A conspiracy theory nearly a completed reality!: The NAFTA Super HighwaySubmitted by SteveMT on Wed, 07/15/2009 - 13:33
I am very concerned about this article appearing in the Missoulian as a routine article.
The "Ports to Plains Corridor" is very real, but as far as I know, it is a toll-free road and owned and operated by us. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ports_to_Plains_Corridor
Pinning hopes on corridor - Towns from Mexico to Canada seek expansion for important trucking route
By IVAN MORENO Associated Press
Wednesday, July 15 2009
LIMON, Colo. - For Joe Kiely, the drone of thousands of trucks passing his Colorado plains town signals economic prosperity.
The caravans carrying billions of dollars worth of goods move along a 2,300-mile, mostly rural, two-lane trade route from Mexico to Canada, and frequently stop in on towns like Limon and bring business to their hotels, truck stops, gas stations and fast food restaurants.
If the Ports to Plains Corridor is going to be able to handle the increasing flow of goods, Kiely said, the highways need to be expanded. To realize the corridor’s potential, Kiely and municipal officials up and down the highway want federal backing for a 20-year plan to expand the road to four lanes.
Some $900 million has been spent since 1997, and this year more than $80 million in stimulus funds went to road construction and improvements on parts of the highway in Colorado, Texas and New Mexico.
“The result of that will be a more unsafe situation. You can only put so many trucks on a two-lane road.”
The roadway goes from the Port of Raymond on the U.S. border with Saskatchewan to Laredo, Texas. It winds its way through Texas, New Mexico, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and North and South Dakota.
Capitalizing on the North American Free Trade Agreement, the corridor moves produce, livestock, petrochemicals and oil and gas equipment, Kiely said. His group has reached out to Mexico and Canada for political support, and Alberta, Saskatchewan’s neighbor to the west, recently joined it.
“It only stands to reason that if there is an opportunity to increase our trade, or streamline our trade, that we should be a partner,” said Leonard Mitzel, a member of Alberta’s Legislative Assembly. Mitzel noted Canada’s oil industry depends on trucks and machinery imports from the U.S. and Mexico.
Kiely said the group has been talking with leaders in the Mexican border state of Coahuila because of its many maquiladoras, or assembly plants, and because Coahuila can provide a trade path to central Mexico.
Work on the portion spanning Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Colorado is expected to cost $2.3 billion over 20 years, generating $4.5 billion in new jobs, sales taxes, manufacturing and lodging. Estimates for the other states are under way.
Limon’s central Colorado location, cheap land prices, open space for trucks and lack of congestion can be attractive to companies, he said.
“If you don’t start now, you don’t get it,” he said. “It was 1990 when the tornado came through here. ... Where are we from 1990 now? Almost 20 years.”