“I’m happy to see the grand opening of the Presidio International Bridge in our community,” said Texas State Senator César J. Blanco. “Nevertheless, this bridge represents more than just steel and concrete; it represents the connection of cultures, families, and communities, as well as serving as the gateway to usher in economic prosperity for our region and state.”
The project, which also included work on the Mexico side, was completed in cooperation with the Secretariat of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation, along with the Federal Toll Roads and Bridges and Related Services.
“I’m a big champion of the economic drivers and abilities here in the region,” said State Representative Eddie Morales, Jr. “The future looks very bright for what we have in store for continued expansion efforts. We are really looking forward to stakeholders continuing to support those endeavors and make sure we bring those expansion efforts to fruition.”
TxDOT constructed a parallel two-lane twin bridge structure for southbound traffic in Presidio. The twin structure is located adjacent to the existing bridge and matches the existing bridge in both length and width. The structure accommodates two southbound travel lanes within a width of 26 feet and a 10-foot-wide pedestrian walkway along the outer side to handle pedestrians bound for Mexico. A concrete barrier separates the southbound travel lanes from the walkway. The original bridge was reconfigured to carry northbound traffic into the United States on two lanes, along with inbound pedestrians on the existing walkway.
“I know many of my citizens have been looking forward to this for years and years,” said Presidio County Judge Jose Portillo, Jr. “This is a momentous step forward as we continue to be a positive part of the trade that’s going on between the United States and Mexico.”
The bridge is owned and operated by TxDOT and the Government of Mexico. The Presidio Bridge is the only international crossing owned by TxDOT. The United States side of the bridge connects to US Route 67 which leads to Marfa, Texas, and FM 170. The Mexico side of the bridge in Ojinaga, Chihuahua, connects to MEX 16 and CHIH 18.
“This project is incredibly important to Presidio. It’s important to the transportation network here. With the rate of growth that we are seeing in the Presidio/Ojinaga it only means more and more cars on our road, and this will facilitate traffic and promote economic development,” said TxDOT El Paso District Engineer Tomas Trevino. “This project provides a safe pedestrian facility for the residents of Presidio and Ojinaga and provides additional capacity for international traffic that will have impact across the region and state.”
Since the completion of the new highway between Chihuahua City and Ojinaga in Mexico in 2003, commercial border crossings have increased more than 300 percent at the Presidio-Ojinaga Port of Entry. Construction of the twin structure is designed to improve movement of both personal and commercial traffic, reduce congestion and bridge wait times, facilitate the continued free flow of commodities between the United States and Mexico, and improve pedestrian safety.
“Presidio historically has been an underutilized port of entry, and you could attribute some of that to limitations to the prior two-lane bridge," Presidio Mayor John Ferguson said. "So now that we have four lanes, two north and two south, it should catch the attention of people that want to do international business that may have been using other ports of entry that are congested. It’s an opportunity to discover and grow with us.”