McALLEN — As a mariachi band played, the first trucks officially crossed the Anzalduas International Bridge on Monday afternoon.
After a prop truck was driven for show by McAllen Mayor Jim Darling and Superintendent of Bridges Rigo Villarreal, two actual crossing trucks drove across the bridge.
Baudelio Perez, from Allende, Nuevo Leon, drove the first empty truck southbound over the Anzalduas bridge. He normally drives both north and south across the Pharr International Bridge, which is the only bridge in the area with a variety of truck traffic flowing both ways.
“This will take, maybe, five minutes,” Perez said in Spanish of the Anzalduas crossing. “It’s much faster than Pharr. Because there are full trucks and empty trucks going south at Pharr, it can take 20 minutes or more.”
Darrel Renfrow, vice president of Index Reynosa, acts as sort of a liaison between McAllen and the maquiladoras, which are located close to the Anzalduas bridge.
“Now, drivers could potentially make two trips per day,” Renfrow said. “They cross the Pharr bridge in the morning, drop off their load. They go back over the Anzalduas, which will take much less time than before. Then if they have the right situation where they can load back up in Reynosa, they cross back over at Pharr, unload, then cross back over and they can sleep in their same beds.”
“And more money for the drivers,” Darling said. Drivers are typically paid per trip. Villarreal said he’s already getting plenty of calls from truck drivers and trucking companies.
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