Hidalgo-Reynosa bridge reopened on Mexican side
Sat, 10 Jul 2010 12:44:55 GMT —
Cars are heading back north again after floodwaters temporarily shut down vehicles lanes on the Mexican side of the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge.
Authorities shut down the northbound vehicle lanes Friday night and temporarily opened the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge for 24 hours a day to ease traffic.
The northounnd lanes of the Hidalgo bridge remained underwater Saturday morning leaving some vehicles stuck in the parking lot of a local customs office.
Reynosa Mayor Oscar Luebbert took a look at the damages on Saturday morning.
Luebbert said the water is expected to rise another three feet but should all be gone in three days.
He said the Rio Grande River has changed it course over the years and the vehicles lanes for the bridge were built in an area where it used to flow.
It TMs been almost 40 years the river has come up as strong as it is now, Luebbert said in Spanish. Federal officials decided to build the access (for the bridge) there. It TMs low. It TMs part of the river where they put the access and now the river is returning to its original path.
Luebbert and other officials set up a detour to get traffic headed back north again.
Cars headed to the United States must enter from downtown Reynosa at the Plaza de la Republica right next to the bridge.
In the customs area, police officers direct drivers south and have them make a u-turn north towards the toll booths.
The temporary closure did affect local business.
Street vendor Salvador Mata says he makes a living selling chewing gum and roasted seeds...
He says a drop in any traffic means a drop in sales...
But the flooding didn't stop San Juan resident Eliud Pea from going shopping with his family in Reynosa.
Pea told Action 4 News that they have family in Reynosa and normally drive but decided to walk when they heard about the closure.
Well, we hope that the situation doesn TMt get worse and that authorities are doing their job, Pea said in Spanish. Hopefully, we TMll be able to come and go with the same easy that have every day.
Authorities recommend anyone traveling to Mexico check the number of available lanes and bridge wait times on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Wait Times website.