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Border Hours Changes Opposed By Sivertsen

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will be changing the hours of operation at the Ports of Raymond, Opheim, Scobey and Morgan beginning April 14. The ports were identified for changes in operating hours to realign resources to historical and existing traffic volumes and workload.
“This adjustment will allow CBP to properly align staffing with workload, maintain the CBP inspectional and enforcement missions and redirect valuable resources to ports with greater commercial and passenger volumes,” CBP said in a press release.
U.S. Highway 2 Association president Bob Sivertsen issued a press release stating his opposition to the hours changes.
“Saskatchewan has given up on Montana,” said Siversten. “Commerce and trade is skirting Montana for the most part.”
Sivertsen attributes declining traffic at some area ports to decision making by the Montana Department of Transportation.
“The decline of traffic at the Port of Raymond is attributed to the reluctance of MDT to upgrade Montana’s segment of the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway, which has had a negative impact on northeast Montana’s economy.”
Sivertsen’s concerns aren’t limited to the Port of Raymond.
“The Ports of Scobey, Opheim and Morgan [...] the proposed hours reduction will negatively impact the economy in the region,” he said. “I would be remiss if I didn’t espouse just how important our relationship is with Canada, our largest and friendliest trading partner. Montana’s economic future depends on it.”
Sivertsen hopes to work with Montana’s congressional delegation to find a solution.
“If there is a will to improve our regional economy, as politicians always promise, it would make sense to not reduce border hours but instead, increase them. It is my hope that Gov. Bullock will weigh in and lend support.”
The current hours of operation for the Port of Raymond are 24 hours a day, which coincides with the hours of operation at the adjacent Canadian Port of Regway, Minton, Sask. Effective April 14, the new hours of operation at Raymond will be 6 a.m. to midnight. Travelers wishing to cross into the United States between midnight and 6 a.m. may cross at Portal, N.D., a 24-hour port of entry 108 miles east of Raymond. People crossing into Canada during these hours will not be affected.
The current hours of operation for the Port of Opheim are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 15 to May 31 and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. June 1 to Sept. 14. These hours coincide with the hours of operation at the adjacent Canadian Port of West Poplar River, Rockglen, Sask. Effective April 14, the new hours of operation at Opheim will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. year-round. Travelers wishing to cross into the United States between the hours of 6 p.m. and midnight may cross at Raymond 95 miles east of Opheim via Montana Highway 5 and Montana Highway 248.
The current hours of operation for the Port of Scobey are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 15 to May 31 and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. June 1 to Sept. 14. These hours coincide with the hours of operation at the adjacent Canadian Port of Coronach, Sask. Effective April 14, the new hours of operation at Scobey will be 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. year-round. Travelers wishing to cross into the United States between the hours of 6 p.m. and midnight may cross at Raymond, 53 miles east of Scobey.
The current hours of operation for the Port of Morgan are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 15 to May 31 and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. June 1 to Sept. 14. These hours coincide with the hours of operation at the adjacent Canadian Port of Monchy, Val Marie, Sask. Effective April 14, the new hours of operation at Morgan will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. year-round. Travelers wishing to cross into the United States between the hours 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. (June 1 through Sept. 14) may cross at Turner, 130 miles west of Morgan.