New Project Set to Build Additional Lanes at 3 International Bridges

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MCALLEN – Several Rio Grande Valley border crossings will soon undergo construction in an effort to handle more traffic coming into the U.S.

Renovations will soon start at the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge, Veterans International Bridge in Brownsville and the Anzalduas Bridge in McAllen.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the General Services Administration partnered to improve trade on both sides of the border. The move will also help Valley cities make more money.

The city of McAllen wants more truck drivers to use the Anzalduas Bridge.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reported how the city spent $1.1 million on infrastructure on the Mexican side that allows empty trucks to travel south of the bridge.

McAllen Mayor Jim Darling said officials approved another project which will allow empty trucks to drive north.

“One of the conditions of the southbound empties, with the concession of the Mexican government, is that we try to proceed with northbound empties,” he said. “The whole idea is that they don’t get any tolls southbound except for northbound. So we shared some of the tolls in order to do southbound.”

McAllen currently gets 80 percent of southbound toll revenues while Reynosa gets 20 percent. Once northbound traffic starts, McAllen will get to keep 100 percent.

“A lot of this stuff is a result of NAFTA and demand on international trade. The demand that international trade plays on us makes additional access very, very important and this is one way to meet that access,” Darling said.

Truck driver Jesus Castillo said it is a new access that would make life easier for him.

“We could get across faster and reach our destination sooner,” he said.

The new lanes will give drivers another option and the city of McAllen much needed revenue.

As far as construction, two to four northbound inspection lanes will be built at Veterans international Bridge and a northbound inspection facility will be built at the Donna port of entry.

CBP said the project plans will be finalized before construction begins. 

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