Cruz Celebrates Senate Passage of Legislation to Name Ports-to-Plains Corridor ‘Interstate 27’

Senator Ted Cruz

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) celebrated Senate passage of his I-27 Numbering Act of 2023, co-sponsored by Sens. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), to formally name the Ports-to-Plains Corridor through Texas and New Mexico as Interstate 27. Reps. Jodey Arrington (R-Texas), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), August Pfluger (R-Texas), and Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) introduced identical legislation in the House. The bipartisan bill passed the Senate by unanimous consent.

About the legislation, Sen. Cruz said“Today marks another incredible step to greater economic growth in Texas. Naming Ports-to-Plains as Interstate 27, combined with expediting the permitting of new bridges along the Texas-Mexico border, will bring more jobs to our state, fix broken supply chains, and spur faster economic growth for both our state and country. I was proud to spearhead this bipartisan legislation with Sen. Luján, and will continue to work for better infrastructure to benefit Texans across the Lone Star State.”

Sen. Cornyn said“Officially designating the Ports-to-Plains corridor between Texas and New Mexico as Interstate 27 will reflect the impact this project has had on trade, agricultural opportunities, and economic growth for Texans. I am grateful to my Senate colleagues for their support of this important designation, and I look forward to continuing to work with Senator Cruz and Congressman Arrington to get this over the finish line.”

Sen. Luján said“Last Congress, we made great progress by designating the Ports to Plains Corridor in New Mexico and Texas as a future federal interstate route. Last week, the Senate passed legislation to officially name that corridor Interstate 27,” said Senator Luján. “Updating our critical infrastructure is vital to economic growth, and today’s vote brings this project one step closer to the finish line.”

Sen. Heinrich said“From Clayton to Raton, this legislation will create jobs, grow the economy, better connect trade and commerce, and improve transportation safety. I was proud to join my colleagues in getting this legislation passed in the Senate. With this bipartisan Ports-to-Plains victory, we are bringing this project one step closer to becoming reality. I look forward to getting this through the House and signed into law next.”

Texas Department of Transportation Director Marc Williams said“We appreciate the leadership of U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn for the passage of the Interstate 27 designation of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor. Interstate 27 will provide a vital link for connecting Texas’ key economic engines of international trade, energy, and agriculture production, while also supporting the continued population growth of the state.”

Midland Mayor Lori Blong said“The passage of the I-27 Naming Act and the I-27W designation of the Midland/Odessa corridor will benefit Midland and our broader Permian businesses and residents. Ultimately, this is a win to support the Texas economy, bringing additional connectivity to the energy hub of America.  We appreciate Sen. Cruz’s leadership on this issue in the Senate. His work, in partnership with others, has made I-27W a reality.”

Ports-to-Plains Alliance said“The Ports-to-Plains Alliance is very appreciative of the ongoing support from Senator Ted Cruz for the Future Interstate Highway in Texas and New Mexico,” said Ports-to-Plains Alliance President/CEO Lauren Garduño. “Senator Cruz continues to work in a bipartisan way to move this project forward.  With the support of Senator Cornyn and both Senators Lujan and Heinrich from New Mexico,  Senator Cruz worked to pass the future interstate designation into law in 2022.  Now Senator Cruz has been instrumental in passing the route numbering bill in the U.S. Senate.  Once this bill passes the House and is signed into law this will represent another big win for West and South Texas and for Texas and New Mexico in general.  Thank you, Senator Cruz, for your continued support for this important corridor.”

MOTRAN Alliance President James Beauchamp said“MOTRAN applauds Senator Cruz’s efforts on this legislation which designates Midland-Odessa as the western segment of Interstate 27.  Today the Permian Basin accounts for over 40% of U.S. oil production, 24% of U.S. gas production, and home to 30% of freight movement in Texas.  The effort by Senator Cruz to ensure the Permian was included as a primary route will aid in the development of domestic energy production and be a tremendous driver of economic activity along the corridor.”

In 2022, Sen. Cruz successfully included language in the fiscal year (FY) 2022 appropriations legislation to designate the portion of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor from Laredo, Texas, to Raton, New Mexico, as a future Interstate route. This was an important step toward adding the route to the U.S. Interstate System. Though the language passed into law in 2022 will add key parts of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor to the Interstate System, it did not give the route an official future Interstate route number. His legislation, now passed out of the Senate, would name the Ports-to-Plains Corridor “Interstate 27.” For the two locations in Texas where the future interstate diverges, this new legislation would name them as I-27 West through Midland and I-27 East through Big Spring, and as I-27 North for the current Route 87 from Dumas to the Oklahoma border.

Sen. Cruz has also been fighting for four Texas-Mexico international bridge projects, and successfully won inclusion of language in the FY2024 NDAA to expedite permitting decisions for these bridges.

Read the bill text here.

Read the Ports-to-Plains legislation here and the press release here.