Border towns brace for traffic jams after November 8 cancellation of land travel restrictions

agents from Juarez to monitor the flow of vehicles; government figures show traffic to the United States is already growing

Drivers line up on the Cordova-Americas International Bridge in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua State, Mexico, while Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in El Paso, Texas, United States -United, partially closed the lanes, delaying the passage of vehicles on March 31, 2019. (HERIKA MARTINEZ / AFP via Getty Images)

EL PASO, Texas (Border report) – Authorities in Juarez, Mexico have said they will monitor vehicle traffic to the United States in anticipation of a significant spike following the November 8 removal of travel restrictions at land borders.

This is the day that vaccinated Mexicans will be able to enter the United States for non-essential travel. The restrictions remain in place until January 21, 2022 for unvaccinated foreign travelers from land ports.

Like their El Paso counterparts, city officials in Juarez say there is a huge pent-up demand for family travel, shopping and entertainment in the United States from Mexican visa holders unable to cross since the start of the United States. restrictions in March 2020.

Such a request will likely result in hours of waiting at the Paso del Norte, Zaragoza and Bridge of the Americas entry points, said Arlyn Vargas, spokesman for Juarez, or Vialidad traffic police.

She said police will deploy officers to all three border crossings to prevent traffic jams and fights as motorists try to lower their expectations by cutting lines.

In the meantime, Fideicomiso de Puentes, the agency in charge of collecting tolls on the Mexican side of the Paso del Norte and Zaragoza bridges, urges motorists to prepare their change when they arrive at the cabins in order to speed up traffic on the bridges. .

International traffic has increased dramatically even before the so-called ‘reopening of the border’, as vaccination rates skyrocket in El Paso-Juarez and fear of catching COVID-19 diminishes among those who can cross the border. frontier.

Graphic courtesy of the United States Department of Transportation

Figures from the US Department of Transportation show that pedestrian and personal vehicle traffic increased by tens of thousands in August compared to July in the El Paso area. Almost 45,000 more vehicle passengers crossed in August compared to July, as did 30,000 more pedestrians.

In El Paso, city officials said they would try to minimize southbound traffic jams on the Zaragoza, Americas Bridge and Stanton Street bridges once restrictions are lifted.

The city too plans to restart its P3 program, which consists of reimbursing US customs and border protection officials for overtime paid to its agents in order to keep more inspection routes open to the north.


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