Veterans International Bridge at Los Tomates

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Veterans International Bridge
Official name Veterans International Bridge at Los Tomates
Other name(s) Veterans Bridge, Los Tomates Bridge, Puente Internacional Gral. Ignacio Zaragoza
Carries I‑69E / US 77 / US 83, Fed. 101 / Fed. 180 and pedestrians
Crosses Rio Grande
Locale Brownsville, Texas
Matamoros, Mexico
Maintained by Cameron County, Texas
Total length 4,024 ft (1,227 m)[1]
Width 42 ft (13 m)[citation needed]

The Veterans International Bridge at Los Tomates is one of three international bridges that span the Mexico–United States border between the cities of Brownsville, Texas, and Matamoros, Tamaulipas. It is also known as simply as the Veterans Bridge, the Los Tomates Bridge, or on the Mexico side as the Puente Internacional Ignacio Zaragoza.[1] The bridge is owned and operated by Cameron County.

This international bridge unites the Matamoros–Brownsville Metropolitan Area, which counts with a population of 1,136,995,[2] making it the 4th largest metropolitan area in the Mexico-US border.[3]

Description[edit]

Opened in 1999, the Veterans International Bridge is presently the newest of the three bridges in the Brownsville area. The roadway consists of four lanes and a truck lane. The bridge also has sidewalks on both sides to accommodate pedestrian traffic.[1] The bridge operates daily from 6 a.m. to midnight.[citation needed]

On the Brownsville side, the bridge connects to the southern terminus of the I‑69E / US 77 / US 83 freeway and the Brownsville – Veterans Port of Entry. On the Matamoros side, it connects to the northern terminus of Fed. 101 / Fed. 180.

As of September 2, 2010, the toll for bicycles and pedestrians is US$0.75 ($12 MXN). The toll for cars, pick-up trucks, and motorcycles is US$3 ($48 MXN). The toll for trucks begins at US$7.75 ($124 MXN) for those with two-axles.[4] In the fiscal year ending in September 2010, the bridge saw 1,607,271 crossings, approximately double that of the Los Indios Bridge but half of the number at the Gateway International Bridge. This corresponded to a toll revenue in excess of US$6.6 million.[5]

History[edit]

A key component of an initiative to construct the new Veterans International Bridge at Los Tomates was the careful coordination among U.S. and Mexican local, state, and federal agencies. The Interstate 69E/U.S. Highway 77/83 Los Tomates Expressway Extension project linking Brownsville, Texas, with Matamoros, Mexico, included new, elevated main lanes; construction of frontage roads; and improvements to the International Boulevard intersection. Other significant aspects of the project were the relocation and construction of a new 47 acre (19-hectare) park and the dedication of a new 175 acre (71-hectare) wildlife preserve. With the completion of the bridge and 10 other projects, international trucking can now bypass the heavily congested downtown corridors of Brownsville and Matamoros.

Design and engineering[edit]

Design and Project management were completed by Maverick Engineering, Inc. – Design and project management of the Veterans’ International Bridge inbound traffic lane expansion. The scope of the project included the addition of one auto lane for fast access and several lanes for industrial traffic growth. One of these lanes was for the FAST processing of inbound NAFTA freight. The bridge connects with Interstate 69E/U.S. Highway 77/83 and is a major transit route for freight bound areas across the United States.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Texas Department of Transportation. "Veterans International Bridge at Los Tomates". Retrieved April 13, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Matamoros-Brownsville". World Gazetteer. Archived from the original on 2012-05-13. Retrieved August 22, 2011. 
  3. ^ "World Gazetter: America – Largest Cities". Archived from the original on 2007-10-01. 
  4. ^ Cameron County International Bridge System. "Schedule of Toll Fares". Retrieved April 13, 2011. 
  5. ^ Cameron County International Bridge System. "Schedule of Toll Revenues, Fiscal Year 2010". Retrieved April 13, 2011. 

Coordinates: 25°53′1″N 97°28′35″W / 25.88361°N 97.47639°W / 25.88361; -97.47639