As produce season begins, truckers reminded about permits

Delcia Lopez | dlopez@themonitor.com Tractor trailer rigs cross June 21, 2013, at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge.

PHARR — A flurry of commercial trucks drive through South Texas, often going to or coming from Mexico. In hopes of keeping communities safe and streets in decent condition, authorities have established weight and size regulations, along with certain corridors that the trucks are allowed to drive.

With the produce season launching earlier this month and the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge being the top produce port of entry in the United States, authorities have stopped several overweight trucks carrying produce in the Rio Grande Valley.

On Thursday, bridge officials held one of its periodic seminars for the cross-border trade industry, free to attend and to hear from officials on both sides of the border pertaining to a particular issue. Thursday’s was about overweight trucks, led by Fred Brouwen and Freddy Flores of the Pharr bridge, who typically run these regular seminars that cover a range of trade-industry topics.

For trucks traveling in Hidalgo County, there are specific corridors outlined by the Hidalgo County Regional Mobility Authority, which is run by Pilar Rodriguez. Rodriguez was on hand Thursday at the Pharr Development and Research Center to present to the couple dozen trade industry stakeholders in attendance.

Rodriguez described the corridors allowed for trucks to travel, such as Conway Avenue in Mission, Military Highway in McAllen, Jackson Road in Pharr and Farm to Market Road 1015 in Weslaco, among others.

Rodriguez also discussed the permitting process companies are required to go through to obtain permits for their trucks that are allowed to weigh up to 125,000 pounds and less than 12 feet wide.

Rodriguez told those on hand about the application process, which can be completed through the HCRMA website, so if companies in Mexico need to apply, they do not need to travel to McAllen to sign up for the permit.

“Mandatory training is the only time you have to be in the office,” Rodriguez said.

This was not the first time Pharr has held a seminar for the trade industry related to permitting, as officials have said it can be an overlooked part of the supply chain, but one that is necessary for any business in cross-border trade.

With the produce season launching and the bridge continuously seeking to overcome obstacles such as wait times and an understaffing of federal authorities, Thursday was just one attempt to keep trade traveling smoothly through South Texas.

mferman@themonitor.com