An environmental review process that is currently underway looking at the building of a proposed border crossing in Sunland Park is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Once that process is finished, Sunland Park officials anticipate the submission of applications for permits leading to the construction of the new port of entry.
Talked about for decades, the crossing would connect Sunland Park with Ciudad Juarez to the south, and could carry with it a construction price tag of just over $124 million.
Called the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro Port of Entry, the project is expected to be built in two phases, the first of which will be a crossing for just passenger vehicles and pedestrians.
A second phase would see a crossing specifically for truck traffic.
The idea for the Sunland Park/Ciudad Juarez crossing was first floated in the early 1970s, but never gained traction for a number of reasons, including the reported opposition of officials in nearby Santa Teresa, home of an already-thriving port of entry.
Proponents of the Sunland Park port entry contend that a second crossing would serve to decrease traffic congestion at the Santa Teresa port.
Funding for the proposed crossing, which would require the cooperation of national, state, and local Mexican government agencies, could come from a variety of sources, including revenue raised through the creation of a tax increment development district, as well as grants, and authorization bonds paid for through a gross receipts tax.
Officials estimate that if built, the Sunland Park crossing could easily serve a combination of more than 1,600 passenger cars and trucks daily, as well as around 200 pedestrians.
A study conducted by the McAllen, Texas-based S&B Infrastructure, the company that is serving as project’s engineer, said the border crossing’s traffic numbers could increase to 2,250 vehicles and 575 pedestrians a day by the year 2040.
Already the subject of several public input meetings, the border crossing project would most likely be built just south of McNutt Road on some 790 combined U.S. and Mexican acres.
The S&B study, completed last year, noted that in conversations with both U.S. and Mexican officials, “the project was well received, piqued interest, and received good support among several of the agencies.”
By Garry Boulard
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