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Service Bureau

The Binational Border Transportation Infrastructure Needs Assessment Study

The Binational Border Transportation Infrastructure Needs Assessment Study


Trade between the United States and Mexico has soared over the past decade. With the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, the value of trade from 1995 to 2000 increased by 17 percent per year. Currently, Mexico is the second largest trading partner with the U.S.; during 2002 trade between the two countries totaled $232 billion.

Trade between the U.S. and Mexico predominantly moves across the 1,278 mile long border in trucks; in 2002 more than 70 percent of the merchandise trade between the two countries was transported by truck. While NAFTA has brought economic benefit to the border region as well as to each country, the trade has also provided infrastructure-related challenges. The current transportation infrastructure was not designed to handle the large NAFTA traffic volumes.

In anticipation of these challenges, the U.S.-Mexico Joint Working Committee (JWC) was established in 1994 and was charged with “analyzing, developing, and coordinating border transportation plans and programs reflecting the needs of both countries.” As a first step, in 1998, the JWC completed the Binational Border Transportation Planning & Programming Study (P&P Study). The P&P Study produced an inventory of transportation infrastructure along the U.S.-Mexico border and specified some of the “disconnects” that existed at that time.

Study Objectives

Recognizing that more work was needed, the JWC authorized the BINS project; the purpose of BINS is to build on the previous study’s findings and identify major transportation corridors in the 1,278 mile long border region, to develop a quantitative procedure to evaluate the needs of these corridors, and to identify transportation projects to meet the needs of the corridors as well as to identify possible funding sources.

SourcePoint's Solutions

SourcePoint, working under the direction of the JWC and Caltrans District 11, developed a systematic approach for assessing transportation infrastructure needs in the U.S.-Mexico border region, results include:

  • Identified 42 multimodal transportation corridors within the ten Border States.
  • Created a border-wide database and evaluation tool, that was used to help prioritize each state’s transportation corridors, based on multimodal quantifiable criteria for highways, land ports of entry, airports, maritime ports, and railroads.
  • Identified 311 significant transportation projects (258 in the U.S. and 53 in Mexico). The purpose of compiling transportation project-level information was to summarize funded and unfunded planned infrastructure improvements for the border region.
  • Identified in the U.S., a shortfall of approximately $10.6 billion dollars (2003 constant dollars) for transportation projects.
  • Identified in Mexico, a funding shortfall for transportation projects of $9,030 million pesos (constant 2003 pesos).
  • Created a framework that will be useful for future transportation infrastructure assessments and can be enhanced or adapted to reflect the JWC’s evolving areas of emphasis.

Download the entire report:
The Binational Border Transportation Infrastructure
Needs Assessment Study
[PDF: 18 MB]

Contact the Service Bureau for additional information.