Durango-Mazatlán Highway Could be Partially Open by Easter: Pharr International Bridge's Luis Bazán and GR Fresh's Tony Incaviglia Discuss
PHARR, TX - It’s been a wacky winter for multiple areas of the U.S., and southern Texas is no exception. Despite the cold and gray, though, Pharr International Bridge Director Luis Bazán tells me that things are running smoothly through the busy port.
Too fresh still is the sad memory of the fire that damaged the bridge along the Durango-Mazatlán Highway that plays a key role in transporting fresh goods between Mexico and the U.S., with no final date on when it would be up-and-running.
“The fire on that bridge is hampering that transportation, but product is now coming in on time,” Luis tells me. “Sure, it is tacking on six to nine extra hours of travel time, which is not good—the bridge came in to save everyone—but my understanding is the government is working hard to at least have it open by Easter.”
The tentative Easter deadline is currently to have two lanes of the four-way divide back online to filter that traffic back through.
“It’s definitely looking up,” Luis emphasizes. “We have been on top of everything as best we can be. Initially we were informed it would take a few weeks to examine the extent of damage, and luckily for the industry and everyone involved, it seems the damage to the bridge wasn’t as extensive as the government initially thought.”
Erring on the side of caution is GR Fresh Vice President of Sales and Marketing Tony Incaviglia, who shares cautious optimism about the situation and where it might fall in the coming weeks or months.
“I think it'll help, but imagine single trailer 18 wheelers or even doubles going down one lane or a winding tight 2 lane highway like the old route offered. If the single lane is found to be durable enough to handle the weight it will definitely help, though, no doubt.”
The current reverted route to the old highway works, Tony explains, but not without understandable disruption.
“Like anything else, when you get used to the new and improved it is difficult to take a step back and adjust,” Tony tells me. “You have issues with the cargo because of a windier road pallets shift, cartons crush and product is damaged. We definitely regressed logistically. To understand, you have to try to project with the mind of how it was four years ago; we are doing fine and making it work, but it has hindered our ability to project accurate arrival times causing a backlog at our warehouses that directly impact load times for our customers.”
The accident occurred on January 12, when a truck caught fire and took out a significant part of the road crossing the bridge, delaying shipments and causing concern for the structure.
As we look forward to the bridge being brought back to full capacity and saving significant hours in the lifespan of fresh produce shipments, keep checking in with AndNowUKnow for the latest.