Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Trans-Texas Corridor to connect with Monterrey, Mexico

Mexican state of Nuevo Leon wants to be trade gateway with U.S.

September 21, 2005

Frontera NorteSur (FNS)
Center for Latin American and Border Studies
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Copyright 2005

September 20. — Buzzing with truck traffic, the border crossing of Nuevo Laredo- Laredo handles the lion's share of Mexico-US trade. But if Nuevo Leon Governor Jose Natividad Gonzalez Paras has his way, Nuevo Leon will have a large chunk of that international commerce in the not-too-distant future. Gov. Gonzalez announced on Monday, September 19, a federal concession that boosts an ambitious, twin highway-railway project designed to bypass the two Laredos and transform the small community of Colombia, Nuevo Leon, into the biggest land customs port in Mexico.

Carrying a total price tag of at least US$155 million, the expanded bypasses will enter the U.S. along the small slice of Nuevo Leon's territory that borders Texas. A new railroad bridge is planned to ferry trade cargo across the U.S.-Mexico border.

"We have received title to a federal concession for the state of Nuevo Leon to build the railway bridge, or better put, to contract it out to third parties," Gov. Gonzalez said. A major goal is to connect the railroad with the Trans-Texas Corridor promoted by Texas Governor Rick Perry, said Nuevo Leon's chief executive. In early 2002, Gov. Perry signed a declaration with former Nuevo Leon Governor Fernando Canales to connect the Trans Texas Corridor with Nuevo Leon's industrial powerhouse, Monterrey.

Gov. Gonzalez also announced the formation of a citizen council to oversee the Nuevo Leon Border Zone Development Corporation (CODEFRONT) that will be in charge of the trade project. Former Nuevo Leon Governor Jorge Treviño was named to head the citizen council.

Holding a federal concession from the Ministry of Communications and Transportation, the state government of Nuevo Leon will seek interest the private sector and lending institutions in the expanded trade infrastructure corridor slated for Colombia, a town northwest of Laredo, Texas.

Arturo Garcia Espinosa, the general director of CODEFRONT, said he is sending out feelers to companies that could benefit from the project.

"We are exploring the possibilities of interest on the part of private investors, that transportation companies like TFM and Union Pacific, or international institutions like the North American Development Bank might be interested in participating," Garcia said.

Besides the estimated US$120 million that the railroad bridge and links will cost, another US$35 million in federal dollars will be budgeted to build a "super-highway" between Sabinas, Nuevo Leon, and the Colombia crossing. Construction of the road is expected to begin during Mexico's presidential election year of 2006. Nuevo Leon officials plan to complete the project within three years.

Sources: El Mañana (Nuevo Laredo), September 20, 2005. La Jornada, September 20, 2005. Article by David Carrizales. El Universal, September 19, 2005.

Article by Alejandro Salas.

Frontera NorteSur (FNS)
Center for Latin American and Border Studies
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, New Mexico


(Reprinted with authorization from Frontera NorteSur, a free, on-line, U.S.-Mexico border news source. FNS can be found at )

Translation FNS