A project to make it easier for ever-increasing international commerce to move through Nogales will begin in 2019, two years ahead of schedule, under changes approved by the Arizona State Transportation Board.
A $25M appropriation aimed at accelerating this project made it possible for work to start earlier than originally planned. In addition, $40M in federal funds will go toward SR 189 improvements approved to begin in 2019.
The project will improve a 3.75-mile section of State Route 189 in Nogales and build a flyover ramp connecting SR 189 to northbound Interstate 19. It includes work between the Mariposa Port of Entry and Grand Avenue, including the interchange at I-19.
The Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales is among the nation’s busiest, serving as the gateway for most of the winter produce entering the U.S. and as a major hub for trade between Arizona and Mexico, estimated at $30 billion annually.
The plans for SR 189, known locally as Mariposa Road, also include:
- widening the exit ramp from southbound I-19 to SR 189;
- a raised median along SR 189;
- and improvements at the intersections with Grand Avenue and at Target Range Road.
At their Sept. 16 meeting in Bullhead City, members of the State Transportation Board encouraged ADOT staff to look for ways to pay for additional improvements to SR 189, including a new ramp for traffic on southbound I-19 to enter southbound SR 189. Funding for those improvements, estimated to cost up to $75M, isn’t currently available.
One option is a public-private partnership similar to the one being used to build the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway in Phoenix. Under that approach, ADOT would have additional options for building the remaining improvements, including bundling both phases into a single job and adding a long-term maintenance program to better manage ongoing costs.
Upgrading SR 189 will be the latest of several efforts to improve transportation infrastructure and processes connected to the Mariposa Port of Entry. In 2014, ADOT completed $1.5M in improvements to the SR 189 corridor that included synchronized signal timing and upgrading the interchange with I-19.
Read more at ADOT