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Plan for new Arizona port of entry advances

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PHOENIX — The Cochise County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday unanimously approved a preferred site for the development of a new commercial port of entry in Douglas.

The site on James Ranch Road, about 7 miles west of the city’s center, includes undeveloped land and is close to two major highways.

According to a press release, the board said the current Raul H. Castro Port of Entry in Douglas, the second-largest in Arizona, needs to be renovated.

“It was built back in the 1930s. And obviously the traffic situation then coming across the border was very different from what it looks like today,” Cochise County spokeswoman Amanda Bailey told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday. 

“So it’s in dire need of updating. It needs to be remodeled and expanded because it just can’t cope with the amount of traffic that comes across these days.”

Bailey said the board would like to see the current port handle pedestrian and non-commercial traffic, while all commercial traffic would be diverted to the new port.

“Sometimes there are potentially hazardous materials coming across the border through there, so this would be a much more efficient way and effective way to process that traffic,” she said.

“And so they are hoping that when and if this project moves forward, that second site will be built as part of the project.”

Bailey said the county is putting $200,000 toward a development study and is working with the city and federal government to move the project forward.

“This is a federal project, and that’s where the funding will come from. It’s not going to be an inexpensive endeavor.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Nailea Leon contributed to this report. 

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