Harlingen Enjoys Close Economic Ties With Mexico

Harlingen’s close proximity to Mexico has created business opportunities that cannot be found in most areas of the United States. The Rio Grande Valley enjoys close economic ties with Mexico, as the growing maquiladora industry shows. Cameron County, of which Harlingen is a part, also has a foreign trade zone, the largest in Texas and one of the largest in the United States.

Foreign Trade Zone #62

Foreign Trade Zone #62 is located in Cameron County, Texas and includes sites at the Harlingen Industrial Park and the Airpark at Valley International Airport in Harlingen. FTZ #62 is one of the largest foreign trade zones in the United States and the largest in Texas.

Free Trade International Bridge at Los Indios

  • State-of-the-art international bridge
  • Located just 10 miles south of Harlingen.
  • Full U.S. Customs inspection facility
  • Receives a mix of pedestrians, passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles
  • Can accommodate up to 75 trucks simultaneously.
  • Acclaimed as the most time-efficient crossing in South Texas
  • Accesses a 4-lane highway in northern Mexico (Highway 2), offering a fast route to the border cities of Matamoros, Reynosa as well as the industrial city of Monterrey.
  • With the completion of Mexico’s State of Tamaulipas new ‘autopista,’ the Free Trade Bridge will provide a seamless highway connection for more efficient distribution of industrial products to interior Mexico.

U.S. Connections

  • I-69E (formerly U.S. Highway 77) is the most direct, four lane highway connecting Houston, San Antonio and Corpus Christi to the Rio Grande Valley.
  • I-69E intersects Interstate Highway 37 at Corpus Christi, which provides access to San Antonio to the West.
  • McAllen and Laredo are accessible via I-2(formerly U.S. Expressway 83) in Harlingen.
  • Loop 509 between Harlingen and San Benito connects the Free Trade Bridge at Los Indios with Texas and the entire United States via Expressway I-69E and I-2.
  • Within 10 miles of the Valley International Airport, the Port of Harlingen, the Valley’s railroad system, and of local industrial parks.

Mexico Connections

  • Matamoros, Tamaulipas is approximately 18 miles east and Reynosa, Tamaulipas is approximately 35 miles west of the Free Trade Bridge, via the new autopista or Highway 2.
  • Highway 2 connects with Valle Hermoso and Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas via Highway 99/101.
  • Highway 2 connects with Monterrey, Nuevo Leon via Highway 40 and the Autopista Reynosa/Monterrey.
  • Located in the center of the Reynosa/Matamoros maquila corridor, via the Autopista Matamoros to Reynosa/Monterrey

Other International Bridges in Cameron County

  • Brownsville & Matamoros (B&M) Bridge
  • Gateway International Bridge
  • Veterans International Bridge
Free Trade Bridge at Los Indios
Schedule of Toll Revenues
Percentage Increase
Total Crossing
Total Revenue
2008
617,151
$1,951,814.06
-19.38%
2007
761,916
$2,420,969.23
5.67%
2006
755,903
$2,290,971.19
0.80%
2005
743,620
$2,055,222.00
1.65%
Source: Cameron County International Bridge System
Gateway
Free Trade
Veteran’s
2008
3,387,424
617,151
1,728,000
2007
4,331,943
761,916
2,378,569
2006
4,622,488
755,903
2,627,792
2005
4,640,852
743,620
2,602,449
Source: Cameron County International Bridge System