Arizona and Sonora governor’s announce plan to expand lukeville port of entry

Arizona and sonora governor´s announce plan to expand lukeville port of entry

Governor Janet Napolitano and her Sonoran counterpart, Governor Eduardo Bours, announced on December 5th, that the Lukeville Sonoyta Port of  Entry will be expanded to accommodate the growing number of travelers to Rocky Point. The port was built more than 20 years ago and is not large enough to handle the amount of visitors who travel to Puerto Peñasco and return to Arizona on holidays and weekends. The announcement was made at the 2008 Fall Plenary Session of the Arizona-Mexico Commission/ comision   Sonora-Arizona in Hermosillo, Sonora. Many travelers returning from Rocky Point have experienced the 5- hour line at the Port, the Governor explained. Stakeholders on all levels – federal, state and local worked hard on the first public-private effort to ease the congestion at the Port or Entry.

This bi-national public-private partnership between Arizona and Mexico was developed by the Tourism Committee and transportation, Infrastructure and Ports committee of the AMC. The committees  worked for more than a year to facilitate the flow of traffic for visitors and widen the Lukeville-Sonoyta POE. The current POEwill be expanding from three lanes to five lanes; reducing the wait from five hours to three hours during peak times. Customs and Border Protection has agreed  to staff the port once it is expanded. The expansion is estimated to cost $2.5 million, which has already been secured through public and private sector agreements.

Enhancement work is anticipated to take less than 12 months. The Arizona and Sonora  Offices of Tourism, the Arizona Department of Transportation, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) the federal highways administration, General Services Administration and  their  Mexican counterparts, including Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau, parnerted with the AMC on this agreement.

The theme for this CSA Fall Plenary Session was Leaders United to Promote 21st Century Economic Development. By working together, we have a unique opportunity to put some strategies in place that will benefit the Arizona – Sonora region and develop the region into the economic powerhouse of the 21st century, Governor Napolitano said.

During this years plenary session, the following agreements were signed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

-Professional Workers Agreement

This agreement will establish a database of skilled Sonoran Professionals, who are prescreened and eligible to receive professional employment visas.arizona companies lookinf for workers not readily available in Arizona will have access to the database.

-Anti- Human Trafficking Agreement

This will establish a bi-national human trafficking coordinating council – the first of its kind in the southwestern U.S.-Mexico border region. This council will help make legislative recommendations to toughen the states stance on human tracking.

-Health Agreement – This agreement will establish an electronic system to exchange information concerning diseases of bi-national public health importance along the Arizona – Sonora border. In addition to the agreements and border expansion, Southwestern Ambulance donated six ambulances to the state of Sonora. Approximately 500 people attend the plenary session. Governors Napolitano and Bours meet with public and private sector business leaders, legislators, policy influencers and community leaders from Arizona and Sonora to connect communities, change business and affect state policy enhancing the economy and quality of life in the Arizona – Sonora region.

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