting public-private partnership projects to bring private capital to expanding superhighway projects, consistent with extending the TTC network north into Oklahoma and Colorado.

The Federal Highway Administration has constructed a section of its government website dedicated to explaining to the states and the highway construction industry how laws and investment banking structures with foreign capital investors can be designed to work along the public-private partnership model.

We first learned of the upcoming Great Plains 2007 Conference from radio talk show host Peter Boyles at KHOW in Denver.

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