Every passing day seems to bring new opportunities and growth to the Rio Grande Valley. Thrill and excitement in local border regions are building up as the inauguration of the international superhighway approaches.
According to representatives from Mexico and the border regions of South Texas, the highway stands to shift millions of containers of goods from Arizona to Texas. As the country’s largest highway and most extensive public works project, the potential in international trade is vast.
“It’s historic because this is the most expensive project that has ever been made in Mexico,” said Sergio Romero Barrera, a representative from Ciudad Mazatlán.
City leaders in Mexico are aiming to form an alliance of cities between the Rio Grande Valley and Mazatlán as they expect the highway, dubbed the Corredor Económico del Norte, will rival Central America’s Panama Canal in the trade industry.
“Where previously, all the roads were built from north to south, this will be the first that crosses from west to easy,” Romero said. “It’s going to be like the Panama Canal. The merchandise of Asia will arrive faster and more efficiently through the Atlantic this way.”
The new trade route should facilitate the import of an estimated $4 billion in perishable goods, coming from Sinaloa, one of the highest producing states of perishable goods from Mexico into the United States.
The corridor boasts an impressive design. It will cross seven states in Mexico and will cut travel time to the United States by eight hours. Fresh produce set for the east coast and Europe will hit the shelves at a more efficient rate and better quality.
“I liken this to the building of railroads from the east to west coast of the United States in the 19th Century,” said Commissioner Ralph Cowen from the Port of Brownsville. “There has never been an east-west corridor in Mexico. For them to go to Arizona, where they go for shopping, takes 17 hours. This will be like a new Monterrey. They won’t go to Arizona, they will come to the Valley.”
After six years of construction, the final costs of the corridor totaled $3 billion dollars. The highway includes 60 tunnels and 60 bridges that connect Mexico’s breadbasket – from Sinaloa to Durango to the Rio Grande Valley – ultimately connecting the Pacific to the Gulf Coast on one route.
Because shipping and broker companies will face lower costs and faster transportation times, Mexican officials believe the superhighway will bring over two million containers of produce a year, up from the usual 500,000 through Mazatlán.
Mazatlán’s port will also witness an influx of trans-shipments headed for America from China. Asian companies can avoid transporting goods through the west coast then south to Mexico and then north into the United States again.
“Look at LG Televisions of South Korea. They make their TVs in Reynosa for the U.S. market. They import their parts via Long Beach in California and cross them into Reynosa via Pharr. Now they can cross via Mazatlán and it will be cheaper,” Cowen said.
The entirety of Mexico’s breadbasket and the South Texas border region stand to reap in the benefits of this superhighway project. Increased traffic from international trade will boost local economies and drive future expansion. Take part in this new era of international trade. Contact the Pharr EDC at 956.402.4EDC to learn more.