First Mexico-U.S. Rail Crossing in a Century Almost Complete

Governing details a historic new infrastructure addition across the Rio Grande in Texas. The railroad crossing required a massive coordinated effort—just on the U.S. side of the border.

1 minute read

April 9, 2015, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


"Mexico and the United States haven't built a new crossing point for freight trains between the countries for more than a century. That’s about to change in the next few weeks, largely because of the efforts of local governments in South Texas," reports Daniel C. Vock.

The railroad bridge will span the Rio Grande outside of Brownsville, Texas, connecting the southernmost city in Texas to Matamoros, Mexico. The bridge, already mostly constructed, is the result of 15 years of effort by "at least three Brownsville mayors and three county 'judges,' or executives, on the American side, plus more in Mexico…"

The benefits of the new bridge are obvious and extensive: "Diverting freight trains west of the city will eliminate 14 railroad street crossings. The current route takes freight trains through residential areas, along neighborhood parks and through commercial areas…"

The article details the unique finding efforts required on the U.S. side to fund the new route as well the maze of jurisdictions that will monitor the crossing.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 in Governing

Three colorful, large beachfront homes, one khaki, one blue, and one yellow, with a small dune in front and flat sand in foreground.

Florida Homeowners 'Nope Out' of Beach Restoration Over Public Access

The U.S. Corps of Engineers and Redington Shores, Florida are at a standstill: The Corps won’t spend public money to restore private beaches, and homeowners are refusing to grant public access to the beaches behind their home in return for federal assistance.

June 7, 2024 - Grist

Multistory apartment building under construction.

New Tennessee Law Allows No-Cost Incentives for Affordable Housing

Local governments in the Volunteer State can now offer developers incentives like increased density, lower parking requirements, and priority permitting for affordable housing projects.

June 10, 2024 - Nooga Today

Pumping Gas

10 States Where the Gas Tax Is Highest

As the gap between gas tax revenue and transportation funding needs widen across the country, the funding mechanism is drawing increased scrutiny from both public officials and consumers.

June 9, 2024 - The Ascent

Concrete walkway with landscaping, decorative tiles, and picnic tables in a Los Angeles County park.

Wish Granted: Former Brownfield Transformed to New Park

Wishing Tree Park in West Carson, California officially opened last month, replacing a brownfield site with a much-needed green space for recreation and respite.

June 14 - Urbanize LA

"No right turn on red" and "Turning vehicles yield to pedestrians" sign.

The Tide is Turning on Right Turns on Red

The policy, which stems from the gas embargo of the 1970s, makes intersections more dangerous for pedestrians.

June 14 - NPR

Thick green forest on edge of lake in Louisville, Kentucky.

Louisville Begins Process to Clean Superfund Site

A public forest is home to dozens of barrels that have been leaking toxic materials for decades.

June 14 - Inside Climate News

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.