Rise in trade underscores infrastructure needs
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Rise in trade underscores infrastructure needs

By the numbers:

  • U.S.-Mexico trade grew 696% from 1994 to 2023, increasing from $100 billion to $799 billion.
  • 70% of trade between the two countries passes through the Texas-Mexico border.
  • Texas-Mexico trade value increased by 728% from $67 billion in 1994 to $562 billion in 2023.

June 21, 2024

By Cynthia Vaquera 

AUSTIN —As Texas continues to see a booming economy, TxDOT is working to address congestion at the U.S.-Mexico border to help the flow of goods between the two countries. 

“Border crossing volumes for commercial vehicles are forecast to increase significantly between 2019 and 2050, with transportation demand surpassing capacity,” said Caroline Mays, TxDOT’s director of planning and modal programs.

The expected increase highlights the urgent need to improve infrastructure to alleviate congestion at border crossings.

“Border delays are the top-cited issue for stakeholders,” Mays said. “If no operational efficiency and system capacity improvements are made, delays are forecast to grow exponentially.”

In 2019, around five million commercial vehicles crossed the border, a number expected to rise to more than 12 million by 2050. TxDOT emphasizes the importance of preparing now to prevent profit losses to congestion and delays.

The average wait time for commercial vehicles at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge in 2019 was one hour. Without improvements, this wait time is projected to increase to more than 13 hours by 2050, which could lead to economic losses of $75 billion for the United States and $41 billion for Mexico.

To address these challenges, TxDOT's Border Transportation Master Plan includes 559 projects with an estimated cost of more than $32 billion. Of these, 185 projects have already been fully funded with more than $5 billion. These projects are expected to reduce border crossing times by 60%.

TxDOT remains committed to strengthening the supply chain, reducing congestion, improving safety and contributing to a booming Texas economy.