WASHINGTON, June 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Transportation said it is seeking proposals for ways to end traffic jams at the most congested U.S. border crossings.
"It's time to put an end to the kind of delays that keep families and businesses at a standstill at our borders," Transportation Secretary Mary Peters said Monday in a news release.
The department would select a minimum of two projects for each of the Mexican and Canadian borders.
Peters said the congestion-easing effort was needed because the value of freight shipments among the United States, Canada and Mexico has risen by 170 percent -- an average of 8 percent annually. The increased demand has led to longer delays at the crossings.
Last year U.S. traffic to Canada experienced delays of up to three hours, costing businesses more than $14 billion annually, Peters said.
Concerning crossings to Mexico, she said San Diego County alone loses $271 million in annual revenue because of border delays.
"We're looking for solutions to the congestion at our borders that is frustrating individuals and stifling commerce," said Jim Ray, acting Federal Highway administrator.