Currently, TxDOT oversees three highways that allow overweight trucks to transport goods across the border. If a bill written by State Representative Sergio Munoz Jr. is passed, a new corridor will open up to produce truck drivers coming from Mexico.
Representative Munoz penned a bill that would allow overweight trucks transporting produce to pay an $80 fee in order to cross the border overweight.
Overweight produce trucks from Mexico are routinely forced to drop off pallets of produce to be picked up later by a truck hauling a lighter load or face a $110 fine. The transfer can damage the produce and eat up valuable time.
HB 474 would allow overweight trucks to travel on:
- US Highway 281 between its intersection with the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge and its intersection with State Highway 336.
- State Highway 336 between its intersection with US Highway 281 and its intersection with Farm-to-Market Road 1016.
- Farm-to-market Road 1016 between its intersection with State Highway 336 and its intersection with Farm-to-Market Road 396.
- Farm-to-Market Road 396 between its intersection with 1016 and its intersection with Anzaldus International Bridge.
The US Department of Agriculture predicts a spike in the number of trucks crossing the border from Mexico in the upcoming years. Proponents of the bill say allowing overweight trucks to pay an $80 fee would generate enough revenue to repair any damage the trucks might be doing to the roads.
On Thursday, HB 474 passed without debate in the House. A duplicate bill is currently making its way through the Senate.
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