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Episode Info: From Harlingen Texas, we’re exploring the most exciting region for business and industry in America today,… the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. This… is The Big Opportunity Raudel Garza:                      Hi, I'm Raudel Garza. I'm the CEO for Harlingen Economic Development Corporation, and today I'm talking with Kayla Thomas. Kayla is our new marketing and commercial development director. Kayla, welcome to Harlingen. Kayla Thomas:                    Thank you Raudel. Raudel Garza:                      We're going to be asking or I guess Kayla is going to be asking me a lot of questions about Harlingen and we're going to be talking about the Free Trade International Bridge at Los Indios, today. Kayla Thomas:                    Being new to Harlingen and the valley, I have learned a whole lot over the last few weeks, but one of the things I'm really interested in is the bridge. Raudel, can you tell me a little bit about the Free Trade International Bridge, how you access it. Tell me just about the bridge and where it's located. Raudel Garza:                      The Free Trade Bridge at Los Indios is located directly south of Harlingen and a small incorporated town called Los Indios. It is on a direct route from interstate 2, taking the state highway FM 509 south to the terminus of that highway, and that's where the bridge is located. Basically once you cross over the bridge, you get into an area of western Matamoros in the state of Tamaulipas and you can pretty much access Rio Bravo and Reynosa to the west, and then you can go east and into downtown Matamoros and the area where most of the industrial development is.                                                       If you go further south you're going to go into the towns of San Fernando, Ciudad Victoria, Tampico in that area. Then you also have access to Saltillo, and then you can get into the interior of Mexico, where a lot of the industrial base is, such as Queretaro and even to the west, Michoacán and a lot of the agricultural areas.                                                       The thing about the Los Indios bridge is that no matter what part of Mexico you're from, you can get to it. It's important in looking at trade routes, that if a lot of the product that's coming from the western side of Mexico headed towards the eastern and northeastern parts of the United States, really comes through the Rio Grande Valley and it comes through the Los Indios Bridge and a few others rather quickly in comparison to going over land in Arizona or in California and then going east from that point. So truckers, shippers are saving themselves a lot of time by using the Los Indios Bridge. Then once they get to the bridge, a lot of bridges along the border are congested, while...
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