SANTA TERESA ― Gov. Susana Martinez dedicated a new $11 million, state-of-the-art port of entry facility in Santa Teresa to the late Motor Transportation Division Officer Daniel C. Rivera, Jr. Friday, June 5.
“I’m honored to be able to dedicate this port of entry to the memory of a fallen officer who gave his life keeping our roads and highways safe,” Martinez said. “The role these ports of entry play in creating jobs and opportunities for our families and communities is absolutely critical. Officer Rivera’s legacy of service and sacrifice is a proud testament to those who work so hard to keep New Mexico safe as we continue to grow and prosper.”
Officer Rivera was killed in a car crash while working at the Anthony port of entry in 1989. He was the first New Mexico Motor Transportation Police Officer to be killed in the line-of-duty.
The Daniel C. Rivera, Jr. Port of Entry Building was constructed utilizing $9.4 million in capital outlay and $1.6 million in federal funds, and construction took 11 months to complete.
The new port of entry will process vehicles coming from Mexico into the United States. Last year, nearly 80,000 vehicles passed through Santa Teresa. The Santa Teresa port of entry, and its sister port in San Jeronimo, Mexico, are the primary driving routes to and from southern Juarez, Chihuahua, and the interior of Mexico.
The port of entry also takes advantage of the six mile overweight cargo zone which allows overweight trucks from Mexico to offload cargo within the
zone for distribution throughout North America.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, New Mexico led the nation in export-related job growth in 2014, on the heels of New Mexico setting yet another all-time high in total exports at nearly $4 billion last year alone, while nearly doubling exports to Mexico.
“The new inspection bays and technology at the Daniel C. Rivera, Jr. Port of Entry facility streamline the vehicle inspection process,” said Department of Public Safety Secretary Greg Fouratt. “This ensures that commerce quickly clears the port of entry in an efficient and safe manner, which in turn, increases the amount of traffic coming into the port.”
Just last month Governor Martinez traveled to Mexico to meet with President Peña Nieto and Governor Cesar Duarte to announce the opening of an $800 million highway infrastructure project that will increase the movement of goods from Mexico and South America to New Mexico. This is another step towards making New Mexico the key corridor for trade between the U.S. and other nations.