MCALLEN, Texas – Nuevo León leaders are urging their counterparts in Texas to speed up development of State Highway 255 so that the Laredo-Colombia Solidarity Bridge can become the No. 1 port of entry in the world.
Dr. Marco González Valdez, secretary of regional and agricultural development for Nuevo León, explained the urgency in a forceful presentation to the TxDOT Border Trade Advisory Committee (BTAC).
“I know Texas likes to think big. Nuevo León also likes to think big,” González said. “Nuevo Leon and Texas can become and will become a strategic permanent partnership with this ambitious border project we are going to present.”
González said Nuevo León is planning the Puerto Colombia Laredo Logistics City.
“We have the opportunity to create for the first time a logistics city on both sides of the border. This idea was given to me by Caroline Mays. She has the copyright for the Columbia-Laredo Logistics City. We have the opportunity to do this together.”
Mays is director of planning and modal programs for TxDOT. She was there to hear González make his presentation. Mays sat next to the chair of the meeting, Texas Secretary of State Jane Nelson.
González said the City of Laredo was Nuevo León’s strategic partner. Laredo Mayor Victor Treviño was also at the BTAC meeting.
The Laredo-Colombia Solidarity Bridge sit about 20 miles north of Nuevo Laredo. González said the development of the bridge would not negatively impact Nuevo Laredo.
“It is important to mention that we’re not go to compete with Nuevo Laredo. The City of Laredo has the opportunity to have two borders with two different services. Nuevo Laredo is the most important customs city of all Mexico and it has it just across the border. And then we have Colombia, the most important logistics city also at this border. So, the City of Laredo has the biggest potential not only to become.. it already is the number one port in the US. It will become the number one port in the world.”
Editor’s Note: Here is a video recording of Dr. Marco González Valdez’s presentation to TxDOT’s Border Trade Advisory Committee:
González said both Nuevo León and Coahuila plan to offer 100 percent security to cargo crossing the Colombia bridge. He said Nuevo León Mayor Garcia is committed to offering both security and mobility 24 hours a day. “Cargo cannot be stopping at 10pm until 6am. Nuevo León will offer and is offering for all the cargo to move within the state in a 24-hour schedule. No other state can offer a border with so much potential.”
González said Colombia is THE port of entry for the near-shoring phenomenon that is happening in Nuevo León.
“Tesla is the first important arrival. There is an Indian company called TATA that is coming to Nuevo León. Kia is expanding its current facility and all the most important American companies are coming to Nuevo León because they know that they can do business with us and we are a state that they can trust.”
González said Nuevo León is working on a $1.4 billion highway masterplan. He said the state has the money in place to develop it.
“This is already taking place. This is not a project. It’s a plan that we’re constructing with deadlines. We have to be ready before 2026. Colombia will be ready this December and that’s why it’s urgent that we pay attention to the 255 state highway. There is no more time for studies.”
González acknowledged there have been many false dawns when it comes to developing the Colombia bridge. This time it is going to happen, he said. “Before, we were not trustworthy. No one believed us before. So now we are going all-in to make sure that Texas knows that we are for business.”
González said a security corridor “definitely” needs to be put in place between Monterrey, Laredo, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas and Houston. “We know that our market is within those Texas cities starting with Laredo. And that’s why we’re emphasizing and focusing everything on those cities.”
González said 80 percent of Mexico’s trade goes through Texas.
“The numbers talk for themselves. Even without the Colombia highway the numbers are increasing over two digits. This phenomenon… we need to really it is going to bypass us if will do not prepare. That’s why I always emphasize, pay attention to the 255 (state) highway. We are already doing the Mexican part. We need that highway to be four lanes, next year. You know that highway is (currently) two lanes, four lanes, two lanes. It is not a trustworthy highway for all the cargo to go through, for what is taking place.”
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