JUAREZ, Mexico (Border Report) – Border commuters no longer must follow detours and brave heavy traffic to travel from Juarez to El Paso, Texas, over the Bridge of the Americas.
The City of Juarez last week wrapped up work on the rebuilt Carlos Villarreal bridge connecting the touristy Pronaf area to the port of entry in South Central El Paso. The 85-year-old Villarreal bridge developed cracks and became a safety hazard. The city closed the access in February to tear down and rebuild the bridge.
“We promised to and finished on time. We said six months and it was no more than six months. Some people were saying it was going to take ‘forever’ but that was not the case,” Juarez Mayor Cruz Perez Cuellar said.
On Tuesday, the line of cars waiting to enter the U.S. port of entry extended beyond the Carlos Villarreal bridge three-quarters of a mile south.
“It looks good. Hopefully, they used good (construction) materials, and it will last,” said a Juarez resident on her way to El Paso who declined to give her name.
The Bridge of the Americas is one of four international bridges connecting heavily populated areas in the two adjoining border cities. The others are the Paso del Norte, Stanton and Ysleta-Zaragoza ports of entry.
(Juarez freelance photojournalist Angel Cervantes contributed to this report.)