ADOT director honored as ‘Friend of the Border’

Halikowski praised for support of Nogales, Santa Cruz County

PHOENIX – For his ongoing work in support of growth of the border community in Nogales and Santa Cruz County, Arizona Department of Transportation Director John Halikowski has been recognized as a Friend of the Border by the Nogales Santa Cruz Port Authority.

The award was presented to Halikowski in December at a virtual meeting of the Port Authority board of directors and recognizes the efforts of ADOT under the leadership of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and the Arizona-Mexico Commission.

“Under Director Halikowski’s leadership, ADOT has implemented programs to complement the growth of existing and new industries,” said Jaime Chamberlain, Port Authority chairman. “ADOT has invested millions of dollars in new infrastructure projects to make our traffic volume along our most congested state routes as safe and efficient as possible.”

The award was given to Halikowski in recognition of his efforts to advance the Port Authority’s mission of strengthening the regional economy, improving international trade and promoting tourism and community development by making the international ports of entry and surrounding areas efficient and effective. 

“The Friend of the Border Award is a great honor,” Halikowski said. “ADOT is grateful for a strong partnership with the Port Authority and appreciates the opportunity to work with so many outstanding community partners in Nogales and surrounding communities. This award truly demonstrates the value of strong public-private partnerships and underscores Governor Ducey’s vision for a safe and reliable connection between Arizona and Mexico to support trade and commerce.”

ADOT has a history of important projects in the border area. Work will be completed this year on flyover ramps connecting State Route 189 with Interstate 19 and other improvements to make travel on that important route safer and more efficient. That will complement significant improvements ADOT made in 2014 to the Mariposa Port of Entry to accommodate increased international commerce in Nogales. Both projects support continued trade with Mexico, while improving safety and bolstering the local, regional and state economies, according to Chamberlain

Other efforts in Santa Cruz County under Halikowski’s leadership include a border initiative for safer, cash-free payments for border-crossing permits; an Arizona-Mexico corridor study confirming that Arizona’s transportation infrastructure and policies support the region’s growth; safety corridors in Sonora, Mexico; and truck driver safety training in Mexico.

Previous award recipients include the late Will Brooks, director of field operations for Customs and Border Protection, and Consul General Virginia Staab of the US Consulate in Nogales, Sonora.