On Saturday, the new $60 million World Trade Bridge opens, and trucks will be prohibited from using either of the current downtown bridges. Trucks will be rerouted at the Bob Bullock Loop interchange, 8 miles north of downtown, onto a new highway leading to the new bridge.
However, while the bridge is ready, and the $33 million, 1 ½-mile stretch of highway connecting I-35 to the bridge is ready, the $60 million reconfiguration of the interchange between the two roads is not. One northbound connection is slated to open in late October, and the rest won't be finished until late 2002. In addition, there's still doubt as to whether the Mexican side of the bridge will be ready to open on time.
Laredo's bridges have seen the number of truck crossings double since the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect in 1994.