MCALLEN, Texas – During his keynote address at MXLAN’s International Economic Summit at the McAllen Convention Center, Duncan Wood thanked Juan Olaguibel for his hospitality.
The senior advisor to the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center said McAllen’s superintendent of bridges had been a been a great host. Wood said that when he congratulated Olaguibel on developing Anzalduas International Bridge, he learned from Olaguibel that the bridge would be at capacity as soon as it is opens for full cargo.
A news reporter was sitting next to Index Reynosa leader Enrique Castro in the audience when Wood made this remark. Castro chuckled.
Asked why he chuckled, Castro said because it is true; that Anzalduas will be at full capacity as soon as it can take loaded cargo. At present it can only cross empties.
“You can see it with the Pharr bridge. There is a large flow of trucks coming in. There’s a lot of things moving around. Unfortunately they (local land ports of entry) do not have the infrastructure to cope,” Castro said.
Like Wood had done in his speech, Castro border leaders to build capacity at land ports of entry.
“The markets are moving and they’re not going to wait,” Castro said. “I know it’s difficult to keep pace because of money and a lot of things. And you have to go through different processes (to get permits to expand).”
In his speech, Wood urged border communities to push for more investment in international bridges. After Wood had concluded his speech, the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service asked Olaguibel if he had said to Wood that Anzalduas would soon reach full capacity.
“Well, we’re thinking that once it opens up, the traffic is going to be at capacity. With the amount of businesses that are coming in, with near-shoring coming to the area, we’re thinking that good things are going to be happening in this region,” said Olaguibel, pictured above.
Anzalduas International Bridge is co-owned by the cities of McAllen, Mission and Hidalgo. Asked what the cities would do once the bridge is at capacity, Olaguibel said:
“Well, right now we just want to build, and we want to open. And right now we want to focus on what we have ahead. And then, once we get to that point, we’ll think of what we do next. But, right now, it’s just about getting to there.”
Asked when that would be, Olaguibel said: “Well, we’re looking at 2024. That’s when we should be starting business, full cargo, northbound and southbound. That’s what we’re looking at. We’re looking at July 2024.”
Olaguibel said Anzalduas International Bridge would not have agricultural inspectors because it is not going to be crossing fresh produce.
“We won’t have Ag inspectors because it’s not going to be a produce bridge. It’s going to specialize in dry goods and the maquiladora industry, so it’s we won’t have produce.”
It was pointed out to Olaguibel that McAllen, Mission and Hidalgo still have a lot to do to publicize the news that Anzalduas International Bridge will be open for loaded cargo trucks come the summer of 2024.
This observation was based on an interview the Guardian secured with Teclo Garcia, CEO of Mission Economic Development Corporation. Garcia said staff from Mission and McAllen EDCs recently attended an auto manufacturing industry/near-shoring trade show in San Luis Potosí. He said the main message they wanted to get across was that Anzalduas would soon be a full cargo port of entry. But, he said, many people at the trade show were not aware of the bridge.
Olaguibel responded: “We’ve been marketing the bridge for years now. And we do market throughout Tamaulipas. And once you go further south, we haven’t been marketing down there. But we are marketing in Tamaulipas and Nuevo León, areas that are really close to the bridge, letting everybody know what’s coming. This has been our focus.”
Going forward, Olaguibel said, there would be more marketing of the Anzaludas port of entry in the interior of Mexico.
“Eventually we will be traveling south to places like Aguascalientes, that area, promoting the bridge there. At the moment, we’ve been really focusing on the maquiladora industry that Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon has. I think that that’s just enough business for now. And I think once we open we’ll be marketing throughout Mexico.”
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