PHARR, Texas (ValleyCentral) — U.S. and Mexican officials gathered this morning for the groundbreaking ceremony for the Pharr International Bridge Expansion Project, which has been in the works for years.

The project stems from the continued growth of cross-border trading.

The three-mile expansion will include a four-laned twin bridge, which will serve as a new pathway for commercial traveling from the U.S. to Mexico.

“We’re not at capacity,” says Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez. “But, we know there’s more capacity to be held. We know there’s tremendous growth all over the United States and also in South America and especially Mexico. There’s a lot of economic growth.” 

This construction project will cost $120 million and be paid for by the U.S. and Mexico.

It will increase capacity for commercial vehicles crossing the border and hopefully eliminate wait times.

Pharr Bridge Director, Luis Bazan, says, “What this will do is it will not just create jobs, but it’ll increase productivity in Mexico, and we know that we depend on Mexico to manufacture the goods that we use in the U.S.” 

According to the city, over $46 billion worth of commerce was estimated to have been traded through the Pharr International Bridge just last year.

With this expansion, that growth rate is expected to increase by up to five percent year to year.

“There’s something bigger out there,” adds Bazan. “There’s something greater out there, and that is world trade, and we want to make sure that this bridge is able to service that world trade.”