Ground breaks on construction for new railroad

Contractors for the Kansas City Southern Railway Company began drilling into soil near the International Bridge.
Published: Nov. 13, 2020 at 9:06 PM CST
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - If you’ve driven near the International Bridge in Laredo, you may have seen construction crews.

Some have speculated that this is the beginning of the border wall in the gateway city.

Well, that’s not quite what it is.

Laredoans are all too familiar with trains, whether hearing them or being stopped by them.

Now one more railroad is actually on its way.

Contractors for the Kansas City Southern Railway Company began drilling into soil near the International Bridge.

KGNS caught video footage of the crews Thursday as they are in the initial engineering stages to add a parallel bridge to the existing International Bridge in Laredo.

KCS spokesperson Doniele Carlson says the project would "make existing train traffic safer, more secure, more fluid, reduce traffic congestion in downtown Laredo and allow for growth in the future.”

This is just one project underway in Laredo.

There is the possibility of a second, which would include elevating the railroad through downtown Laredo to reduce traffic congestion.

That project was announced in February and celebrated in a symbolic ceremony in which American, Mexican, and Canadian officials attended.

However, the spokesperson for KCS said on Friday that it has not been finalized.

Back in February, the CEO and president of KCS said this:

“This is our main artery between the U.S., the rest of North America, and Mexico," said Patrick J. Ottensmeyer. "We see long term growth opportunities, we are investing large amounts of money in both sides of the border, especially here in Laredo.”

The elevated railway would be nine miles long and allow for trains to travel north and southbound. The cost of the second project is undetermined.

Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz says the number of trains in the area will double to about twenty two, although the spokesperson for KCS says they are not aware of an additional train count as a result of the new bridge.

Mayor Saenz also says more trains would create challenges on the front end of the process and more traffic congestion at intersections.

However, the long-term goal is to alleviate traffic and increase trade.

Local jobs could also be created further into the process.

The project is expected to take two to two and a half years, according to the railway company.

Mayor Saenz sent a statement to KGNS on the matter:

"The sooner we build that the better for us... it’s going to work out well for them, but we want it to work out as well for us.”

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