PHOENIX — Arizona officials have taken a step to develop a key trade corridor with Mexico, according to a recent press release.
The Arizona Department of Transportation and Mexican transportation officials signed a memorandum of understanding on March 1, which established a joint planning committee to produce a study in order to improve the trade corridor along Interstate 19 in Arizona and Highway 15 in Mexico.
The corridor will also serve as part of the future Interstate 11, which will expand from Nogales to the Hoover Dam.
The multi-year Arizona-Mexico Corridor Study will identify transportation projects, develop traffic solutions along the border, propose ideas to make the corridor more efficient, plan job creation and economic development along the corridor and establish technologies to ” improve efficiency and reliability, “according to the release.
Mexico has pledged $100,000 and Arizona Department of Transportation pledged $200,000 to the first phase of the study, which is expected to begin in late 2016.
Arizona Department of Transportation spokeswoman Laura Douglas said the corridor will provide the opportunity for increased trade and commerce and will connect Arizona to the global trade market. Annually, imports and exports between Arizona and Mexico total $16 billion.
In a statement, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said the agreement further solidifies the strength of the relationship between the state and the foreign country.
“Our efforts to strengthen the Arizona-Mexico relationship are already resulting in great success, including the signing of this agreement between (Arizona Department of Transportation) and the Mexican federal Ministry of Communications and Transport,” the statement read. “These efforts will grow our binational trade and make our freight and trade corridor one of the most competitive in the global market.”
KTAR News’ Corbin Carson contributed to this report.