Increased lanes at Veterans Bridge means economic growth

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POSTED: Monday, June 9, 2014 - 4:08pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 7:18am

Almost as soon as officials added four additional lanes to both the US and Mexican sides of the Los Tomates - Veterans International Bridge, there were significant decreases in long wait times for both passenger and commercial traffic:

"In total, we have eight lanes," said Cameron County administrator Pete Sepulveda, Jr.. "And so the whole idea was to take the commercial traffic away from the passenger vehicle traffic."

Those extra lanes have suddenly become an added bonus for people who are used to sitting in heavy traffic at the bridge.

Now that multiple lanes have been added to both the US and Mexican sides of Veterans International Bridge, commercial traffic has been able to flow much more smoothly and traffic has been less congested in general.

"The commercial traffic have had their lanes for about two months now," Sepulveda. "It's working out very well for everybody. We don't have the mixture in congestion of traffic that we previously had with the four lane bridge."

But in addition to minimizing a large portion of the waiting time, officials are recognizing local opportunities for economic growth, especially with the commercial traffic that passes through:

"By expanding the bridge, we double the capacity that we have, and so now we're trying to market the bridge so we can capture some of that traffic," said Sepulveda. "That relates to toll revenue at the bridge, it relates to industry moving into the Brownsville/Cameron County area, it relates to job creation for Cameron County."

The Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority is also working on a road that would connect Veterans International Bridge with the Port of Brownsville for more commercial opportunities.

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