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LAREDO, Texas – Improving the World Trade Bridge and putting a Binational Commission to work were the decisions made after a first meeting between the Mayor of Laredo, Texas, Pete Saenz, and the new Mayor of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Enrique Rivas.

Both met in the third floor of the Laredo City Hall on Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, and agreed that working together will allow them to promote commercial development, economic development, tourism, education, art, culture, and environmental issues, in addition to other topics, to help the region become more competitive.

“We would do this with a calendar of events,” Rivas explained.

City Manager for Laredo, Jesús Olivares, made a presentation about “a proposed amendment to the World Trade Bridge to enhance the existing trade processing facilities that will include (eight) added lanes north and southbound,” Blasita López, PIO for City of Laredo wrote in an e-mail.

World Trade Bridge is the third international crossing between the two sister cities, and is only for commercial use.

On the U.S. side, the plan is to improve the roads near the bridge, investing almost $130 million, according to a press release. Saenz plans lobbying and a request for bonds from the federal government. The project could be a reality in two years.

Rivas agreed in the need of improving Bridge No. 3. He said he would ask support from the federal and state levels.

“The shortest decision is to improve Bridge Number 3, because if we go after a fourth international bridge between both cities, this would take us around eight years,” Rivas said. “Experts consider that our World Trade Bridge will overflow in around five years from now.”

Furthermore, the binational commission plans on meeting regularly and discuss projects and initiatives of mutual interest and benefit both cities, López added.

One first step will be promoting both Laredos at national and international events, especially those related to tourism and environment.

Presented in the meeting were also chief elected officials of both communities.

Saenz and Olivares will visit Nuevo Laredo on November 2, 2016, at 11 a.m. to make a similar presentation at the City Hall.