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Presidio bridge receives presidential permit, finally

June 1st, 2017 under Top Stories

By NICK WINCHESTER

nick@bigbendnow.com

PRESIDIO — The United States Department of State has granted the long-awaited presidential permit for the Presidio-Ojinaga International Port of Entry bridge project, according to Presidio Mayor John Ferguson.

“It was announced today that the Presidential Permit has been signed, authorizing construction of the Presidio International Bridge Expansion,” Mayor Ferguson said in a Facebook post late Tuesday night.

The Texas Department of Transportation applied for the presidential permit for the bridge project in September, but efforts to expand the bridge has been going on for more than a decade.

Mayor Ferguson told the Presidio International and Marfa Big Bend Sentinel, “We are delighted to finally get it done. This ensures the bridge will be built.”

“We can now look forward to construction getting started,” he said. Ferguson thanked those in involved and gave his appreciation to the Presidio Port Authority for advocating for the project.

The expanded Presidio-Ojinaga crossing is many years in the making and attempts to alleviate existing traffic issues while anticipating future demand.

Representatives from TxDOT held a public information session in September 2013 in Presidio about the potential for expanding the bridge. This past June, TxDOT representatives returned to Presidio with plans and artist renderings of the new bridge. Engineer Jorge Suarez presented the project, stating that TxDOT expects bridge traffic to increase 60 percent by 2044.

TxDOT’s proposed project involves building a second structure parallel to the existing two-lane bridge. The new structure will absorb the Mexico-bound traffic while the existing bridge will become U.S.-bound only. This will allow the bridge to support two lanes of traffic for each direction.

In addition to accommodating more cars, the new structure will include a 10-foot-wide sidewalk for pedestrian traffic.

“This is a great development for the people of Texas and a great tool to help TxDOT advance projects at the border,” said Texas Transportation Chairman Tryon Lewis. “Dollars dedicated to border projects mean increased trade.”

“I’d like to thanks Congressman Hurd and Senator Cornyn and their staffs for their assistance in expediting the presidential permit process.”

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