Mexico and Arizona have signed an agreement to collaborate on developing a trade corridor between them, an effort that will boost development of Interstate 19 and the future I-11 in addition to Mexico Highway 15.
Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) Director John Halikowski and Mexico’s Ministry of Communications & Transport Undersecretary of Infrastructure Raul Murrieta Cummings recently signed the memorandum of understanding in Mexico City. Mexico is the state’s largest trading partner with an estimated $16 billion in imports and exports crossing the boarder each year.
“Our efforts to strengthen the Arizona-Mexico relationship are already resulting in great success, including the signing of this agreement between ADOT and the Mexican federal Ministry of Communications and Transport,” Gov. Doug Ducey says. “These efforts will grow our binational trade and make our freight and trade corridor one of the most competitive in the global market.”
The agreement calls for a joint planning committee to develop a study on improvements for I-19 and Highway 15, a route that feeds into Arizona’s port of entry system. The corridor will also be part of the future I-11, which will travel from Nogales to the Hoover Dam bypass bridge and extend into northern Nevada and possibly as far as Canada, officials say. The study will begin later this year.
ADOT and Mexico have pledged a combined $300,000 to be used for the first phase of the study. The plan will determine priority transportation projects, congestion solutions, strategies for efficient multimodal transportation and ways to create jobs and foster economic development along the corridor.
“This one-of-a-kind study will set us apart from the rest and help us market our region throughout the world,” ADOT’s Halikowski says. “Gov. Ducey has challenged us to think big, to think as a business, and with this study we will push our sphere of influence beyond the border, helping Arizona companies tap into new business opportunities in Mexico. This will also help us position our corridor as a viable, cost-effective alternative to the corridors connecting Mexico to the Texas border.”
Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transport stated prior to the signing ceremony it would continue its commitment to complete $2.2 billion in improvements to the Highway 15 corridor between the border and Mexico City, a point Halikowski brought up in earlier meetings.