The World Trade Bridge in Laredo, already the biggest inland port in the western hemisphere, is in for a $100 million upgrade to smooth the movement of goods between the U.S. and Mexico, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar announced the major plan along with Laredo City Officials
.“The World Trade Bridge is already the busiest land port in the western hemisphere with over $300 billion in trade generated and over 2 million trucks crossing annually,” Cuellar said. “Laredo is a powerhouse when it comes to trade, and we want to make sure we remain number one. This collaborative effort to increase technology and expand our facilities on the bridge will increase the port’s efficiency significantly over the next few years."
Among the additions to the bridge include automated pre screening of cargo, and the use of technology, including WIFI, RFID, and X-Ray, to speed cargo crossings and end delays, and state of the art inspection for both commercial and agricultural products.
Cuellar says the project will increase the bridge's capacity by 47%, while reducing 'trusted shippers' traffic delay times from 30 minutes to five minutes.
The project will also enhance the Port of Laredo as the key port of entry for cargo into the U.S., as well as boost the international two-way trade which is more and more the lifeblood of the Rio Grande Valley region.
The project will also include enhanced capability to detect and halt illegal cargos and illegal immigrant and immigrant smuggling activities. Despite talk of building a wall through uninhabited areas of the Texas-Mexico border, most border crossers enter the U.S. illegally over existing ports of entry.
PHOTO: US REP HENRY CUELLAR