Second Cargo International Bridge Planned for US-Mexico Border
The Rio Grande Valley will be home to a second cargo international bridge connecting the US and Mexico. This, after border officials determined that the expansion of the Anzalduas International Bridge aims to boost the local economy through bridge revenue and regional jobs.
McAllen, Mission and Granjeno authorities have been wanting to expand the existing international bridge that connects four southern Texan cities to Reynosa, Mexico, with the objective of handling fully loaded trucks in both countries. This initiative is set to encourage economic growth at the Rio Grande Valley, while generating revenue and attracting local talent by 2023, according to the agreement signed on December 1st.
The meeting, held at McAllen City Hall, initially celebrated the Donation Acceptance Program agreement, which has been active for decades and determines how cities can financially support the expansion of the Anzalduas International Bridge while consenting to give the federal government authority over a portion of the bridge.
The agreement states that federal authorities own a part of the land to be used for US Customs and Border Protection officials, as well as having command over some buildings where cargo inspections will take place, and cities get to keep revenue after fully-loaded cargo freights begin crossing the bridge.
US authorities’ interest in having the international bridge expansion have already collected US$1 million taxpayer funds destined to improve Mexico’s bridge infrastructure. However, the plans are expected to be executed until 2023 as McAllen, for instance, needs to raise its US$30 million share of the $50 million total worth expansion project.
Once the project is consolidated, the Rio Grande Valley will house the second major international crossing that will allow the transit of fully loaded freight. However, according to local authorities, the agreement has seen some obstacles, since it requires coordination with different governmental levels, including Mexican authorities.
“This is a project that I have worked on my entire tenure as city manager and it is complicated since the city of McAllen now has to deal with the state of Texas, the US federal government and Mexico’s federal government,” said Roel Rodriguez, City Manager, McAllen.
On the other hand, the Pharr International Bridge is considered a principal port for the transport of produce from Mexico to the US, processing more than US$34 billion each year. It handles passenger and commercial vehicles and it crosses the border while connecting the city of Pharr, Texas and the city of Reynosa.
Overall, with these plans ahead, local political leaders expect trade to increase as “the future for Texas comes from the south […] the state of Texas is the ninth-largest economy in the world so this is a win-win for all of us, Mexico, the Valley, the state and our federal government” said Juan Hinojosa, Texas state Senator.