The Anzalduas International Bridge recently opened, making it Texas’ 24th border crossing with Mexico and the fifth in Hidalgo County. The Rio Grande Valley cities of Mission, McAllen and Hidalgo partnered with Reynosa on the Mexican side to get the bridge open.
Reynosa is Mexico’s fastest-growing city and an emerging manufacturing, services and distribution and logistics hub serving U.S.-Mexico trade. With the new bridge, the area hopes to compete with its larger border competitor at Laredo, Texas/Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, which is the second-busiest border crossing in North America.
Although eight international bridges already connect South Texas and Northern Mexico, Anzalduas features technology that aims to speed safe crossings.
The new bridge port of entry has witnessed an average of 2,400 vehicles a day, according the city of McAllen, although the bridge is not yet a key commercial bridge.
That city expects the port of entry from Mexico will expand in the next five years to include access to the McAllen Foreign Trade Zone, a 775-acre land area that already houses more than 400 companies.
The new Anzalduas bridge, designed by Dannenbaum Engineering, is the first green bridge to receive LEED-silver certification.
Anzalduas marks the third international crossing for the McAllen border region. McAllen city officials say the crossing is the longest international bridge between Mexico and the U.S., with a length extending almost 4 mi. The bridge is located 3 mi up the river from the Hidalgo and Reynosa bridge.
The bridge will eventually become the shortest and fastest route to connect to the industrial, financial and logistics and distribution northern capital city of Monterrey and all the way to the 22-million-person marketplace of Mexico City, says McAllen city spokesperson Roy Cantu.
The $29-million bridge was built by Houston-based Williams Bros. Construction, which broke ground in June 2007.
Laredo officials, meanwhile, broke ground earlier this year on a bridge expansion and customs inspection station project designed to help alleviate the bottleneck commercial truckers currently experience traveling from Mexico into the United States.
The World Trade Bridge, a commercial port on the city’s north side, is cited as one reason the city is still the nation’s number one inland port. A $4.6-million expansion project will add seven new lanes and customs inspection booths. It is a project of Laredo-based FQR Architects Inc., which developed the plans and specifications. Laredo-based Leyendecker Construction Inc. is the contractor.