Arizona improves Nogales truck route

ARIZONA – The main road bringing fresh Mexican produce into Nogales is having a massive overhaul. Hundreds of tractor trailers loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables use the road daily during the peak import season.

SR 189, also known as Mariposa Road, is the main thoroughfare for trucks crossing the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales and heading northbound on I-19 to area warehouses. The funding package leverages state, federal, City and County funding that make up the entire US$134 million price tag.

“The road improvement will make sure our roads operate at the speed of business, creating an efficient flow of trade and travelers from the Mariposa Port to I-19,” said Lance Jungmeyer, Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA) President. “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 City of Nogales and Santa Cruz County are committing approximately US$45 million over the course of several years from their share of a fee paid by produce trucks crossing the border. The State Legislature committed US$25 million of general fund money to this project. The road is also recognized as vital on a Federal level, and the project received an investment of US$25 million through the award of a Federal Tiger Grant.

More than 2,000 trucks a day use this route, and the improvements should save more than 10 minutes per northbound truck, according to Arizona Department of Transportation.

The project will fund important enhancements to the entire length of SR 189 and will also construct a flyover ramp connecting SR 189 to I-19, which eliminates stoplights and left-hand turns that currently hamper movement of heavy trucks onto the interstate.