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San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico

San Luis Rio Colorado International Crossing II San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora

Status: Completed construction

Background

Because of its geographic location San Luis Río Colorado is an important port of entry for the transportation of merchandise to all the major regional commercial centers in both countries. According to information verified by the Mexican Ministry of Communication and Transportation (SCT), an average of 1,641 vehicles a day crosses San Luis Río Colorado
International Bridge I.

Currently, passenger and commercial vehicles entering the U.S. from Mexico are delayed at the SLRC-San Luis border crossing because the existing infrastructure and facilities are inadequate to handle this high volume of traffic. According to a recent study, northbound traffic experiences an average 1.8 hour delay per commercial vehicle, resulting in substantial air pollutant emissions from idling diesel engines. Since the current port is located in the heart of the downtown area and commercial vehicles must cross though this densely-populated city to access the port, residents are constantly exposed to high concentrations of these harmful emissions. In addition, commercial vehicles contribute to heavy congestion and frequent traffic jams along the city’s main roads.

The transport of hazardous waste from “maquiladoras” back to the U.S. for final disposal poses an additional risk from accidents or spills, not only to passenger vehicles waiting in line, but also to residents in the immediate vicinity of the crossing, especially during the summer months when dangerous chemical reactions could occur due to extreme temperatures.

One of the goals proposed in Mexico’s 2007-2012 National Development Plan is to ensure access to and expansion of highway and transportation service infrastructure, both nationally and regionally, with attention to the environmental, social and economic benefits of transportation projects. Under this plan, SCT bid out a concession to build, operate, and maintain a second border crossing in San Luis Rio Colorado for the exclusive use of commercial vehicles. In November 2007, the concession was awarded to the company, Concesionaria y Operadora del Puente Internacional Cucapá for a period of 30 years.

The U.S. side of the border crossing is already under construction and expected to initiate operations in October 2009.

Description

The main components of the new commercial port include:

  • Construction of a 400-meter (1,300-foot) vehicular crossing, located at the subsection between kilometers 192+247 and 191+220 of Mexican federal highway, MEX 2 Sonoyta-San Luis Río Colorado;
  • Construction of port facilities, including offices, platforms, toll booths, and control booths; and
  • Paving of approximately 50,000 m2 (538,195 ft2) of roadways to control traffic flows for the new crossing.

The Mexican port will include a truck anti-idling/electrification station (TAS). Trucks in the TAS area will be able to connect their systems to available power outlets and thus turn off their engines while waiting to pass through to the inspection area. Moreover, commercial traffic to the port will be diverted around the east-side of the city, thus reducing traffic
congestion on city streets.

With the implementation of this project, the existing crossing will also be redesigned as a pedestrian and non-commercial port of entry, adding four new passenger vehicle lanes for a total of ten lanes. Special lanes will be created for bus, high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) and recreational vehicle (RV) traffic, emergency vehicles and participants enrolled in the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) program. The facilities for processing pedestrian traffic will also be expanded.

Benefits

Relocating the commercial port of entry outside the downtown area will remove a source of heavy pollution generated by idling diesel trucks in densely-populated areas of San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora and San Luis, Arizona. Using the most modern and efficient processing systems for border crossings will expedite commercial traffic flows at the new crossing, thus reducing idling times, fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. In addition, traffic congestion and idling times for passenger vehicles at the current crossing will be reduced, thereby further reducing fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.

Project Financing

Total Project Cost US 15.39M
NADB Funding US 10.13M - NADB Loan