US Customs And Presidio Leaders Discuss Bridge Expansion And International Trade 2/25/14
February 25th, 2014
U.S. Customs and members of the Presidio community met to to discuss international trade today. Officials say Mexico is eager to increase trade and they want it to come through Presidio. New projects include a rail line and widening of the existing bridge.
Mexico and the U.S. have different ideas of what they want the bridge to look like. Presidio County Judge Paul Hunt says Mexico wants a five lane road, with three for commercial vehicles. Current U.S. plans call for a four lane bridge with mixed traffic.
"We want to capitalize on the energy that they do have. So, we're going to be scrambling," Hunt said.
Port officials say they can handle the current volume of traffic, but are holding these trade meetings to make sure everyone is on the same page.
"We are just trying to work with the community and anticipate and prepare for that expansion if it does in fact take place," said Steven Green, the Port Director.
Hunt says an increase in trade is coming. It can either go through another port of entry, or Presidio can accommodate the growth through bridge widening and keep the trade here.
"Over two thirds of our population is here because of trade with Mexico," Hunt said.
Judge Hunt says Mexican officials hope to complete construction by 2015. While he says that most likely won't happen, he's hoping their aggressive plans can translate to action on the American side.