US-Mexico border infrastructure upgrades on the way

Improving border infrastructure, upgrading highways and modernizing ports are part of the $14 billion infrastructure package recently announced by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

There were 39 total infrastructure projects announced Monday by Obrador, including 28 highway projects, five energy projects, two ports, two railroads, and two water/solid waste treatment plant projects.

Two of the projects that will directly affect infrastructure along the United States-Mexico border include the $130 million expansion of the Otay Mesa port of entry in Tijuana, Mexico, and upgrading the Mexican side of the Colombia Solidarity International Bridge in South Texas.

The Otay Mesa port of entry is an international border crossing between Tijuana and San Diego. The project — Otay Mesa II — is a joint effort between Mexico and the U.S., which has also pledged around $137 million for the port’s expansion.

Rendering of Otay Mesa II commercial truck area. (Photo: U.S. General Services Administration)

According to the U.S. General Services Administration, the project will improve the “processing capacity for trucks and pedestrians traveling between San Diego and the Otay Centenario borough of Tijuana.”

The Otay Mesa II project extends over a 51-acre area on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. The plan includes adding six new processing lanes, expansion of the commercial inspection facility with six new booths and the construction of a commercial annex building.

Between 2,500 and 3,000 commercial trucks use the Otay Mesa port of entry every day.

Another project that could affect border traffic is a $19 million upgrade to the Colombia Solidarity International Bridge in Laredo, Texas. The bridge is part of the World Trade Bridge system in Laredo, which averages about 10,000 commercial trucks a day. 

The Monterrey (Mexico)-Laredo highway will receive $22 million in improvements. The federal highway begins in the Mexican city of Monterrey and travels to Laredo. 

Another project will expand and modernize the Port of Progreso in Mexico’s Yucatán state. The $186 million project includes expanding the port’s ship channel to accommodate larger cargo vessels.

The funding also includes $23 million for a new water system facility in Mexico City and $75 million for a solid waste treatment plant in Mexico State.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Noi Mahoney.

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