PHOENIX — Arizona’s second largest commercial port will now have greater opportunities for trade, tourism and efficient transportation due to a new $8.9 million investment announced by Governor Doug Ducey today.
The funding will support the construction of the new port of entry in Douglas, five miles west of the existing Raul H. Castro Port of Entry in Douglas. The Two-Port Solution builds upon the enormous trade relationship between Arizona and Mexico.
“One of my top priorities while in office has been to advance Arizona’s relationship with our neighbor Mexico,” said Governor Ducey. “A modernized port in Douglas will allow for increased trade, tourism, transportation and broadband, opening new pathways for economic collaboration. And beyond business, many people in Arizona have family ties in Mexico that go back generations.”
The existing port of entry in Douglas was built nearly 90 years ago, during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. It has undergone renovations since, but is unable to sustain the amount of trade that passes through it.
Improving the port requires the City of Douglas to build a Two-Port Solution, which will use the existing for commuters, visitors and pedestrians, and the soon-to-be-built port for commercial uses and trade.
“Billions of dollars worth of goods pass through the Raul H. Castro port of entry in Douglas every year,” said Douglas Mayor Donald Huish. “This investment will help our city modernize this vitally important trade route. This investment will promote trade and facilitate cross-border travel for visitors and tourists, major economic drivers for our community. We’re grateful to Governor Ducey for prioritizing Arizona’s relationship with Mexico.”
Part of a larger planned trade network – the Douglas International Commercial Corridor – the city will relocate commercial truck traffic out of the downtown crossing through a new port of entry, offering a quicker, safer and more efficient border crossing experience.
The solution will also promote the local economy. The land near the new port of entry will be developed for industrial, commercial and residential purposes – enhancing the city’s retail, restaurants and service businesses.
More opportunity in the Douglas International Commercial Corridor will create jobs in warehousing, manufacturing, and ancillary services jobs.
“This investment will energize Cochise County’s economy,” said Cochise County Supervisor Ann English. “The port in Douglas is more than a stop on the road, it’s a gateway to revitalizing our economy, facilitating our positive trade relationship with our neighbors to the south. Thank you to Governor Ducey for helping to ease transportation with our biggest trading partner: Mexico.”
The governor allocated the funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to be dedicated for water initiatives for wastewater, groundwater, and storage. This project will enable the city to fully leverage funding from the federal government to establish the additional port. All told, the complementing investments equal the single largest investment in the city in decades.
“Douglas’s economy is bound to gain jobs, investment and new businesses with a modernized port of entry,” said Patrick Scherden, Chairman of the Douglas Regional Economic Development Corporation and Douglas Industrial Development Authority. “With this investment from Governor Ducey, our city’s potential to attract tourists and businesses alike will skyrocket. This Grant is moving the new Commercial P.O.E. a step closer.”
Beyond the economic opportunity within the city, the investment will build upon Governor Ducey’s efforts to advance Arizona’s relationship with Mexico – one of his top priorities.
According to the US Department of Transportation, in 2021, Douglas was the northbound gateway for 28,745 trucks, 1.22 million cars, and 2.54 million total people.