In 2017, Raul H. Castro port of entry at Douglas was the gateway for approximately 60,000 trucks, 3.5 million cars and 8 million people in two-way traffic making Douglas one of Arizona’s and the region’s principal gateways for trade and tourism with Mexico.
Yet the Raul H. Castro Port of Entry is outdated, overburdened and in desperate need of significant investments to modernize the facility and offer a safe and secure environment for the traveling public and for personnel that operate the facility.
The City of Douglas, along with its partners at the Douglas Regional Economic Development Corporation, the Douglas Industrial Development Authority, the Douglas International Port Authority and Cochise County, are focused on a Two-Port Solution that includes fighting for the modernization of the existing port and the relocation of the commercial crossings to a new facility to the west.
Among the many areas of concern is the constant flow of trucks through the heart of our downtown and that of our sister city of Agua Prieta. It is not simply the volume of trucks but also the continual flow of oversize and overweight trucks that support major mining and smelter developments in Cananea and Nacozari, Sonora yet disrupt cross-border traffic for hours at a time whenever they cross the border. In addition, those same mining developments require the use of several hazardous materials that are transported by tanker-trucks that flow through the heart of our binational community.
By taking truck traffic out of the downtown area, it will allow for the existing port to be dedicated to non-commercial operations, including pedestrians, vehicular and bus traffic. A modernized port downtown will support the efforts to expand our downtown and retail sectors to serve the millions of visitors from Mexico that spend approximately $740 million per year in our community, Bisbee and Sierra Vista. A state of the art facility for our tourism and daily travelers is critical to the long term growth of the binational region.
The Federal Government is currently conducting a feasibility study that will determine the smartest ways to make the investment in border infrastructure. This is a multi-year process and there are many financial, bureaucratic, political and international hurdles that must be overcome along the way.
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