Increased truck traffic into South Texas from Mexico, via Highway 40 and the Pharr International Bridge, offers “an economic ripple effect” to the region.
A recent survey by AgriLife Extension and Texas A&M AgriLife Research’s Center for North American Studies in College Station, shows a 36 percent increase in trucks through South Texas, especially the Pharr International Bridge, compared to last year. Truck traffic through Nogales, Arizona, increased by only 13 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service.
The Pharr International Bridge could soon become the No. 1 U.S. land port of entry for Mexican produce-laden trucks.
Mexico’s new highway has created a shortcut through the Rio Grande Valley to lucrative markets in the eastern U.S., says Luis Ribera, an AgriLife Extension agricultural economist in College Station.
“Mexico’s Highway 40, which basically connects Mazatlan on the Pacific Coast to Matamoros, across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, fully opened in late 2014, early 2015,” Ribera said. “Because of that, predicted growth in truck traffic through South Texas didn’t really materialize until this year. But it did so in a big way.”
Learn more about the economic advantages of increased produce traffic in South Texas.