US SENATE News:
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (DN.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (DN.M.) welcome $45 million in federal investments from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to develop a network of approximately six mile, four-highway connecting the Santa Teresa Port of Entry to State Road 273 at Sunland Park.
“For years, I’ve been proud to work with business and community leaders to strengthen New Mexico’s ports of entry,” said Heinrich, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Together, we have worked to establish public-private partnerships and secure millions of dollars in federal funds to facilitate legal international trade in places like the Santa Teresa Port of Entry. I am proud to welcome these federal investments. who will build on this work and expand the services and capabilities of Santa Teresa. I will continue to fight for federal funding that allows businesses and border communities in New Mexico to thrive.
“The Santa Teresa Port of Entry is a major economic engine for New Mexico – supporting jobs and economic growth across our southern border,” Luján said. “Recently, I visited this entry point where I learned more about the current needs to facilitate travel and trade. I know this significant federal investment will help do just that.
The new roadway will:
- significantly reduce travel times to and from the city of El Paso and major freeways – Interstate 10 and Loop 375;
- address congestion in the Borderplex by attracting increased private and commercial vehicle traffic to Santa Teresa;
- create a comprehensive and efficient transportation network in the region that will support economic growth; and
- improve connectivity between major ports in southern New Mexico and far western Texas.
The new connecting highway will be owned and maintained by the New Mexico Department of Transportation.
The $45 million grant is awarded through the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) program. Senators Heinrich and Luján have already conducted bipartisan calls for DOT to adopt an initiative to make access to INFRA funding more equitable for all states.
Senators Heinrich and Luján also secured $500,000 in congressional-directed spending for the New Mexico Border Authority in the fiscal year 2022 appropriations. This funding will support the completion of a feasibility study to modernize the port. entrance to Santa Teresa.
During the 116th Congress, Senator Heinrich led legislation to reauthorize the Donation Acceptance Program that helps improve infrastructure and facilities at the Santa Teresa Port of Entry.