Tina Trenkner is the Deputy Editor for GOVERNING.com. She edits the Technology and Health newsletters.E-mail: email@example.com
At the Nogales port of entry in Arizona, traffic increases from late November through January, and stays constant until Mexico's harvesting season ends in May. Produce trucks are limited to carrying up to 80,000 pounds into Arizona, meaning higher transport costs and more trucks on the road. In an effort to expedite crossings and decrease traffic, the state Department of Transportation used federal guidelines and engineering studies to determine how much more weight roads could handle, and started offering overweight permits through a pilot program last spring. For $75 (on top of any other necessary permits), trucks can carry up to 90,800 pounds of produce in sealed containers. The permit is only available for trucks crossing at the Nogales port of entry, and trucks can only travel up to 25 miles north of the border. Nogales International reports that more than 16,000 permits have been issued, saving shippers about $4.67 million. The pilot also generates a little bit of revenue for Arizona: $1.23 million from permit fees so far.