U.S Government Earmarks $42M for Port of Entry

Wed April 18, 2007 - West Edition

YUMA, Ariz. (AP) The federal government has earmarked $42 million to build a new port of entry for commercial trucks at San Luis, ending a yearslong effort to fund the project.

The new port of entry is expected to ease the process of increasing truck traffic in southwestern Arizona. The facility will be built five miles east of the current border crossing.

The final funding decision was announced Friday by the office of Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, a Republican.

Kyl spokesman Ryan Patmintra said the General Services Administration has budgeted the money for the project. A time frame for issuing a contract isn’t known, but he said money is usually allocated quickly.

Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Tucson, called the announcement “welcome news.”

“It will increase the commerce, expedite transportation through the port and add development to that corridor,” Grijalva said. “It’s great for Yuma County and the whole region.”

The goal of a local port authority agency has been to start construction in September, with completion in early 2010. The group, called the Greater Yuma Port Authority, will now work to get federal funds to rebuild the current San Luis port of entry to handle only private vehicles and pedestrian traffic, expected to cost $10 million.

Kyl’s office also announced that the Nogales-Mariposa port of entry will get $13.7 million for an expansion project. The facility was built to handle 400 trucks per day but now processes more than 1,400 a day.