Rio Bravo-Donna Bridge to Launch Commercial Empty Truck Crossings

By Viviana Cervantes

South Texas

October 30, 2023

Carlos Yerena, the city manager of Donna, Texas, has reported significant progress in the procedures and permits required to enable the Donna International Bridge to allow the crossing of commercial trucks from south to north.

Recent advancements include obtaining licenses in Mexico, providing training and certifications in the United States specifically for customs agents. Yerena stated, "We are developing a model project aimed at transforming Donna International Bridge into a commercial space. This will be carried out in two phases: the first, with the crossing of empty trucks, and the second, with loaded units. We hope that everything proceeds as planned to continue with the bidding process in 2024."

Commercial Trucks

To achieve this, an investment of over $100 million is planned, made possible through the collaboration between the City of Donna and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) office.

The crossing of commercial trucks also necessitates the construction of new infrastructure and adjustments to existing systems, which will be exclusively dedicated to commercial truck use, with inspections conducted through an X-ray control tower.

Economic development

Opening up commercial spaces, Yerena discussed the expectations of economic benefits for Donna and South Texas, along with the enhancement of competitive advantages. He noted, "We are very committed to this project, and we believe that the economic development opportunities will not be limited to Donna alone, as we are part of a thriving commercial region."

While the plans for commercial expansion progress, Walter Weaver, the director of CBP at the Port of Progreso, reported a 31% increase in traffic at the Donna International Bridge so far this year.

Across the entire region

Weaver emphasized the significant impact, saying, "Our operational area has been quite impressive, but what interests us greatly is the business sector that crosses through here. As part of an investment process, they aim to realize their projects, and this has generated a significant impact across the entire region."

The bridge is situated within the logistics corridor of South Texas, just 10 minutes from the Pharr International Bridge and 30 minutes from the Los Indios International Bridge.

A significant impact

Furthermore, it is in close proximity to industrial parks such as those in the west zone of Pharr, Texas, including Monarch Business Industrial Park, Pharr Industrial Park, and Keystone Business Park. In Reynosa, Tamaulipas, there are industrial parks like the Puente Industrial Park, Reynosa Industrial Center, Reynosa Industrial Park, Prologis Park Pharr Bridge Industrial, Finsa Reynosa Oriente Industrial Park, Prologis Park Bridge East, Pharr East Industrial Park, and Colonial Industrial Park.

As a result, Weaver concluded, "The flow of trade will have a significant impact on the northern region of Tamaulipas and South Texas. The commercial investment in the Donna crossing will lead to new economic opportunities for both Mexico and the United States."

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