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Moving the American Economy - U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 2, 2008
Contact: Nancy Singer
(202) 366-0660
FHWA 12-08

US Department of Transportation Unveils New Program to Fight Border Congestion

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Transportation seeks innovative ways to fight congestion at some of the nation's busiest border crossings, U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters announced today.

"It's time to put an end to the kind of delays that keep families and businesses at a standstill at our borders," Secretary Peters said.

The Secretary said that the Department is requesting proposals for innovative new approaches to ending traffic tie ups at some of the nation's most congested border crossings. She added that the Department would select at least two projects each along the Canadian and Mexican borders.

Peter's said the effort was needed because, over the last two decades, the value of freight shipments among the US, Canada and Mexico has risen by 170 percent, growing an average of eight percent annually.

She cautioned though that this increasing demand was leading to longer delays at the crossings. In 2007, Secretary Peters noted, US-bound traffic from Canada experienced delays up to three hours at many crossings, costing businesses more than $14 billion annually. On the Mexico side, San Diego County alone loses $271 million in annual revenue due to delays at the border, she added.

"We're looking for solutions to the congestion at our borders that is frustrating individuals and stifling commerce," Acting Federal Highway Administrator Jim Ray said.

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