PHARR, RGV – In response to the reassignment of CBP officers, Pharr International Bridge will be closed for northbound cars from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Pharr International Bridge Board said the move is temporary in nature and designed to relieve congestion, increase truck throughput, and reduce border wait times.
Like many ports of entry the Pharr Bridge has rocked by the Trump administration’s decision to reassign customs officers. Around 750 such officers have been asked to help Border Patrol process tens of thousands of asylum seekers from Central America.
The administration’s decision has been blasted by members of Congress representing the border region, the Texas Border Coalition, and border bankers such Dennis E. Nixon, president of IBC Bank.
Nixon said reassigning the 750 CBP officers has “devastated the flow of goods from south to north and the ability of people to legally cross the border.” In a guest column, Nixon said crossing times have jumped 200 to 300 percent in each port affected.
The Pharr International Bridge is known for its crossing of fresh produce. Thousands of trucks with perishable goods have been impacted by the reduction in customs officers.
“We are still the number one bridge in the nation in perishable goods, in particular in the avocado season we are number one,” said Pharr Bridge Director Luis Bazán.
“We are in the top five for manufactured products, including the automotive sector.”Pharr bridge
Here is Pharr International Bridge Board’s news release announcing a temporary pilot program:
The Pharr International Bridge announces temporary pilot programs designed to relieve congestion, increase truck throughput, and reduce border wait times at Pharr’s international land port of entry. These pilot programs are being implemented as a result of the reduced Customs and Border Protection personnel at the port and deployed to the Southern border as mandated by the federal government.
In an effort to keep the public aware and informed, the Bridge announces the following new hours of operation, effective April 15, 2019.
The following schedule applies during the temporary pilot program period:
SOUTHBOUND TRAFFIC (TO MEXICO)
- Hours of service remain the same
- Cars & Passenger Vehicles
- Monday – Sunday (6 am to 12 am)
- Commercial Trucks
- Monday – Friday (7 am to 11 pm)
- Saturday – Sunday (7 am – 4 pm)
- Cars & Passenger Vehicles
NORTHBOUND TRAFFIC (FROM MEXICO)
- Small empty trucks and short trucks (no trailers) are authorized to cross through Car/Passenger Vehicle Lane (Estimated relief: 250 – 300 trucks daily)
- Monday – Friday (8 am – 4 pm)
- Empty Tanker Trailer Trucks are authorized to cross through Car/Passenger Vehicle Lane (Estimated relief: 250 – 300 trucks daily)
- Monday – Friday (8 am – 1 pm)
- Cars and Passenger Vehicle Lane is closed for cars, giving priority to commercial trucks.
- Monday – Friday (6 am – 4 pm)
All pilot programs are temporary and will be reviewed by Bridge staff, trade partners, and relevant stakeholders on a weekly basis to discuss feedback regarding the programs, make adjustments if necessary, and possibly plan for other contingencies.
Bridge officials will continue to keep the public aware and informed as the pilot programs progress.