Midland Development Corp. shifts funds to design overpass at Loop 250, Todd Road

Members of the Midland Development Corp. took steps at their monthly meeting to accelerate expansion of Midland’s Todd Drive and overpass at County Road 1160.

Board members unanimously approved a resolution amending the MDC’s economic agreement with the city that committed $1.73 million to purchase right-of-way to widen Todd Drive between Business Interstate 20 and Loop 250, from north of Loop 250 to Occidental Parkway and then design an overpass at Todd Drive and Loop 250.

The amended agreement reduces the funding for right-of-way purchases to $755,939.01, shifting $974,060 to funding design of the overpass. That $974,060 will be paid to Kimley-Horn under a professional services agreement to design mainline, bridge and intersection improvements at Todd Drive and Loop 250. Those designs will be donated to the Texas Department of Transportation so that the project will be shovel-ready when any TxDOT funding becomes available.

James Beauchamp, president of the Midland-Odessa Transportation Alliance (MOTRAN) briefed board members on infrastructure projects and initiatives, telling them having two interstate designations – I-14 and I-27 – was significant in potentially opening opportunities for other future projects.

Beauchamp said his organization expects to spend a lot of time this year on advancing the Interstate-14 designation, working with the I-14 caucus to get additional funding for an implementation study.

“The most important aspect is better connections to ports,” he told the board members, citing the Port of Savannah in Georgia – the nation’s third busiest port. Savannah already exports some liquefied natural gas and crude and wants to expand, he said, which would give Permian Basin operators another option to send their production.

After his presentation, board members approved a resolution executing an economic development agreement with MOTRAN for $142,500 to continue MOTRAN’s work raising funds and promoting infrastructure projects in the Permian Basin.,

“We’ve been supporting MOTRAN since 2010,” noted Stephen Lowery, MDC board chairman.

Ann Hankins, part of Midland Community Theater’s Strategic Planning Steering Committee, made a presentation on the theater’s capital campaign to fund expansion of the theater and requested $100,000 from the MDC for the project.

“We’d love you to part of the project and finish (theater founder) Art Cole’s vision,” she said.

The expansion has three aspects: Double the size of the lobby; do away with the small, barely used amphitheater and use that space to double, almost triple the space for educational programs, which serve about 800 Midland kids; and, third, technical upgrades that would convert the back wall of the main stage into a 1,200-square-foot LED wall, one of, if not the, largest LED walls in the country.

Finally, board members approved an $80,000 consulting services agreement with The Perryman Group to provide economic indices and reports.

MDC Executive Director Sara Harris said the reports Perryman provides are well-viewed on the corporation’s web site and are also highly requested by developers looking at the Midland marketplace.

Midland Mayor Patrick Payton asked that the board consider supplementing Perryman’s work with reports from other consultants every couple of years so that the reports aren’t seen as saying “what we want them to say.”


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