Additional Gates being Installed at Brownsville Port of Entry

3 years 11 months 23 hours ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 April 19, 2019 7:29 PM April 19, 2019 in News - Local

BROWNSVILLE – Gates are now installed at another port of entry along the border.

It's part of what local officials describe as security enhancements.

The changes were made this week in Brownsville. Those who approved that change say this is going to become standard in the Rio Grande Valley.

The guarded and gated Gateway International Bridge has a new steely layer that caught the eye of Carlos Bocanegra who regularly crosses.

"They were adding new gates. They were installing new gates on the pedestrian crossing and next to the vehicles," he explained.

Crews installed and tested a fence that swivels to block vehicular traffic.

They also installed another gate on the pedestrian southbound side. Fencing had previously been erected on the northbound pedestrian side.

The new additions were made this week.

The Cameron County Bridge System Director Jose Garcia Jr. explains the decision was made under some pressure.

"This was something that the government has really been asking us to do. So, the judge and the commissioners approved this move. So, that's the reason it was put up," said Garcia.

He said the cost of the gates was covered by the county; though, it will be operated by the federal government.

Garcia added, "Customs and Border Protection they are the ultimate authority on when a bridge can open or close. They will be the ones who will make the call."

Some who use the bridge think the fencing could be useful.

A man said, "I think it's a good idea because you never know people from Mexico or further down, they might rush in one day."

Bocanegra who uses it regularly said he agrees with the added security but acknowledges some inconvenience.

"Yes, it's a bit inconvenient. It inconveniences sometimes there's a long line. The line gets long because of all the security checks at the bridge. They check everything," Bocanegra said.

Enhanced security is likely to be seen at other ports of entry.

Garcia said, "All the international bridges, at least here in the Rio Grande Valley, will have within a month or two a gate in the middle of the bridge.”

Recently, the Department of Homeland Security stated they were taking steps toward hardening ports of entry.

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