Congresswoman Martha McSally

Representing the 2nd District of Arizona

Administration Approves McSally Request for $25 Million for SR-189 Expansion

March 7, 2018
Press Release
Announces Arizona Awarded TIGER Grant to Improve Connection Between Mariposa Port of Entry and I-19

WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Representative Martha McSally today announced that Arizona’s Department of Transportation (ADOT) has been awarded a TIGER grant to expand and improve a critical junction that connects Arizona’s busiest port of entry to the rest of the country. SR-189 is a frequently congested and backed up 5-lane artery that connects the Mariposa Port of Entry with Interstate 19. Due to the Congresswoman’s consistent leadership, ADOT will receive $25 million to expand the key juncture on the nation’s trade route.

“This announcement is big news for Arizona as the conduit of our nation’s cross-border commerce. The Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales is responsible for processing 40% of America’s imported produce and hundreds of southbound trucks filled with exports—but currently, SR-189 is overwhelmed and unable to handle so much traffic, undermining the ports effectiveness and harming nearly $17 billion in trade with Mexico. I’ve been fighting for this funding for two years, I am very thankful the Administration granted my request to contribute a $25 million towards the construction of this project, which is so vital to our state’s jobs and economy,” said Congresswoman McSally.

U.S. Rep. McSally has made enhancing Southern Arizona infrastructure a top priority. This past fall, she led other members of the Arizona delegation in sending a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao urging the Administration to award the project with a TIGER grant. McSally also led this effort requesting funds from the Obama Administration in 2016. Click HERE and HERE to read those letters. In addition to advocating for the SR-189 TIGER grant in recent years, she led advocacy during consideration of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act to ensure major trade routes such as SR-189 are included in the National freight strategic plan, as well as three other Arizona projects, including the Sonoran Corridor, a project predicted to support 189,000 jobs and $32.2 billion in economic impact.

The Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales is one of the busiest in the country, with more than 7 million vehicle crossing per year, including 350,000 truck crossings per year, and up to 40% of the country’s imported winter produce. The port is also important to American exports of vegetables, fruit and other items that directly benefit American jobs and our standard of living. SR-189 is unable to handle the demand placed upon it resulting in congestion issues that threaten the timely delivery of perishables and diminish the efficiency of the port.

The project will help expand the capacity of SR-189 by making targeted intersection and access management improvements, and by constructing an overpass of Frank Reed Road for I-19 off and on ramps. The overpass and onramps will improve the flow of traffic and allow vehicles to more quickly and safely get to and from the port. The award of this grant will allow ADOT to combine other funds and build both phases at once, speeding up the completion time and saving money.

 

The full text of the letter Rep. McSally led is below.

 

The Honorable Elaine L. Chao

Secretary of Transportation

U.S. Department of Transportation

1200 New Jersey Ave, SE

Washington D.C. 20590

 

Dear Secretary Chao:

As members of the Arizona Congressional delegation, we write in request of full and fair consideration of the TIGER 9 grant application by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) for needed improvements to State Route 189 in the border community of Nogales, Arizona. The Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales is one of the busiest in the country, with more than 7 million vehicle crossing per year, including 350,000 truck crossings per year, and up to 40% of the country’s imported winter produce. The port is also important to American exports, with hundreds of southbound truck per day of vegetables, fruit and other items that directly benefit American jobs and our standard of living. Significant State, Federal and private resources have been invested in modernizing and expanding the port and adjacent facilities to accommodate current and future demand. However, the critical connection between the port and our country’s interstate system, Arizona State Route 189, is unable to handle the demand placed upon it resulting in congestion issues that threaten the timely delivery of perishables and diminishes the efficiency of the Port.

The ADOT project submitted under TIGER 9 would solve these issues by constructing dedicated and grade separated on and off ramps from Interstate 19 to SR 189, and to as well make needed safety and capacity improvements along the SR 189 corridor, resulting in a much smoother, safer and more seamless flow of commerce to and from the Port of Entry in Nogales.

ADOT is seeking to substantially leverage $25 million in TIGER funding for this $134 million project by not only using its share of Federal transportation funds, but also state money appropriated by the Arizona Legislature and contributions from the City of Nogales, Santa Cruz County and the trucking industry itself. The result is a true financial partnership between Federal, state, local and private stakeholders to help eradicate a clear “weak link” in the nation’s trade system. Millions of American jobs are dependent upon the efficient flow of trade with Mexico. The ADOT project will support and protect those jobs. We strongly believe that this proposal has significant merit and hope that you will give their TIGER Grant application your every possible consideration. We look forward to answering any questions you may have.