New U.S.-Mexico Rail Bridge Dedicated
Senior officials from the U.S. and Mexico were on hand for the August 25 dedication of the new West Rail Bypass International Bridge connecting Brownsville, Texas, to Mexico.
The newest bridge is one of eight rail crossings and 144 land ports of entry used by both countries and will replace the Brownsville-Matamoros Rail Bridge, which was completed in 1910.
The new crossing, which took five years to construct, “is designed to alleviate urban congestion and address safety concerns by re-routing rail traffic out of the most populated areas in Brownsville and Matamoros, while expanding regional transportation capacity,” according to the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC).
The flow of traffic, goods, and people in both Matamoros and Brownsville will improve substantially as will environmental conditions in the region. Crossing times between both countries for passenger and cargo vehicles will be reduced, boosting regional economic development.
Since the North American Free Trade Agreement was implemented over 20 years ago, U.S. trade with Mexico has increased six-fold with Mexico ranking as the country’s third-largest trading partner.
But, said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, development of the infrastructure critical to supporting that trade hasn’t kept pace.
“In an increasingly globalized economy, our collective competitiveness depends on our ability to replace outdated infrastructure and continue to develop a modern, efficient, and secure border,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. “That’s why we’re prioritizing the development and execution of border infrastructure projects like this one.”
The U.S.-Mexico border “is already an essential artery of prosperity for both countries. To ensure that North America remains the most competitive region in the world, we must continue to enhance our mechanisms for doing business with one another,” she said.
According to the DOC, nearly $1.4 billion of goods cross the border between the U.S. and Mexico each day with approximately 80 percent of that trade moving via road and rail.
U.S. imports from Mexico contain as much as 40 percent U.S. content, which means U.S. and Mexican-made goods often cross the border multiple times in the course of being turned into a final product, the agency said.