Crossings declining: Southbound car traffic down significantly at international bridges

PHARR — The number of cars traveling south into Mexico over international bridges are down significantly across the Rio Grande Valley.

Comparing October 2016 to October 2017, area bridges all showed declines in southbound car traffic: 23,395 fewer cars traveled south over the Anzalduas International Bridge; 19,911 fewer cars crossed the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge; 7,666 fewer cars crossed the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge; 8,611 fewer cars crossed the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge; 5,349 fewer cars crossed the Progreso-Nuevo Progreso International Bridge; 1,006 fewer cars crossed the three Brownsville international bridges combined.

Laredo also saw 27,503 fewer cars cross its bridges, according to numbers presented by the Pharr Bridge.

Pharr Bridge Director Luis Bazan and Director of Operations Fred Brouwen attributed the sharp decline to raging violence in Reynosa and other Mexican border regions.

“We’ve had one of our worst months of violence in Mexico we can remember,” Brouwen said.

McAllen Superintendent of Bridges Rigo Villarreal said it’s impossible to point specifically to one factor causing the plummet. He cited the peso devaluation as another potential explanation.

While southbound car crossings were down, southbound truck crossings increased. Comparing October 2016 to October 2017, each bridge listed above saw slight increases. Pharr saw the largest increase, with 4,189 more trucks crossing southbound comparing October 2016 to October 2017.

By the numbers-Car crossings down across Valley

October 2016 vs. 2017

Anzalduas – down 23,395

Pharr-Reynosa – down 7,666

Progreso-Nuevo Progreso – down 5,349

Donna-Rio Bravo – down 8,611

Hidalgo-Reynosa – down 19,911