McALLEN – As traffic passed through a bridge checkpoint to enter Mexico at the Anzalduas International Bridge, local and state officials anouunced the allocation of $7 million in funding approval for infrastructure improvements.
At the request of state Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, funding was approved by the Texas Transportation Commission.
"It's been a struggle for the last 12 years, there's always been a stumbling block and finally we got this bridge open," Mission Mayor Beto Salinas said. "It's working very well for us, better than we expected."
Salinas added that the federal government didn't have the funding for the four or five more lanes going north on Bryan Road but the state stepped in where the fed couldn't.
At one point during his allotted speaking time, Salinas showed signs of frustration about the lack of funding and blamed everything on politics. He even went as far as to put blame on his dear friend United States Senator John Cornyn for not moving the ball in Washington to allow the building of the lanes.
Customs and Border Patrol see some disagreement on the building of the lanes with the City of Mission but the Texas Department of Transportation will allow the $7 million to stay here until a resolution can be resolved between the two entities.
"I do not appreciate the Senator, Congressman (Henry) Cuellar and everybody else in Washington who do not let us work and let this thing happen for us," Salinas said. "Mission and McAllen are one of the most beautiful cities on the border."
Hinojosa took some of the edge off a fired-up Salinas in closing the event. He made sure to let everyone in attendance know that the bridge was about jobs and commerce. With Mexico being the No. 1 trading partner to Texas and No. 2 to the United States.
"It's important to us to invest money in our infrastructure and continue expanding our facilities to accomadate commerce," he said. "For us here in the Valley we're very fortunate that we are like a family with Mexico."