Pharr in talks to operate Donna bridge

NEWSCENTER 23
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POSTED: Monday, November 18, 2013 - 5:47pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 9:51am

The city of Pharr is talking to Donna about taking over operations of the Donna International Bridge.  

Donna has yet to build an inspection station to allow commercial trucks.  If the McAllen or Anzalduas bridges get approval for 18-wheelers before Donna, then Donna will lose out on major revenue.  

"If you have the Pharr International Bridge and the Donna International Bridge, and they go commercial, is there really a need for another commercial bridge?" Pharr CFO Juan Guerra said.  "I believe without a doubt that the Donna International Bridge will go commercial before Anzalduas."  

Donna wants relief from its debt on the $30 million bridge.  Pharr wants to be in charge of the two bridges and develop the land in between on Military Highway 281.  

Making the area a trucking hub could attract warehouses and distributors.  And Pharr could reap the benefits by taking over the land. 

"The land already belongs to Pharr's extra territorial jurisdiction," Guerra said.  "The city has no plans right now to annex that land."  

The trucking corridor can siphon business from McAllen and Mission, which is why they are vying for the Bridge as well.  Representatives from Donna and the other international bridges could not be reached for comment.  

"We're expecting the deal to be done in two to three months," Guerra said.  "The amount of money it's going to take, it's not settled so I can't really say a price until the negotiations are closer to being finalized."  

Guerra said barring anything major, all that's keeping the deal from going through is approval from both city commissions.  The cost of taking up some of the Donna bridge debt will come from Pharr's bridge fund.  

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