LUBBOCK, Texas — On Tuesday, Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 1079 which allows the Texas Department of Transportation to survey the possibility of extending Interstate 27.
The plan is called Ports-to-Plains Corridor (I-27), and an advisory committee would be created to help with the survey. The survey would take into account the logistics and cost of an extension., according to the bill.
Jim Barnes, a truck driver, said he prefers using interstates rather than highways, and the extension of I-27 would be very beneficial.
“It’s easier. Faster. Less problems,” Barnes said.
Fellow truck driver, William Biaselli said he agrees.
“Seeing as we travel north and south on the road quite frequently and it would ease congestion,” Biaselli said.
Currently, I-27 runs north from Lubbock to Interstate 40 in Amarillo. With an extension, the interstate would run north into Oklahoma, eventually reaching Denver, Colorado, and run as far south as Laredo, Texas, according to TX-Dot.
The truck drivers say it would be an easier way to follow their routes, but they say an extension also has other implications.
“It would be a great help to have truck rest spots also added while they’re doing that,” Biaselli said.
Truck driver, Michael Ladue, said he believes interstates are also managed better.
“Interstates always better than U.S. highways. Plus they upkeep….they usually upkeep the interstates better than the U.S. highways,” Ladue said.
Sen. Charles Perry, District 28, said with an extension, trade would benefit.
“There’s a huge trade partner to the south; there’s huge trade partner to the north,” Perry said.
The advisory committees for the extension will have until Jan. 1, 2021 to complete the survey. After the survey is complete, Perry said it will more than likely be approved but would take approximately 20 years to complete.