New program aimed at cutting bridge wait time

The Anzalduas International Bridge Board has launched a new program aimed at helping travelers entering the United States.

Officials said the average daily traffic is 2600 vehicles during the week and on weekends it peaks to 4600.

"Which is a little bit more than what we projected," said McAllen Mayor Richard Cortez.

The Anzalduas International Bridge Board has launched a new program they said should help cut the wait.

"We're hoping that this will save us not minutes but 15 to 30 seconds per vehicle," said the superintendent of bridges Rigo Villarreal.

Greeters will be hired to say a friendly hello and remind travelers to have their documents ready for inspection by a CBP agent.

Juan Obregon said he has crossed the bridge before with his wife to do some shopping here in McAllen, and he said he thinks the greeters would make the process faster.

"It'll probably be quicker because then you'll already be prepared with your documentation after the greeter reminds you to take it out," said Obregon.

But Nancy Hernandez said she doesn't agree.

"I don't think it'll work because then they're going to stop you maybe four or five cars in front of you, and then they're going to stop you again to check your documents so then it's going to be a waste of time doing it twice," said Hernandez.

Instead, some critics said if officials want a speedier process, there should be more lanes instead of greeters.

That's something officials said is on there to do list.

They said they just need the federal government's help to make it possible.

"There's a lot of things that we need to do to fix things, and we are working very well with our counterpart the federal government to make those changes to make it efficient," said Cortez.

The board said they will try the program for three months.

Greeters are scheduled to be in place by the week of March 14.