NAFTA, not Tolls, Should Pay for Roads says Mayor of Mission, TX

“Well I want to thank you all for coming to the City of Mission,” said Mayor Norberto Salinas in welcoming remarks before a hearing of the Texas Senate Committee on Transportation & Homeland Security.

“We welcome you. This is your home, and we are very proud and happy that you all decided, Mr. Chairman, to have your hearing here.

“This is a very important community now that we have been growing by leaps and bounds. The need for more money as far as our transportation is going to be needed in the future, connected to the bridge [see notes on Anzalduas Bridge under Read More below].

“We are very happy and very thankful to TexDot (Texas Department of Transportation) for being so much and for you all to have helped us so much in expanding our expressway 1016 and Terry Road.

“As you know we reconstructed the City of Mission to where it looks the way it looks now. We still have a little bit more to go. If we start construction of our bridge in December, we are going to have a connector that we would like to have, as a pass through toll road.

“A lot of people know how I feel about toll roads. I really don’t like them. I really want the state to pay for it. I think it’s only fair that people, that NAFTA created our problem here, and I feel that NAFTA and the state should pay for some of our transportation.

“Toll roads in this community, I think it’s out of the question, but I will abide by the decision that TexDot does. I would just like to not have them in Mission. But we are also very grateful for TexDot for doing so much for us, and the state, and the Governor, and of course you guys.

“So welcome to Mission, and anything you all might need, we’re here.”


New Anzalduas International Bridge

Anzalduas Project Summary – The Anzalduas International Crossing is a project being jointly developed by the Cities of McAllen, Hidalgo and Mission. It is strategically located approximately 5 kilometers west of the existing Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge. This project is totally justified by the unprecedented growth in international traffic and business in our segment of the US Mexico border. Traffic origin and destination studies conducted by independent experts conclusively state the need for this project. After meeting all requirements of the federal inspection and regulatory agencies, a United States Presidential Permit to construct the bridge and border station was issued in July, 1999. The permit allows construction to begin in April of 2003 and the port can be operational at the start of 2005. The Anzalduas Bridge Board has engaged Dannenbaum Engineering Corporation to design the international span, the access road, and the toll plaza and outbound facilities. The design phase of Phase I of the project which is the bridge structure is complete and Dannenbaum Engineering will soon be authorized to continue with the design of Phase II which will be the outbound inspection facilities, toll plaza, and administration building.

The General Services Administration will be responsible for designing and building the facilities to be utilized by the federal inspection agencies. GSA has engaged Marmon Mok to master plan the border station. After numerous meetings with all stakeholders in this project, the master plan is complete. In addition, GSA has indicated that they will likely utilize the design/build method in building their facilities. The congress has approved in the FY 04 budget, a total of $17,938,000. for the General Services Administratioin to build the inspection facilities.

Adjacent to this project is approximately a six thousand acre site under single ownership which has all the required infrastructure for development. The owners of this project have also committed to a minimum of ninety acres for the development of the border station and all the necessary right of way required to build this project.

This project is also being developed in Mexico. Promotora del Anzalduas, a private group, is developing this project and is responsible for acquiring all necessary permits. They have the total support of the City of Reynosa as well as the Governor of Tamaulipas and are very close to acquiring their presidential permit. Promotora del Anzalduas has completed all the required technical studies that the various Mexican federal agencies have requested. The Governor of Tamaulipas has officially requested the award of concession and that process is under review by the Secretariat of SCT. Promotora del Anzalduas as well as Reynosa Mayor Garcia Cabeza de Vaca are in support of this effort to award concession to the State of Tamaulipas. This award of concession will lead to the issuance of the final diplomatic note that will authorize construction. In fact, Mexico has officially committed in their latest diplomatic note that the construction will commence in the second semester of 2005 and that operations will begin at the end of 2006.

We have a project, a team, and financial capacity to provide both the US and Mexico with a unique opportunity. It is our intent to develop a state of the art facility that will serve to accommodate changing technologies, speed, and accessibility to markets.

Source:
http://www.medc.org/community_transportation.aspx

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