Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Guaymas port means traffic & pollution for Tucson

NAFTA/WTO express

GUAYMAS, SONORA, MEXICO -- Plans here to build a huge shipping port could affect quality of life in Tucson and southern AZ. The multi-national free-traders want a new location for shipping, and everything coming and going from Guaymas would pass through Tucson on trains and trucks, bringing more pollution, traffic, and noise.

Southside Tucson residents would be particularly affected. The current rail line to Nogales now runs straight south starting from just east of downtown. Now there are a moderate amount of trains daily, but a Guaymas superport would bring a sharp increase.

There is talk of routing the rail line east toward Houghton Rd. to avoid most existing urban areas, but this would require a major federal payoff to the railroad, which will not move willingly.

Yet another aspect of living near the border, being caught in the path of the NAFTA/WTO express.

If freight trains are routed farther east, passenger service on the current Nogales line could start. This seems supportable and would connect rail travel from Tucson to Mexico and further south.

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