PHARR, TEXAS – Pharr leaders will present information about the their international bridge’s eagerly anticipated second span at the national convention of Index, Mexico’s maquiladora trade association.
A video of how the second span will look will be shown at the convention, which takes place at the Presidente Intercontinental Hotel in Mexico City on Oct. 13-16.
“This is huge for us,” said Edgar Delgadillo, chairman of the Pharr Bridge Board. “We have presented information about the second span to Index Reynosa but never to the group’s national association.”
“We will get to present the project, the timeline, and some of our videos, with renderings. We have an updated video we presented to the national customs brokers association a few months ago in Veracruz. Now we get to do it with the Index officials in Mexico City.”
According to Index’s national president, Luis Manuel Hernandez, maquiladoras are responsible for 60 percent of Mexico’s foreign trade and employ 18 percent of the country’s official workforce.
According to the official website for Index’s 47th national convention, the event will attract:
- Decision makers from the maquiladora and export manufacturing companies.
- Executive membership of the 21 Index associations
- Potential investors and opinion leaders
- Three levels of public sector government
- Diplomatic representation
- Binational chambers of Commerce.
Approval for the trip to Mexico City was given by the bridge board at the group’s monthly meeting at Pharr City Hall on Aug. 17.
Asked why the visit is important, Delgadillo said: “We are going to have better infrastructure and we want to sell it. We want people to know about it, all across Mexico and the world, if that is possible.”
The second span will be west of the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge and will extend for 1.35 miles to the natural boundary of the Rio Grande River. Mexican engineering firm Caxcan S.A. is overseeing construction on the Reynosa side.
Currently, the Pharr-Reynosa bridge has three northbound lanes and one southbound for commercial and noncommercial traffic. Like the existing bridge, the parallel span will also have four lanes, but with two northbound and two southbound lanes planned for the mixed traffic.
Once the twin span is operational, the existing bridge will be solely dedicated to northbound commercial traffic. The aim is to more efficiently expedite trucks crossings at the International port of entry, thus reducing congestion and wait times.
Asked when the second span will be complete, Delgadillo said: “We are currently updating the timeline. Mexico is talking to the U.S. about the final details and they will hopefully break ground in a few months on the Mexican side.”
Asked how important the second span is, Delgadillo said: “Overall, we have good crossing times compared to other ports of entry. The fact that we are going to be adding lanes is just going to reduce those crossing times and that will make us even more competitive. Hopefully that value-add will be appreciated by people in the industry.
Fred Brouwen is director of operations at the Pharr International Bridge. He said the 47th annual National Index Convention is expected to attract more than 500 maquiladora industry executives.
“This is a good time for us to make our debut at the national convention. It is a special one for us to attend,” Brouwen said. “We are told one of President Lopez Obrador’s top Cabinet members will close out the convention.”
Brouwen said the Pharr Bridge Board has made presentations to Index Reynosa before but never to the national trade association. “Our video is going to be shown every 30 minutes at the convention. That is going to be great exposure for us.”
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