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Abbott signs bill requesting study on I-27 expansion

June 17, 2019

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill directing the Texas Department of Transportation to study the possibility of extending Interstate 27 from the northern Panhandle to Laredo.

The bill passed the House and Senate in May before Abbott signed it June 10, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported.

The study is expected to consider the costs and the logistical matters associated with extending the four-lane highway. According to the bill, the DOT will establish a Ports-to-Plains Advisory Committee comprised of mayors and county judges along the route to assist with the study.

In the late 1990s, the DOT conducted an I-27 expansion feasibility study that estimated that the cost of such a project would outweigh the benefits. It didn’t find a high demand for a north-to-south interstate in West Texas.

But Michael Reeves, who heads the Ports-to-Plains Alliance, said there is a need now.

“I just think we need to look at it again,” said Reeves. “The growth of the state — population-wise — has been tremendous.”

The proposed I-27 extension could connect the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

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Information from: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, http://www.lubbockonline.com

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