BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Hundreds of commercial trucks coming from the Mexican side of the Veterans International Bridge at Los Tomates in Brownsville are being rigorously inspected by troopers with the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The operation, which began on Tuesday, May 1, “will continue for an undetermined amount of time,” according to DPS, has been disrupting the flow of goods between the two countries costing an estimated $1 billion in economic losses, thus far.
The inspection was ordered by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and addressed to TDPS Director Col. Steven McCaw. (See letter above).
On Friday, about a dozen DPS vehicles could be seen parked inside the inspection area while troopers were inspecting truck after truck.
Each and every commercial truck coming from south of the border is being checked for mechanical issues such as tires, brakes, exhaust and light systems and other things, after entering the port of entry and before hitting any Texas roadway.
The inspections are causing massive lines of trucks leading to the bridge and in Matamoros, the Mexican border city just south of the span.
The operation led the Matamoros chapter of the National Chamber for the Trucking Industry, or CANACAR, to hold a press conference this past Thursday to talk about the impact the inspections have been having on their business.
Javier Saldivar, a CANACAR representative, said this has resulted in more than a $1 billion in economic losses.
Some truckers said they have been waiting in line for more than 24 hours, losing valuable time and money with many of them failing to make their necessary on-time deliveries.
“I transport an array of merchandise sometimes twice a day,” said Romero Duran, as he waited outside the inspection yard on the U.S. side of the bridge. ”If this goes on, I doubt if I will be making one trip a day.”
Among the products he takes to a Brownsville warehouse are shoes, boots and tons of piñatas, he said.
Once his load is emptied, he drives the trucks loaded with U.S. goods and heads back to Matamoros.
Raymundo Vasquez, another truck driver, said he was hauling an empty tanker truck he is taking to the Port of Brownsville to get it filled with some fuel derivative.
Asked how he feels about waiting for hours, Vasquez said he had no problems.
“I understand this is being done for safety reasons and I am OK with that. Other than that, there is nothing else we can do.”
This week’s inspections come on the heels of another one back in April at the Pharr International Bridge, causing pandemonium that reportedly cost more than $1 billion in economic losses.
Editor’s Note: Click here to read a related news story titled, “South Texas leaders ask Abbott to explain bridge delays.”
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