The Department of Transportation (DOT) is looking at ways to address trucking delays at US/Mexico and US/Canada borders, according to information published May 30 in the Federal Register.
DOT is soliciting applications from interested international border states and bridge and tunnel operators, as well as private entities, to participate in the Transportation Border Congestion Relief Program. The program is designed to identify and assist international border states by implementing innovative solutions to help address border travel time delay and facilitate trade and travel without compromising US security. DOT intends to select two or more surface transportation projects, a minimum of one on the US/Mexico border and one on the US/Canada border.
DOT points out in the notice that more than 17 million truckloads of freight crossed the United States' borders with Canada and Mexico in 2005, carrying over half of the $711 billion in products the United States traded with its North American neighbors. Since 1990, the value of freight shipments among the United States, Canada, and Mexico has risen by 170 percent, growing an average of 8 percent annually. Trade between the United States and Canada is about $2 billion per day. The primary objectives of the program are to:
•Reduce border delays by promoting non-traditional transportation project delivery and operation approaches at or near international land border crossings.
•Illustrate the benefits of alternative financial models.
•Promote and support a more efficient coordination process among the various federal and local agencies that have an interest in the US land borders.
•Improve system connectivity to facilitate trade and the safe, legitimate, movement of people and goods across the US border by decreasing border travel times without compromising the vital mission of securing US borders.
•Demonstrate the viability of developing land border crossing projects using an investment model based on sound economics and market principles.
•Build on the institutional expertise in place within the US/Mexico Joint Working Committee for Border Planning and the US/Canada Transportation Border Working Group and interagency groups related to border facilitation.
A land border state, bridge or tunnel operator, or private sector entity interested in participating in the program should submit an application by June 30, 2008.
For more information, see the online Federal Register.