Approved investment reflects ADOT’s commitment to State Route 189

Five-year construction program includes $70 million for Nogales highway

PHOENIX ‒ The State Transportation Board’s approval of funding for State Route 189 in Nogales reflects the Arizona Department of Transportation’s strong commitment to improving the flow of commercial traffic between the Mariposa Port of Entry and Interstate 19.

The board recently approved $70 million for improvements to SR 189 as part of the agency’s new five-year construction program for state highways. This includes $2 million in preliminary engineering work, $4 million in design work and $64 million for construction in fiscal year 2021, though an appropriation in the state budget approved this year is aimed at moving up the start of construction to fiscal 2019.

“This investment speaks to the importance of the commerce traveling on State Route 189 not only for Nogales but Arizona’s economy as a whole,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “We’ve listened to the concerns and suggestions of the community, and we’ll continue to study the options available and ways to accelerate improvements.”

Ranking among the busiest land ports in the United States, the Mariposa Port of Entry is the gateway for a majority of the winter produce that is consumed each year across the country along with billions of dollars in other goods. It’s also a major hub for trade between Arizona and Mexico, estimated at $30 billion annually.

ADOT led a five-year environmental study and public involvement process to develop a plan for the 3.75-mile SR 189, leading to the selection of a recommended alternative and a public hearing later this summer.

Further investments in SR 189 are possible through annual updates to ADOT’s five-year construction program depending on assessed need and the availability of funding.

The fiscal year 2017 state budget includes $25 million intended to accelerate the project’s start to fiscal 2019, and ADOT has applied for a $25 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant for SR 189. If the TIGER grant application is successful, the $25 million in state budget funds set aside to accelerate the SR 189 project may be reallocated to another project in ADOT’s statewide construction program.