BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Cameron County leaders are exploring the idea of constructing a new international bridge for passenger vehicles and pedestrians only, no trucks.
The bridge would be built at the end of Flor De Mayo Road, which connects to the southern end of Alton Gloor Boulevard at Military Highway.
Details were provided to the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service by Josue Garcia, the retiring international bridge systems director for Cameron County.
“We have done a feasibility study for a fourth bridge that we are looking at, which is the Flor De Mayo. We don’t have a presidential permit. We are just looking at it. The county has the property, the land, already, so we are just doing a feasibility study and that has been completed,” Garcia said.
Asked where the bridge would be build, Garcia said: “Going down Alton Gloor you hit 281 and then right there you have a little street called Flor De Mayo, it goes all the way to the river.”
Garcia said plans for a new bridge have garnered key supporters in Mexico.
“In this business you cannot do everything by yourself. Or anything. You need Mexico to be a part of your process. We have already got Mexico involved in this as well. They are aware and they agree with where we are going to put this.”
Asked for the timeline, Garcia said: “I do not know when but in the future sometime. The wheels are turning already. Mexico is aware and we have got letters of support from the city of Matamoros and the governor of Tamaulipas and so, yes, we are starting to get the wheels rolling there.”
Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr., confirmed the county is keen to have a fourth international port of entry added to its bridge system.
“It has been in the works for quite a while. It is just that, because our focus has been elsewhere and we do not have the presidential permit, it is a laborious process. You have got to start somewhere,” Treviño said.
Asked if the demand is there for another international bridge, Treviño said: “We know the demand is there. The complaints and the concerns we hear on a daily basis from all of our points of entry, from here to El Paso, to San Diego, is congestion. We know that the demand is there.”
As he has in previous interviews, Treviño complained about the results of Census 2020.
“Contrary to what the census numbers indicated it is, as the senator said… the growth is palpable and it is obvious to your eyes, and it is obvious with regard to the development. You cannot have 1,600 employees in the last year at SpaceX and 1,500 at Keppel AmFels and tell us Cameron County grew by 5,000 or 6,000 in ten years. It makes zero sense.”
Treviño was talking about U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, who met with Rio Grande Valley leaders at the Port of Brownsville last Thursday.
“When you see the statewide numbers and you see the state grew by three or four million and that was fueled by Hispanic growth and yet the Valley as a whole grew by approximately 200,000 or less than that, it makes zero, zero sense.”
Going back to plans for a new bridge, Treviño said: “We want to take advantage of every opportunity and we think that is another one for us. There are a lot of diplomatic hurdles to jump on both sides but we absolutely want to do it. These projects take many, many years. But, we can walk and chew gum at the same time.”
Garcia announced brief details about plans for a new bridge in an exclusive Zoom interview with the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service. The interview was planned to focus on Garcia’s upcoming retirement.
A native of San Benito, Garcia has managed maquiladora plants in Matamoros, been bridge director of Donna International Bridge and managed Cameron County’s system of international bridges.
With so much going on right now, especially with regard to the modernization of land ports of entry, the Rio Grande Guardian asked Garcia if this was the right time to retire.
“You always think about your elementary school days and about the merry-go-rounds. And if you thought about the merry-go-rounds and they go real fast and then you are thinking, I need to get down. There was never really a good time to get down because when you went off you had to keep running or else you would fall flat on your face. Same thing here,” Garcia said.
“There is never a good time. I have really enjoyed the time that I have been here and I hope I have helped along the way to push a lot of these projects. It was a very, very, difficult decision to make. But I think this is the right decision at this point in time, for me.”
Here is the Zoom conversation:
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