Arizona’s new $134 million highway project aims to boost international trade

Arizona officials recently broke ground on a project to improve mobility and safety on a 3.75-mile stretch of highway near the United States-Mexico border.

The project is aimed at increasing international trade coming through the Nogales-Mariposa port of entry by linking the port and Interstate 19, according to a release.

“We know that better roads mean a better future for Arizona,” Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said in a release. “The improvements along State Route 189 will improve safety, enhance trade and foster an even stronger relationship with our neighbors in Mexico.”

Around 2,000 trucks a day use SR 189, and the improvements could save more than 10 minutes per northbound truck, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. 

“This is huge for systems savings. It reduces emissions and makes the whole supply chain more efficient,” said Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Nogales-based Fresh Produce Association of the Americas. “This project reduces transit time from the port of entry to local warehouses, giving companies a valuable incentive to locate their operations in Nogales.”  

The Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales totaled $26.2 billion in trade during 2019, according to WorldCity Inc.

Mexico was the port’s top trading partner during all of 2019, accounting for 97% of total trade ($26 billion). China and France were the port’s second- and third-largest trading partners, accounting for $185 million and $172 million in total trade, respectively. 

Some of the top commodities that pass through the Port of Mariposa include motor vehicles ($3.2 billion); insulated wire and cable ($1.2 billion); peppers, squash and asparagus ($1 billion); grapes ($589 million); tomatoes ($578 million); medical instruments, ($515 million); and beer ($461 million).