A U.S. Customs and Border Protection car is seen in Maine in this Feb. 3, 2020, file photo. Credit: Natalie Williams / BDN

The federal government is temporarily closing a border checkpoint on a road crossing remote farmland north of Houlton.

The Monticello checkpoint on Fletcher Road will close on May 9 and reopen on Oct. 1, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Two border agents staff that checkpoint from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. In the year since the pandemic began, only 74 vehicles crossed that checkpoint, compared with 1,497 vehicles in the year before the pandemic began, according to the agency.

That comes as the U.S.-Canada border remains largely closed to most cross-border traffic. The border closure was extended earlier this month through May 21.

“Coronavirus has changed the way we all live and travel, and the present restrictions on non-essential cross-border travel have left the already underutilized Monticello Port of Entry even less essential,” said Jennifer De La O, acting director of field operations for the agency’s Boston field office. “As stewards of our citizen’s tax dollars, it would be fiscally reasonable and responsible to temporarily close the Monticello facility and reallocate the two CBP officers to help improve service during higher volume periods at nearby Ports of Entry.”

There are two other ports of entry near Monticello: one to the north in Bridgewater and another to the south in Houlton.