SAN ANTONIO, Texas – According to a powerpoint presentation made on behalf of the City of McAllen to the board of directors of North American Development Bank, the construction costs of the Gateway to Growth project will be almost $53.7 million.

The maintenance and operating costs will be $45 million.

Gateway to Growth is the name of the project currently being developed to bring full northbound and southbound cargo operations to Anzalduas International Bridge.

The City of McAllen is hoping NADBank will provide a loan for the project. The Texas Department of Transportation is providing $22 million, thanks to an appropriation made by the state legislature.

Juan Olaguibel (pictured above), superintendent of bridges for the City of McAllen, was expected to make the City of McAllen’s presentation to the NADBank’s board of directors. That did not happen but the board did view a four-page powerpoint provided by the city. It also heard from a stand-in speaker.

“Anzalduas International Bridge has approached the bank regarding possibly expanding to a commercial facility. They have requested a loan,” the stand-in speaker said.

The four-page powerpoint presentation, titled Gateway to Growth, gave an overview of the project and a cost-benefit analysis undertaken for the City of McAllen by Texas A&M Transportation Institute.

“Anzalduas International Bridge is located at one of the most critical geographical sites in Texas. Over 150 international companies have opened manufacturing plants in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, with a majority of these plants being nine miles away,” the overview stated.

“The construction of north-southbound facilities at Anzalduas Bridge will help satisfy the importing and exporting demand for commercial international crossings and will be the catalyst responsible for increasing the tremendous economic growth that has occurred in the McAllen MSA. These facilities at the Anzalduas International Bridge will be the fuel for the region’s economic engine.”

The overview continued: “The time has come to upgrade the Anzalduas Bridge into a full commercial international bridge to meet the current and future needs of the region.”

According to the City of McAllen, the average weekday northbound commercial crossings between 2021 and 2040 will be 1,219 trucks per day. Annual northbound commercial crossings over the same period will be 353,440 trucks.

Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s cost-benefit analysis covers a 32 year period. It lists four benefits:

Benefit 1: Vehicle Operating Cost Savings: $363,608,833 “Reduce wait times and crossing reliability; reduce truck congestion in Hidalgo County by providing other route options.”

Benefit 2: Value of Time Savings: $270,149,147. “Link manufacturers on the U.S. side of the border with suppliers in western Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Provide an alternative route for the traffic at the Pharr-Reynosa Bridge, reducing delays at the border.”

Benefit 3: Environmental Benefits: $10,034,134. “Reduce the smog emitted from trucks idling while waiting for inspection. Reduce the burden on surrounding land ports of entry and infrastructure by diverting some heavy vehicular traffic. Diverting heavy vehicles will improve pavement conditions and reduce the maintenance costs throughout the Rio Grande Valley.”

Benefit 4: Toll revenue savings: $43,654,942. “Latest NII Technology will improve the security of goods crossing the border. Help reduce energy consumption by shortening border wait times.”

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s cost-benefit analysis also lists the investment costs. The construction cost of northbound and southbound facilities will be $53,690,267. Maintenance and operating costs will be $45,000,000. This information comes from the City of McAllen and TxDOT, the powerpoint presentation states.

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