Big Bend Regional
La Entrada al Pacifico Letter
Big Bend Regional Sierra Club
50 Sunny Glen, Alpine, TX 79830
(432) 837-3210 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
January 19, 2009
Mr. Amadeo Saenz, Executive Director
Texas Department of Transportation
125 East 11th Street, Austin, Texas 78701
Subject: La Entrada al Pacifico
Dear Mr. Amadeo Saenz:
The Big Bend Regional Sierra Club, and by extension the citizens of the Big Bend, urge you to bring closure on the feasibility study for La Entrada al Pacifico.
- The study began over two years ago and has done its work. Almost a year ago in February 2008 the consulting team and TxDOT staff came to the Big Bend and to the Permian Basin and announced that their data did not support building a four-lane divided highway from the Mexican/Texas port of entry at Presidio, TX, to Midland, TX, a decision that is even truer today than then. In the Big Bend citizens have overwhelming stated at large public meetings their opposition to the La Entrada project and the data support that position. Even in Midland/Odessa there has not been citizen support.
- The study then looked at the need for planning potential bypasses in case east/west traffic within the United States would someday become heavy enough to require such. In May the team again came to the Big Bend and elsewhere in the La Entrada area to speak of that. Those of us on the Technical Advisory Committee made clear that as locals we had the capacity to get a grip on that and we knew the area and understood how to deal with increased traffic. That aspect of the study was dropped, at least in the Big Bend.
- A meeting was scheduled in mid September 2008 to wrap-up the study with completion to be achieved very shortly thereafter. And then with no advance notice, the meeting postings abruptly stopped and the meeting was cancelled. And then nothing but silence and vague answers that sometime early this year we would hear again. The silence is deafening.
- Throughout this period opposition has been overwhelmingly against the project in the Big Bend and as it turned out unsupported by most in the Permain Basin with the single exception of MOTRAN, the Midland-Odessa Transportation Alliance. Wherever a meeting has been held there has not been support.
We urge the Texas Department of Transportation to call an end to the La Entrada al Pacifico study. The evidence is in: THERE IS NEITHER A NEED OR SUPPORT throughout the proposed route for the project. Surely TxDOT has enough on its plate elsewhere, with genuine needs that need work, to cease attention to one that does not. We expect that the TxDOT regional offices out of El Paso and Odessa as well as local offices within those regions can handle necessary planning for safety and if necessary increased traffic.
Please stop keeping us dangling and issue an official statement ending the ill-conceived project of La Entrada al Pacifico.
Don Dowdey, Chair, Big Bend Regional Sierra Club, 50 Sunny Glen, Alpine TX 79830
Fran Sage, Conservation Chair, Big Bend Regional Sierra Club, P. O. Box 564, Alpine TX 79831
Representative Pete Gallego, Texas House of Representatives, Austin, TX 78711
Ken Kramer, Director of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club, P. O. Box 1931, Austin, TX 78767