The U.S. and Mexico yesterday inaugurated the first cross-border rail crossing in 105 years, a span that connects Brownsville, Texas, and Matamoros, Tamaulipas.
The new "West Rail Bypass" will replace the Brownsville-Matamoros (B&M) Rail Bridge, which was completed in 1910. The new crossing is designed to alleviate urban congestion and address safety concerns by rerouting rail traffic out of the most populated areas in Brownsville and Matamoros, the U.S. Commerce Department said in a statement. Though the span will carry freight and passengers, the focus is expected to be on freight.
"In an increasingly globalized economy, our collective competitiveness depends on our ability to replace outdated infrastructure and continue to develop a modern, efficient, and secure border," said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. "That is why we are prioritizing the development and execution of border infrastructure projects like this one."
Truck and rail handle about 80 percent of the $1.5 billion in goods moving each day between the two nations. U.S. imports from Mexico contain as much as 40 percent U.S. content, which means U.S. and Mexican-made goods often cross the border multiple times in the course of being turned into a final product.