New border crossing for trucks planned in Arizona

| 8/19/2008

Truckers who cross the U.S.-Mexico border south of Yuma, AZ, will soon have access to a new roadway and a new commercial port of entry.

The Arizona Department of Transportation recently awarded a $43.2 million contract for the construction of a four-lane roadway that will allow commercial vehicles to bypass San Luis, AZ, on the way to and from the Mexican border.

The route, Arizona Highway 195, will link Interstate 8 in Yuma, AZ, to the new border crossing en route to Sonora State Highway 2 across the border at a point east of San Luis Rio Colorado in Mexico.

Arizona DOT officials awarded the road contract to FNF Construction of Tempe, AZ, on Friday, Aug. 15, and hope for completion in September 2009.

Brian Levin, U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman for Arizona ports of entry, said the new border crossing is currently under construction and will open some time after the new roadway is operational.

He said the new crossing will save time for truckers and provide easier access from both sides of the border.

“By building a new port of entry, we’re building a brand-new facility for the trucks to use and it moves them away from the downtown area of San Luis,” Levin told Land Line.

Levin said 47,000 trucks from the Mexican side crossed into San Luis, AZ, in 2006, an increase of 31 percent from the 39,000 crossings in 2004.

All trucks crossing into the U.S. at the new junction will need to comply with operating laws and inspection procedures as they do at any other border crossing, he said.

Levin said he did not know the status of any construction or access roads on the Mexican side of the new crossing.

– By David Tanner, staff writer