Border crossing in Arizona gets federal funds for improvements

Border Report

Plan aims to speed up traffic at San Luis 1 port of entry

This file photo shows cars line up for entry into the United States at the San Luis 1 port of entry in San Luis, Arizona. (photo courtesy Wikipedia)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — The federal government has earmarked $152.4 million for improvements at Arizona’s second-busiest non-commercial port of entry. The money is included in the $1.4 trillion spending package President Donald Trump signed last week, according to the office of Gov. Doug Ducey.

State leaders have been lobbying for a modernization of the San Luis I land port of entry for several years due to its impact on regional commerce. The border crossing spans San Luis, Arizona, and San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico.

“Modernizing the San Luis I Port of Entry is critical to Arizona and our region’s economy,” Ducey said. “Efficient ports of entry keep Arizona at the forefront of cross-border commerce and ensure the security of our state and nation.”

The San Luis facility processes more than 3.2 million cars and 8.5 million people traveling northbound each year.

Modernization is a priority because trade, tourism and economic activity have exceeded the functionality of the 40-year-old facility, according to the governor’s office. The improvements are geared toward expediting vehicle traffic — border-crossing wait times have increased in the past year, and as a result, fewer people are using the facility — and adding security features. The plan is to eliminate unecessary turns for southbound traffic, improve traffic flow and to acquire more land for future use by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The spending package provides initial funding for the improvements whose estimated total cost runs around a quarter of a billion dollars. Some details are pending and U.S. officials must still meet with their Mexican counterparts to coordinate the work, which nonetheless local officials expect to start next year.

“This new funding is great news for the port and the entire city,” said San Luis Mayor Jerry Sanchez said in a news release “This modernization will ease the process for those traveling to San Luis, strengthening our cross-border relationship and the economic benefits these visitors bring.”

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