• March 8, 2024

Agreement to Expand International Bridge

Agreement to Expand International Bridge
Laredo Mayor Victor Treviño and Samuel Garcia, governor of the Mexican border state of Nuevo León, on March 1, 2024, met in Laredo and signed a memorandum of understanding to expand the Colombia Solidarity International Bridge. (Photo Courtesy Victor Treviño)

Sandra Sanchez

McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — The mayor of Laredo, Texas, and the governor of the Mexican state of Nuevo León signed an agreement to expand an international bridge — the second such expansion leaders are pushing forth after a new U.S. law went into effect.

Laredo Mayor Victor Treviño and Gov. Samuel Garcia want the Colombia Solidarity International Bridge in Laredo to increase from eight lanes to 16 lanes. They also want a rail bridge to connect the two countries at this popular spot for trade, Border Report has learned.

The leaders met at the historic Paseo Real restaurant on Friday in Laredo and signed a memorandum of understanding to expand the bridge, which connects to the Mexican border town of Colombia.

In August, the Laredo City Council unanimously approved the expansion of lanes at the same bridge to better bolster trade between the two countries.

Laredo is the No. 1 inland trade port on the Southwest border, with most 18-wheelers crossing farther east at the World Trade Bridge. Exports in Laredo totaled $61.82 billion in June.

The plan still must receive a U.S. presidential permit — a process that can take years, but is being streamlined at the neighboring World Trade Bridge due to a new U.S. law.

In early January, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and the governor of Tamaulipas, along with U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Laredo, went to the World Trade Bridge to announce the new law that was part of the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that applies to only three counties in South Texas — Webb, Maverick and Cameron.

President Joe Biden signed the law on Dec. 22, which allows for the construction of new international bridges and expansion projects of existing bridges to begin while environmental studies are being conducted only in these three South Texas border counties.

At the time, the leaders said they would soon be discussing more bridge expansions with neighboring Nuevo León.

“Any international project begins with the MOU,” Treviño said at the event, according to the Laredo Morning Times. “By obtaining the presidential permit, we can proceed with all the plans, permits, requisition of the necessary funds, engineering projects and everything that follows after the permit.”


Sandra Sanchez can be reached at SSanchez@BorderReport.com.

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