Highway 40, which connects Monterrey, Nuveo Leon in Mexico to McAllen, has now been included in a highway security pilot program, U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez announced in a news release Thursday.
According to the release, Gonzalez, D-McAllen, lobbied for the route’s inclusion in the pilot, crediting his talks with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Mexican Secretary for Security Alfonso Durazo Montaño, who the congressman met in March to stress the need for securing the highway.
“I thank Secretary Durazo and the Lopez Obrador Administration for working with me to improve security along Highway 40,” Gonzalez said in the release. “For the last several years, highway robberies, assault, and violence have inhibited the free, safe, and efficient flow of goods and people between Monterrey, Reynosa, and the United States.”
He went on to state that people traveling on that route have been forced to pay a fee for their safety, a fee he described as “the equivalent of a tariff.” Gonzalez also referred to this — their safety — as “something that should be guaranteed.”
“Having spent summers during my youth and conducted business as an adult in Monterrey, I know that the strength of our binational economic relationship is measured not only by the number of dollars, pesos, and products that cross our borders but also in terms of trust, security, certainty, and efficiency,” Gonzalez stated. “I am hopeful that securing this highway will create additional opportunities for cross-border trade and travel.”
With regard to tourism and trade, Highway 40 is considered a major artery for cargo and passenger vehicles traveling between Monterrey, Reynosa, and the United States. It’s also one of six highways now included in the pilot.
The next step for Gonzalez is to discuss a permanent plan with Monterrey and Reynosa officials.
“I plan to pursue this matter so that families and those in the real estate, banking, agriculture, oil and gas, medical, and transportation sectors reap the benefits in the long-term,” Gonzalez stated. “At the end of the day, the more investment we can attract to our region, the more our region can grow and flourish.”