City of McAllen News

Bridge System to Invest in Additional CBP Man Hours to Boost Retail Shopping Hours for Travelers

by Office of Communications | Dec 20, 2018

(McAllen, TX)  The Mcallen-Hidalgo International Bridge is hoping to help Mexican travelers take advantage of holiday weekend shopping  by reducing their bridge wait time and get them into McAllen and Hidalgo shops as quickly as possible.  The Mcallen-Hidalgo Bridge is taking part in a unique federal program that allows public or private entities to help pay for additional staffing for officers from U.S. Customs & Border Protection to have more lanes open by having extra CBP management officers on hand.  Beginning on Friday, December 21 and continuing through Sunday, December 23, 2018, and then again on Friday, December 28 through Sunday, December 30, 2018, the McAllen-Hidalgo International Bridge will invest in having additional CBP supervisors which will allow all lanes to be open to expedite their processes.


The additional staffing for all 10 lanes at the McAllen-Hidalgo International Bridge begins this weekend on December 21-23, 2018, from 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. only each day and then again on the following weekend on December 28-30, 2018, from 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. only each day.


“This investment is from the City of McAllen for all of our friends from Mexico traveling from Reynosa and Monterrey, and all points in between, as the additional staffing will allow McAllen-Hidalgo International Bridge to have all 10 lanes open during those early peak hours on the weekends that will have heavy holiday traffic, getting our friends to their shopping destinations much faster. We hope they enjoy their trip to McAllen and have a Merry Christmas,” said City of McAllen Mayor Jim Darling. 


For the city of McAllen, which relies heavily on the impact of Mexican shoppers to its retail and hospitality driven economy, this investment in the additional staffing will hopefully convey to Mexican shoppers that their comfort and well-being is important to the community.  Additionally, being able to minimize bridge wait times for families traveling with young children and elderly and get them into McAllen stores, restaurants, hotels and gas stations is a worthwhile and valuable investment.


The 560 program refers to the reimbursable fee agreement program from CBP in order to request additional staffing from the federal agency.  The program was put into place in 2014 after repeated requests from border communities for additional officers during Mexican and U.S. holidays which bring an increase in bridge traffic with prolonged wait times from the increased shoppers, as well as commerce and goods, during these times.



Bridge System to Invest in Additional CBP Man Hours to Boost Retail Shopping / page 2 of 2


According to Rigoberto Villarreal, City of McAllen Superintendent of Bridges, on average, the McAllen-Hidalgo Bridge sees 12,000 daily crossers with a wait time of 60 minutes.  During holidays, traffic increases approximately 65%, with each bridge seeing approximately 18,000, with wait times of two and three hours.  A pilot test run this week of the additional staffing and equipment processing for all 10 lanes opened resulted in a zero hour wait time.


McAllen-Hidalgo International Bridges will invest $14,400 into the program, to help cover the additional staffing for CBP, said McAllen City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez, P.E.  Since the program’s inception, the City of McAllen has participated in the 560 program many times. 

# # #

© City of McAllen. All rights reserved.