Progreso–Nuevo Progreso International Bridge
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|The Progreso–Nuevo Progreso International Bridge|
The Progreso–Nuevo Progreso International Bridge on the U.S.–Mexico border, has been in operation at this location since 1952. It connects the cities of Progreso, Texas, and Nuevo Progreso (in Río Bravo Municipality), Tamaulipas.
The Progreso–Nuevo Progreso International Bridge has been in operation at this location since 1952. During the first years of operation the bridge had relatively low crossings of pedestrians, automobile, and commercial traffic. When it opened, it was open 5:00 a.m. to midnight. Tolls were southbound only. Beginning in the 1970s, an increase in all three categories of crossing was seen. In 1981 Cargill, Inc. constructed a grain elevator here for the exportation of corn and grain to Mexico. This exportation of agriculture products continued to grow to the point that four grain elevators are now exporting agriculture products to Mexico (corn, grain sorghum, cotton seed, beans, and popcorn). With the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a substantial increase in commercial traffic in both directions has developed and a new bridge was seen as necessary.
The State of Texas recognizes the importance of the Progreso Bridge. From 1993 through the end of 1997, the Texas Department of Transportation invested over $10 million in FM 1015, which connects to US 83 and points north. The Texas Department of Transportation invested over $5 million more in 1998 and in 1999 to provide for five lanes of traffic.
The new bridge was completed in 2003 and features broad, covered walkways on each side and four traffic lanes. A truck bridge, located to the East side, is open to remove heavy northbound truck traffic.
Bridge traffic has been very substantial over the past decade, both southbound and northbound. Since 2000, about 1.25 million pedestrians cross the bridge each year. Another million cars make the Southbound crossing. Truck and tour bus traffic has also increased steadily. Much of the truck crossing now carries grain, primarily corn for tortillas, to Mexico. Very little truck cargo crosses from Mexico, although this is expected to change with the opening of the new truck bridge.
The Port of Entry building will soon be remodeled. The concourse will be broadened and upgraded. There will be three counters to handle the crush of returning shoppers. As of February 19, 2009, this has not yet been completed.
Requirements for crossing
United States passports have been mandatory since June 1, 2009. Options include a United States passport card ($40.00) or a United States passport book ($100.00), both good for 10 years and available at most United States post offices.
U.S. citizens can visit within the frontera area (a 26-mile border area of Mexico) for up to 72 hours without a permit. It is always a good idea to carry proof of citizenship such as a birth certificate, a valid state driver’s license, a valid state non-driver identification card, or valid United States passport. Naturalized U.S. citizens must carry their proof of citizenship.
Tourist permits are required for those planning to go beyond the limit of the frontera. These are available in Nuevo Progreso, Tamaulipas just after you cross the bridge.
Pedestrians toll is 50 cents into Mexico, and 25 cents into the United States. Currently, a $2.00 toll is required when traveling in either direction per vehicle.
Parking is located on both sides of FM 1015 before you enter the toll gate. Parking is nominal and the lots are paved and there's someone on duty during all daylight hours.