HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas – Traffic at international bridges has been down across the Valley as the federal government banned non-essential travel in March.
Spring is usually a busy time for the international bridges.
“The day before Mother’s Day and Mother’s Day is one of the biggest if not the biggest of the whole year so we missed out on a lot of business,” said Josue Garcia Jr., director of the Cameron County International Bridge System.
Because of the restrictions on non-essential travel, bridge crossings have dropped by over 50%.
“We have experienced an overall 64% decrease in crossings on both international bridges compared to last year,” said Garcia.
“We have experienced an overall 64% decrease in crossings on both international bridges,” said Olaguibel.
“Up until last week, we’ve been seeing a 50% decline in the crossings into Mexico,” Jesus Reyna, executive director of the Donna Rio-Bravo International Bridge.
The decline in crossing has also affected revenue.
“To date, I can tell you that we’re down at least a million dollars from where we were a year ago,” said Garcia.
“We’ve lost about 20-25% in revenues,” said Reyna.
Despite these setbacks the bridge directors remain hopeful, but all said that the health and safety of the travelers and community is more important.
Travel restrictions at the international bridges are set to expire on May 20. However, the bridge directors say that could change.