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FPAA recognizes funding for Nogales Interchange by state legislators

FPAA Salutes State Sen. Rosanna Gabaldon, State Rep. Consuelo Hernandez for Funding of I-19 Interchange Improvements near Nogales
Featured left to right: Lance Jungmeyer, FPAA President; Raquel Espinoza, FPAA Chair-Elect; Senator Rosanna Gabaldon; Nogales Mayor Jorge Maldonado; Santa Cruz County Supervisor Rudy Molera.

Improvements will ease congestion, improve safety at key produce warehouse districts

NOGALES, AZ – Produce truck traffic will become more efficient and safer with the availability of funding for key interstate intersections along I-19 in Southern Arizona.

The recently passed Arizona budget includes $8.6 million for improvements to Exit 12 (Ruby Road) and Exit 17 (Rio Rico Drive), thanks to an amendment from Arizona State Senator Rosanna Gabaldon and support for the Amendment in the Arizona House from Consuelo Hernandez, who represent Nogales and portions of Southern Arizona in the Arizona legislature.

“For years Senator Gabaldon has been aligned with the community vision to improve access and community safety along the I-19 corridor, and Representative Hernandez has jumped right in during her first term in the legislature to work hand in hand with her colleagues in this region.  This funding represents a sizeable contribution toward other funding options, including possible federal grants,” said Lance Jungmeyer, President of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas BB #:144354.

Featured left to right: Allison Moore, FPAA Executive Vice President; Lance Jungmeyer, FPAA President; Representative Consuelo Hernandez; Nogales Mayor Jorge Maldonado; Jorge Donnadieu, Fresh Farms; Santa Cruz County Supervisor Rudy Molera; Raquel Espinoza, FPAA Chair-Elect; Georgine Felix, FPAA Foreign Affairs Director; Saul Macias, FPAA Communications Coordinator.

“Once all of the improvements come to fruition, our warehouses will be even more efficient,” said FPAA Chairman Rod Sbragia, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Crown Jewels Produce. “During our peak season, trucks sometimes back up onto the highway because the existing interchanges were built decades ago, never anticipating the kind of traffic snarls that can occur at a major international point of entry,” added Sbragia. “We are incredibly grateful to the legislature.”

In March, FPAA Members visited the Arizona legislature to emphasize the importance of projects such as this. The advocacy trip also included local elected officials Jorge Maldonado, Mayor of Nogales, and Rudy Molera, Santa Cruz County Commissioner.

FPAA recognizes the support from other local partners including the Greater Nogales and Santa Cruz County Port Authority, INDEX Maquila group, Nogales, Santa Cruz County and others in advancing this important project.

The $8.6 million in new funding will go toward efforts to improve the access points at Exits 12 and 17. FPAA and other groups have signaled their support for federal grants to achieve the overall projects, which are likely to exceed $50 million.

This comes on the heels of a major infrastructure improvement in the area that was funded in part by crossings of fresh produce trucks in a Public Private Partnership. The $100 million-plus SR-189/Mariposa Road flyover at I-19 opened in 2022, helping trucks avoid several stoplights after exiting the Mariposa Port of Entry and heading north on I-19 to the warehouse districts.

The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas Logo

About the Fresh Produce Association of Americas:

Founded in 1944 in Nogales, Arizona, the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas has grown to become one of the most influential agricultural groups in the United States. Today, the FPAA provides a powerful voice for improvement and sustainability by serving the needs of more than 100 North American companies involved in the importation and distribution of produce.