Opening of FM 396 Offers Enhanced Opportunities for International Trade Between Texas, Mexico
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Opening of FM 396 Offers Enhanced Opportunities for International Trade Between Texas, Mexico

New road will save commercial traffic time, money

MISSION — With Texas ranked as Mexico’s top trading partner, the Texas Department of Transportation today proudly hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the first mile of FM 396. The expansion is expected to offer economic benefits while enhancing the transportation of commodities to and from Mexico through South Texas.

“This is another historic day for the Rio Grande Valley made possible by so many individuals dedicated to enhancing economic development,” said Chairman Ted Houghton, Texas Transportation Commission. “The Rio Grande Valley has experienced tremendous growth over the past three decades and we’re pleased to take this important step toward safely mobilizing a growing population while nurturing the economic prosperity of this hub for international trade.”

“The opening of FM 396 will help reduce congestion and save time for international travelers, including commercial traffic that carries many commodities both countries depend on,” said Phil Wilson, TxDOT executive director. “Enhancing the mobility of goods across national boundaries is mutually beneficial and offers great promise for creating jobs in this region of our state.”

The FM 396 expansion project will strengthen the transportation network that moves goods from Mexico across the Anzaldúas International Bridge. When completed, the roadway will include a four-lane divided highway with frontage roads and overpasses at FM 1016, Trinity Street, FM 494 and US 83, expanding capacity for personal vehicles and future truck traffic from Mexico. Prior to construction, FM 396 was a two-lane roadway.

Additionally, the expansion of FM 396 is important to Hidalgo County and the Rio Grande Valley as completion of the Baluarte Bridge in Mexico is expected to attract additional truck traffic to South Texas. This additional truck traffic will feed into I-69, allowing goods to flow to the East Coast from Mexico.

“The expansion of FM 396, along with our recent designation of 67 miles of regional roadways as the new I-69 and 47 miles of I-2, are major transportation milestones for the Rio Grande Valley,” said Commissioner Jeff Austin, Texas Transportation Commission. “With more than 1 million people living in the Valley and approximately 1,000 newcomers arriving in Texas each day, I-69 and the new FM 396 will help accommodate the state’s growing population.”

Currently, crops grown in the Sinaloa area of western Mexico are shipped north to Nogales and then into Arizona where they travel east on IH 10 toward the East Coast. FM 396 will allow trucks to enter the United States in the Rio Grande Valley and save approximately 10 hours in product delivery time.

More about the Texas benefits of trade with Mexico (source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce)

  • Texas exports more than $86 billion worth of products to Mexico
  • $10.1 billion worth of transportation equipment is exported to Mexico
  • 463,132 jobs in Texas depend on trade with Mexico

For media inquiries, contact TxDOT Media Relations at or (512) 463-8700.

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Media Relations
September 25, 2013