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State Transportation Board approves funding for full SR 189 project

State Transportation Board approves funding for full SR 189 project
Contributions by Nogales, Santa Cruz County key to advancing work

PHOENIX ‒ Support from Nogales, Santa Cruz County, state leaders and federal officials will allow the Arizona Department of Transportation to begin work in less than a year on dramatic improvements to State Route 189, the 3.75-mile Nogales highway vital to international commerce.

In approving the annual update to ADOT’s Five-Year Transportation Facilities Construction Program on Friday, the Arizona State Transportation Board endorsed ADOT’s recommendation to move forward with a $134 million project that will include flyover routes connecting both northbound and southbound lanes of SR 189 (Mariposa Road) with Interstate 19.

While the previous five-year program had funding for the first phase of the project, including a flyover ramp connecting northbound SR 189 and northbound I-19, the program approved Friday has funding for the entire project envisioned for the highway.

“Thanks to the leadership and vision of Governor Doug Ducey, state lawmakers, the Arizona-Mexico Commission, members of Congress and leaders in Nogales and Santa Cruz County, we will be able to move forward with all of these improvements that are critical to Arizona’s economy,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “A State Route 189 that can better support international trade will make Nogales, Santa Cruz County and Arizona better places to live and do business.”

Building the entire project at one time, which will save about $13 million, is possible because of funding from a variety of local, state and federal sources.

Nogales, Santa Cruz County and ADOT have agreed to contribute half of their revenue from overweight permits that trucking companies purchase when their loads exceed 80,000 pounds, usually with winter produce. That will raise about $3 million per year for the next 15 years. Sharing revenue from the permits is allowed under legislation signed into law this year by Governor Ducey.

Arizona received a $25 million federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant earlier this year. A $25 million appropriation approved by the Arizona Legislature and signed by Governor Ducey allowed ADOT to begin construction in 2019, two years earlier than originally planned.

In addition to the flyover ramps connecting SR 189 and I-19, the project will include a bridge over Frank Reed Road as well as roadway and intersection improvements. For more information on the project, visit azdot.gov/SR189.

In November, the Federal Highway Administration cleared the way for work to begin with a Finding of No Significant Impact based on ADOT’s environmental studies for the project.

Among the busiest land ports in the United States, the Mariposa Port of Entry is the gateway for a majority of the winter produce consumed each year across the country along with billions of dollars in other goods.

A hub for trade between Arizona and Mexico, the port accounts for more than $8 billion in exports and $7.2 billion in imports, and is directly responsible for more than 100,000 Arizona jobs. As many as 3,000 trucks a day enter the U.S. through the port during the busy winter produce season.

In 2014, the federal government completed a $225 million project to expand the Mariposa Port of Entry to accommodate more commercial vehicles. ADOT built a new truck safety inspection station adjacent to the new port in 2014.

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