DOT unveils new program to fight border congestion

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The Department of Transportation announced Monday, June 2, that it is seeking innovative ways to fight congestion at some of the nation’s busiest border crossings. “It’s time to put an end to the kind of delays that keep families and businesses at a standstill at our borders,” Transportation Secretary Mary Peters said.

Peters said DOT would select at least two projects each along the Canadian and Mexican borders. She said the effort was needed because over the last two decades, the value of freight shipments among the United States, Canada and Mexico has risen by 170 percent, growing an average of 8 percent annually and leading to longer delays at the crossings.

In 2007, U.S.-bound traffic from Canada experienced delays up to three hours at many crossings, costing businesses more than $14 billion annually, Peters said. On the Mexico side, San Diego County alone loses $271 million in annual revenue due to delays at the border, she said.

“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.