Rebuilding the Presidio-Ojinaga Railroad Crossing 9/19/12
CBS 7 news
September 19, 2012
Presidio, TX - A railroad track leading to nowhere is all that is left on the border of Ojinaga and Presidio.
Just a few of years ago cargo between the two cities generated income for both economies, but an arson-related fire destroyed the railroad crossing and everything that went with it.
“Just like anything you had at one time buy then it goes away, you hit the big void,” said Brad Newton with the Presidio Economic Development Center
He says the city would gain at least fifty more jobs if the railroad were rebuilt.
“We have the workforce that is working in other towns and we'd like to bring them home,” Newton said.
“There is millions of dollars to be gained,” said Rodney Whitmore with TX Pacifico Transportation says the company plans to rebuild and the crossing will be part of an international trade throughout the country.
“There is an opportunity being lost,” Whitmore said, “There is plenty of business going though the rail.”
It’s the kind of business that Presidio’s Chief of Police is concerned about.
Marco Baeza says there was more burglaries and drug trafficking back when the railroad was open.
“They (drug traffickers) backpack narcotics here into town,” he said, “Then someone would pick them up.”
But he says this is a different story as security on the border is tighter.
“There are a lot more border patrol agents now then we had at the time in the area,” he said.
Bill Brooks with U.S. border patrol supports the project and says he is confident that drugs will not pass the Texas border.
“We need to be vigilant, that's our job that's what we do,” Brooks said, “We'll facilitate the trade that's associated with this, and at the same time we'll ensure the security of America.”
The Mexican side of the railroad is already complete. It will take around $10 million to finish the American side.
TX Pacifico Transportation says after the approval of TxDOT and the Governors Office, they should be done with the project by 2014.