- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 4, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A new Union Pacific Corp. facility being built in southern New Mexico is expected to open this year, but border trade officials say it still needs expanded access roads.

The Omaha, Neb.-headquartered railroad’s sprawling facility for transferring cargo between trucks and trains is under construction in an industrial park in Santa Teresa near El Paso, Texas.

A grand opening is planned May 28 for the facility, which is about a year ahead of schedule, the Albuquerque Journal (https://bit.ly/1hISSRh ) reported.

Jerry Pacheco of the Border Industrial Association predicted congestion of truck traffic unless there are improvements in road connections to the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez.

“We’re not prepared for the volume of traffic we’re going to be getting here,” Pacheco said. “I am very worried that we are starting to react to the amount of commerce we have here instead of planning to accommodate it.”

New Mexico Border Authority Executive Director Bill Mattiace says the planned widening of a truck route to Mexico will move the bottleneck south of the border.

Eliminating that bottleneck will be a priority in binational talks being held in Mexico City this week, Mattiace said.

Mattiace said he’ll be asking Mexico to “upgrade, widen and match what we’re doing on the U.S. side.”

“It’s so important that we create a mirror image of infrastructure on both sides,” he added.

Ciudad Juarez Mayor Enrique Serrano acknowledged his side of the border still needs to build roads and infrastructure projects to support the services such as warehouses and industrial spaces.

The Santa Teresa facility marks a key transfer point on the railroad’s lines between the ports of Long Beach, Calif., and rail hubs farther east in Houston and Fort Worth, Texas, and Kansas City, Kan.

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