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Section 2: Binational Studies and Planning Activities

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Border Transportation Planning Coordination

The advent of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has greatly expanded the scope of international activities for TxDOT. The TxDOT International Relations Office (IRO) was created in TxDOT in anticipation of NAFTA. Over the past several years, the office’s role in providing support and advice to TxDOT on international activities has increased along with TxDOT’s role in transportation planning along the Texas-Mexico border.

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Latin American Trade and Transportation Study

The two-year to three-year Latin American Trade and Transportation Study will cover transportation infrastructure in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. These states and commonwealth contribute funds to determine needed transportation improvements for the expected growth in trade between Latin America and the United States through 2020.

In cooperation with the states, the commonwealth, and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), a consulting firm is leading the study to develop transportation investment strategies for each of the states individually and collectively as a combined region. The overall study goal is to develop a Strategic Transportation System with particular interest in existing and proposed water ports, airports, freight railroads, and major highway corridors.

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Binational Border Transportation Planning and Programming Study

The goal of the Binational Border Transportation Planning and Programming Study was to develop a binational transportation planning and programming process. The study included an investigation into the current state and national transportation planning processes in both the United States and Mexico. Through review of the available data on border transportation infrastructure and goods movement, recommendations for an ongoing binational planning and programming process were developed. The study focused on the region along the U.S.–Mexico border and the six ports of entry, four of which are in Texas: El Paso-Ciudad Juarez, Eagle Pass-Piedras Negras, Laredo-Nuevo Laredo, and Brownsville-Matamoros.

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Joint Working Committee

The responsibility of the Joint Working Committee (JWC) as an organization focuses primarily on oversight of the binational study’s funding, logistics, and research. The JWC is active in transportation planning and programming through facilitating communication among federal, state, and local groups in the U.S.-Mexico border area. The Director of the TxDOT Transportation Planning and Programming (TPP) Division represents Texas on the committee.

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