The New Mexico Department of Transportation International Programs plays a proactive role in bi-national transportation infrastructure planning and economic development strategy along the New Mexico-Chihuahua international border.
The International Programs team has a number of responsibilities, from drafting documents that establish or strengthen U.S.–Mexico bilateral cooperation, to collecting and analyzing data that allows regional individuals and entities to better plan and target infrastructure investment, to advocating for political and economic policy approaches that will create economic growth and infrastructure development in the region. In every instance, it measures its success by the degree to which it acts as an active catalyst for innovative and positive infrastructure and economic change in the Border region. The International Programs works closely with multiple bi-national public and private entities for the continued collaboration to assure the movement of trade and traffic within the Border region in a safe and efficient manner.
New Mexico - Chihuahua Border Master Plan (BMP)
The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT), in collaboration with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), has initiated a study to develop a New Mexico-Chihuahua Border Master Plan (BMP). The purpose of this study is to develop an integrated BMP to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of New Mexico-Chihuahua cross-border traffic. The BMP takes a binational comprehensive approach to coordinate the planning and delivery of projects to improve land ports of entry (LPOE) and the transportation infrastructure serving these ports in the New Mexico-Chihuahua border region.
The BMP study area covers a wide range of jurisdictions, including federal, state, county and city governments, along with others including port authorities, planning associations and railroad companies. An inclusive stakeholder involvement program, seamlessly implemented on both sides of the border, is essential to achieving the objectives of the BMP study.
A Bi-National Commitment:
The US-Mexico Joint Working Committee (JWC) on Transportation Planning proposes to create a compendium of border-wide regional master plans with a comprehensive and prioritized assessment of transportation needs along the border including at the Land Ports of Entry (POE). The Regional Master Plan provides the next logical step in a comprehensive, binational transportation planning process. The Border Master Plan (BMP) will go beyond the Binational Transportation Infrastructure Needs Assessment Study, Phase II (BINS II) to gather land use, environment, population, and socio-economic data. This data will be used to adequately evaluate growth and future capacity needs at the border and to more realistically forecast future conditions in the border region. Additionally, this data can be utilized to evaluate the existing binational transportation and LPOE system, its current and future demand, and the infrastructure necessary to handle the expected growth.
The Regional Master Plan would help foster consistency among the individual agency planning processes, which creates a documentation that feeds back into the periodic updates of the plan. The Master Plan must consider short-term, mid-term, and long-term needs. The comprehensive list and prioritized assessment of the transportation and POE needs will support international trade as well as improve cross-border travel and the quality of life for the residents and visitors of each region.
Homerio Bernal, NMDOT International Programs Planner
Santa Teresa Border Area Transportation Needs Assessment and Strategic Plan (STBAT Strategic Plan)
The Santa Teresa Border Area Transportation Needs Assessment and Strategic Plan (STBAT Strategic Plan) is a guiding document designed to contribute to effective decision-making strategies for transportation infrastructure in the Santa Teresa Border Area. The study was funded by a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), and, consistent with the objectives of that grant, the study examined potential long-term outcomes related to economic competitiveness, quality of life, state of good repair, safety and environmental sustainability. Given the proximity to the U.S.-Mexico international border and the significant economic changes – current and projected – in the New Mexico, Texas and Chihuahua Tri-state region, a specific emphasis of the study was the nexus between employment opportunities and transportation infrastructure, in particular investment in regional transportation projects that will ensure proactive transportation planning related to regional economic development.
The STBAT represents the first attempt to aggregate all previous regional plans, studies and reports and determine the highest priority transportation infrastructure projects for the Santa Teresa border region based on the considerations mentioned above. The study is multi-modal in nature, and while there is by necessity a strong emphasis on freight mobility, other transportation modes such as personal vehicles, transit, pedestrian and bicycle facilities are included as they are important factors in defining economic development opportunities in the region. The process of determining the highest priority recommendations is supported by a Needs Assessment of the existing transportation infrastructure network that identifies current and projected economic development growth and needs. Ultimately, the study is designed to provide local, regional, state, and national entities with concrete, viable recommendations to guide their transportation policy decisions given identified constraints and opportunities.
Trent Doolittle, PE, District Engineer, NMDOT District One
Harold A. Love, P.E., Assistant District Engineer, NMDOT District One
Commercial Border Crossing and Wait Time Measurement Report at Santa Teresa International Border Crossing
Through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) provided the installation of a border crossing and wait time measurement system at the Santa Teresa International Border Crossing for northbound commercial vehicles traveling from Mexico into New Mexico. The border crossing and wait time measurement system is based on RFID technology and includes four RFID reader stations in the truck path from Mexico into New Mexico.
The development and implementation of the wait and crossing-time measurement system for the Santa Teresa LPOE began in March 2017, with the Final Report completed in September 2019. The System collects, archives, and posts northbound border wait times for commercial vehicles entering the State of New Mexico from Mexico on the Border Crossing Information System that is available on the website (bcis.tti.tamu.edu). The Final Report covers the work developed during the course of the project.
Homerio Bernal, NMDOT International Programs Planner