New Mexico will begin construction of a $200 million bridge linking the two states as the United States ramps up efforts to revive a struggling economy.
Susana Martinez, who is the first Democrat to take the reins of the state since Gov.
Pete Ricketts, took office in 2011, said the project would provide a direct link between the United State and Mexico.
The span will be constructed on a 1.6-mile (2.2-kilometer) stretch of highway and is expected to open in 2020.
The bridge would connect New Mexico’s largest city, San Juan, to the Mexican state of Chiapas, which borders New Mexico.
Martinez also said the state would build a second, $1.5 billion bridge linking a rural community near Puebla in southern Arizona to the Arizona border.
The construction of the new bridge is a major milestone for the state as it continues to grapple with a $19 billion deficit, including $2.4 billion in unpaid debt.
The state has been trying to cut $200 billion in state and local tax collections, a challenge that has drawn attention to the U.S. tax system and has become a point of contention with the United Kingdom.
Last week, Martinez said New Mexico would seek to cut its deficit by $100 million by 2020, from $2 billion to $1 billion.
She said the new span would also bring a $50 million investment in the state’s schools.