World Trade Bridge to reach capacity by 2030
by: Julia Wallace
Barring no changes to the World Trade Bridge’s infrastructure, the bridge will reach capacity in a mere nine years. Some members of the city’s international trade sector would say it has already reached capacity in 2021, as several officials noted at Laredo City Council’s meeting on Monday.
Even by 2025, crossing time is expected to increase by 25% at the bridge if no improvements are made. By 2040 that time could grow by 280%.
SNB Infrastructure, which is conducting the plan, is still collecting data and reaching out to stakeholders. But they presented some initial findings to council.
These findings do not take into account the forthcoming FAST lane at the World Trade Bridge, which is scheduled to be completed in May 2022.
SNB expects commercial vehicle traffic to increase 3% from 2019 to 2040. They predict a much smaller growth in passenger vehicle traffic and pedestrian traffic, 0.7% for both from 2019 to 2040.
Eight percent of commercial vehicles that cross the border in Laredo originate in Monterrey, said Carlos Contreras, president of C&M Associates, which is part of the team with SNB Infrastructure.
Laredo’s Rep. Henry Cuellar, who also attended the meeting, said the question is how they get both sides of the border working on the issue.
Nelson Balido, representing the Texas-Tamaulipas Trade Office, said it’s important that discussions around improvements to the World Trade Bridge occur binationally from the onset, so that they work from the same page. He believes the North American Development Bank could be a catalyst for financing bridge expansion on the Mexican side.
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