SANTA TERESA, N.M. -

For the first time ever, southern New Mexico is now the home of a key inland port, positioning the Santa Teresa-El Paso area as a strategic point for shipments in the southwest.

Union Pacific's intermodal ramp had its grand opening Wednesday morning in Santa Teresa.

The $400 million facility will provide a major Mexico gateway and is expected to become a game-changer when it comes to moving goods around the southwest.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, who helped pass the locomotive fuel tax deduction that allowed Union Pacific to invest in this facility on its sunset route, was on hand for Wednesday's "golden spike" ceremony.

This facility, completed a year early, has already created 3,000 construction jobs and is expected to create 600 permanent jobs.

In all it is 2,200 acres and is projected to have an overall economic impact of $500 million a year.

It will allow shipments to bypass the congestion experienced at other border crossings.