Upgrades to Mariposa port of entry to improve traffic flow

May 2020

Land Line Staff

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Access to and from the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, Ariz., should improve when a state highway construction project now underway is completed.

The Arizona Department of Transportation is upgrading a 3.75-mile state highway that connects the port of entry to Interstate 19.

Commercial vehicle drivers take Arizona Route 189 from the Mariposa Port of Entry to I-19 to go up to Tucson, Ariz., where they can get on Interstate 10 to carry Mexican produce and other products to markets across the U.S. and to Canada.

Currently, Route 189 has three traffic lights before trucks can access I-19. Most trucks have to stop, wait for the light, and then get back up to speed.

ADOT’s project includes new flyover ramps connecting Route 189 and I-19 for northbound and southbound traffic. Trucks will be routed around the traffic lights.

In addition to flyover ramps, ADOT plans to:

  • Widen about 3 miles of Route 189 from just north of the Mariposa Port of Entry to the intersection with Grand Avenue.
  • Construct a new roundabout at Route 189 and Target Range Road.
  • Install new traffic signals.
  • Improve drainage.

The $134 million project is funded in part by a $25 million federal grant. It is expected to take 18 months to finish. It should be done by fall 2021.

As many as 1,800 trucks come through the Mariposa Port of Entry daily in the winter and spring, according to ADOT data. More than 300,000 northbound commercial vehicles cross there each year.

The Mariposa Land Port of Entry opened in 1973. A renovation of the port of entry was completed in 2014.

I-19 is part of the CANAMEX Corridor. The corridor is a series of improvements to freeways and other transportation infrastructure linking Canada to Mexico through the United States. The corridor was established under the North American Free Trade Agreement. LL

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