Veterans International Bridge at Los Tomates


Brownsville, Texas

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Location Detail
Location Detail
Veterans International Bridge at Los Tomates
Veterans International Bridge at Los Tomates



Local Names: Los Tomates Bridge, Expressway 77 Bridge and Brownsville Expressway Bridge, Puente Internacional Gral. Ignacio Zaragoza
   
Location: TxDOT District: Pharr
Texas County: Cameron
U.S. City: Brownsville
Mexican City: Matamoros
   
Description: A four-lane bridge with sidewalks on both sides. 
Bridge length: 4024 feet
Bridge identification number-C003-02-001
Source: Pharr District, TxDOT, August 1999

Texas Senate Bill 934 (76th Legislature-1999) expanded the limits of the “heavy truck corridor” established under Senate Bill 1276 (75th Legislature-1997) to include US 77/83 and SH 4 between the Veterans International Bridge and the Port of Brownsville. Overweight vehicles are permitted to use these routes provided they obtain permits from the Brownsville Navigation District. Detailed information on the permits is available from the Brownsville Navigation District.
Source: Pharr District, TxDOT, August 1999

U.S.: The bridge began operating on April 30, 1999 and began processing all northbound commercial traffic for the Brownsville area on May 1, 1999. The bridge began processing southbound commercial traffic on July 12, 1999. Per Diplomatic Notes between the State Department and the Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE) on August 9, 1999, all southbound commercial traffic for this area was to be directed to the bridge by December 30, 1999. However, there was a delay and effective March 1, 2001; all trucks (loaded/empty) in the area began to be redirected for processing to the Veterans International Bridge.
Source: Cameron County International Bridge System, June 2001
Source: Pharr District, TxDOT, June 2001

Mexico: The construction of a new international bridge in the Brownsville/Matamoros area was necessary because of the need to move vehicular traffic from the city to outlying areas. The heavy congestion not only impacts the roadway systems of both border communities, but also the environment.
Source: SRE, December 1996

   
Bridge Owner or Operator: U.S. Owner: Cameron County and City of Brownsville
U.S. Operator: Cameron County International Bridge System
Mexican Owner: Government of Mexico
Mexican Operator: Caminos y Puentes Federales de Ingresos y Servicios Conexos (CAPUFE)
   
Year of Construction: U.S.:  The bridge became operational in April 1999.
Source:Pharr District, TxDOT, August 1999

Mexico: The inaugural ribbon cutting ceremony was held on April 30, 1999.
Source: Pharr District, TxDOT, August 1999

 
   
Funding/Cost: U.S.:  $19.3 million
Source: General Services Administration, August 1999

Mexico:  The Mexican federal government financed the project.
Source: CAPUFE, January 1999

   
Hours: 6 a.m. – Midnight (POV – M-Sun)
9 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Commercial/Cargo – M-Fri)
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Commercial/Cargo – Sat. and Sun.)
Source: Cameron County International Bridge System, February 2013

   
Toll: $3.00 for passenger vehicles
$1.00 for pedestrians
$3.50 per axle for commercial vehicles
Source: Cameron County International Bridge System, February 2013

   
U.S. Permits and Mexican Approvals: The Presidential Permit was issued in 1993. The Coast Guard approved a bridge permit in 1994.
Source: International Relations Office, TxDOT, April 2007

   
Border Station: U.S.: The border station (LPOE Los Tomates) is owned by the General Services Administration (GSA). It became operational on April 30, 1999.

GSA recently completed the repaving of the import lot, which had become severely deteriorated due to the overweight trucks crossing at this facility. The project was funded through the ARRA legislation.
Source: General Services Administration, January 2012

Mexico: The border station became operational on April 30, 1999.
Source: Cameron County International Bridge System, August 1999

 
   
FAST/Sentri Programs: A Free and Secure Trade (FAST) lane opened in 2004. The FAST Program is a bilateral initiative between the U.S. and Mexico designed to ensure security and safety while enhancing the economic prosperity of both countries.
Source: International Relations Office, TxDOT, February 2005

A dedicated commuter lane, using Secure Electronic Network for Travelers’ Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) became operational in August 2006.
Source: Pharr District, TxDOT, February 2007
Source: Cameron County International Bridge System, March 2006

   
Connecting Roadway: U.S.: US 77
Connects directly to the bridge and intersects with SH 4 further to the north.   
Source: International Relations Office, TxDOT
Source: Brownsville MPO, February 2006
Mexico: Boulevard Luis Donaldo Colossio connects to the highway leading to Ciudad Victoria and to Reynosa.
Source: Centro S.C.T. Tamaulipas, June 2001
   
Improvements: U.S.: An expansion project estimated at $11 million to expand the bridge by constructing a twin structure was approved by the Texas Transportation Commission on April 29, 2010, and the amended Presidential Permit was issued by the DOS on June 10, 2010. Coordinated Border Infrastructure funding in the amount of $6.25 million was used for this project. The older span will service southbound traffic while the new one will provide northbound service.

Construction began in February 2011, and the U.S. portion is complete. The new facility is expected to become operational by the end of 2013.

Mexico:  The expansion project on the Mexican side is supported by the SCT, the government of Tamaulipas, and the city of Matamoros. Construction of the bridge is scheduled to be completed in November 2013.
Source: Cameron County International Bridge System,  June 2013