A recent article in Midland Report-Telegram highlighted the United States Department of Transportation’s announcement that their Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant program awarded $25 million toward an Interstate-20 “Energy Sector Safety Project” – an overpass at the intersection of Cotton Flat Road and Interstate 20 interchange in Midland County, Texas.
Midland-Odessa Transportation Alliance (MOTRAN) President James Beauchamp emphasized that this federal funding is key to improving roadways and critical infrastructure in the region. The project will see the interstate expanded to three lanes each way, include one-way frontage roads, improve locations for entrance and exit ramps, new interchanges and underpasses will be converted to overpasses at eight locations. This project will have enormous benefits for the area because as Beauchamp stated;
“Interstate 20 plays a tremendous role in freight movement in the region for the energy sector and is a critical connection between Midland and Odessa.”
The federal government’s investment in infrastructure in Midland-Odessa comes at a critical time as the No. 5 top producing MSA for GDP in Texas in 2018 and that Midland, Ector and Reeves counties all rank in the top 25 in Texas for GDP levels. Additionally, the Permian Basin is responsible for 10 percent of Texas’ economy and 30 percent of all national oil and gas production. GAIN Coalition member MOTRAN also noted that this is the third project in three years to be awarded funding in the Permian Basin.
These investments will undoubtedly help Texas achieve its full energy and economic potential. Ultimately, this will benefit all Americans as Texas helps move our country toward complete energy independence, lowering costs and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.