LAREDO, TEXAS (Office of Henry Cuellar) – Congressman Henry Cuellar announced Wednesday that per his request, the House Appropriations Committee will instruct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct an assessment on border rail crossing wait times.
Rep. Cuellar included the language for this request that was passed out of Committee in the Fiscal Year 2015 Appropriations Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development bill and that now heads to the House Floor for full consideration.
“Delays at Laredo’s international bridge crossings cause delays on the streets of Laredo for business owners, families, and commuters,” said Congressman Cuellar. “I have been working with the City of Laredo, including Mayor Raul Salinas and City Manager Carlos Villarreal, to resolve this issue for some time and am pleased to see that my request for GAO to investigate this issue has passed out of Committee. We need to resolve this issue of congestion and I look forward to seeing what solutions are proposed in this study and will continue to advocate for traffic and commerce to move freely throughout Laredo’s streets.”
“We welcome this development spearheaded by Congressman Cuellar and we feel that this is the beginning of the end of our rail congestion problem,” said City of Laredo City Manager Carlos Villarreal. “The City of Laredo is grateful for this effort.”
GAO will conduct an assessment of best practices that can be used to reduce rail border crossing times and especially the blockage of street crossings on the U.S. side. This review will examine the impact of reduced staff changing times, pre-clearance for train operators, and possible changing in train operator location. GAO must report back to Congress within 180 days of passage of the bill.