NEW INTERSTATES AND NEW INFRASTRUCTURE
This has been another exciting and productive year for MOTRAN. 2017 marked the 20th anniversary of the official formation of the Midland-Odessa Transportation Alliance, or MOTRAN.
Back in 1993, during the regional discussion of the potential extension of Interstate 27, business and community leaders came together and decided that Midland and Odessa should work together. As positive as the move was, it is important to understand the decision was not based entirely on ambivalence, but rather the realization that if Midland and Odessa competed against each other, neither would be successful, and the only way for either of our communities to be able to truly compete was by working together.
Since then, MOTRAN has been a catalyst for joint efforts and partnerships for Midland and Odessa, and throughout the region. Every month when our board, comprised of civic and business members from both communities, gathers together, we do so not just as MOTRAN board members but as ambassadors for our communities and a stronger voice for the Permian Basin.
So, while MOTRAN has been very successful in obtaining additional funding and helping develop much-needed infrastructure in the area, one of the most important things we accomplish is building and strengthening relations between our two communities and throughout the entire region.
Together, we have made projects that were thought to be impossible, like the expansion of SH 349 and SH 158, possible. We built support for local and private funding to leverage projects when others told us that no one would support those efforts.
Even with a limited budget and small staff, we have made tremendous things happen for the betterment of our cities and region, and the common thread in each of those successes has been you. We may be a long way from the I-35 Corridor and there are a lot less of us than in the major metropolitan areas, but the citizens of the Permian Basin have a lot of heart and have never been afraid to stand up for what we believe in.
When we have asked for your support, you have always been there. There is no better example of this than our FIX 349 campaign which resulted in thousands of folks coming together to support the expansion of SH 349 from two lanes to four lanes. This year, the project was finally completed, but without your support, it would never have happened. As we move forward, we will need your support, once again, for projects like bringing I-14 to Midland and Odessa, and to ensure that we remain in consideration for any possible extension of I-27.
Rest assured, we will keep working hard to advance the causes of the Permian Basin, and with your continued support, we will succeed!
Eric L. West, P.E., F.NSPE