Sunday, June 29, 2008

Regreso A Monterrey - TX-Dot Does It Again

We left San Antonio right on schedule, 07:52 in the morning. Stopped to fill up with gas, boy, that one hurt. 50 dollars barely gave us 3/4 of a tank. My sympathies.

As we get on the I-35 South, we see flashing lights and a TX-Dot truck slowing down traffic but he was parked after the exit on the right. We thought it must have been an accident. We waited in line wondering why they didn't divert traffic at the exit. Cars and trucks backed up, people became frustrated, someone went on ahead to find out what was happening. They were stringing a cable across all six lanes. Not a big deal had they diverted traffic. Take a look at the mess, it cost us a half an hour and we violated the law like everyone else.

If anybody could screw something up it would be TX-Dot. If you are a snowbird and live in the Rio Grande Valley in the Winter, you know that Hwy 83 has been under construction for over 12 years at least, and some parts are abandoned. Loop 410 and the 281 interchange are a billion dollar nightmare. Overpasses that are over 100 feet high, a giant band aid for a project that was not well-planned over 30 years ago. And who pays the price? Tax payers, drivers, tourists, the list goes on.

Apart from that rant, here are photos of the Texas Toll 255 that exits from the I-35 South just North of Laredo, TX. This exit takes you directly to the Columbia Bridge and on to Monterrey, Saltillo and all points South. This is Exit 24.

Turn right at the top of the overpass.
This is the toll plaza for Texas Toll 255, the minimum cost is $2 dollars for a vehicle.

Here we are approaching the border bridge. You can see the orange tops on the U.S. side and the Mexican side where you choose the lane for "declaring" merchandise, and "not declaring" merchandise. We got the green light, but "our" boys in green on the Mexican side, asked us to stop for a quick revision of our vehicle. Very nice guys, doing a very good job trying to keep Mexico safe.

I got my "entrada" from Migracion. As a Mexican resident, I can only be out of the country 140 days a year and I have to ask for permission to leave and enter the country so that they can keep track of my days out of the pais. We continued on to Hwy 85 to Monterrey. Here is the "caseta de cobro" toll plaza, between Laredo and Monterrey and the current toll costs.

This week will be busy preparing for the four-week vacation. I hope people will be interested in boondocking in our great state of Nuevo Leon.

As the famous Red Skelton would say, "good night, and may God bless".

1 comment:

  1. Hello, I found your page by goolge when I searched about Columbia Bridge to MX. My family and I have driven to San Miguel de Allende Gto MX several times but never used the Columbia Bridge. Basically for lack of know how. I have a few questions if you don't mind me asking. Do we need anything special to use the Columbia Bridge? I had heard somewhere before that you have to have some kind of Texas Toll sticker not sure. I'm not from TX and the only toll roads I've been on are the ones in MX. If we are able to use Columbia would we still go into Nuevo Laredo for car permit and my tourist visa? Then is it easy to get onto from the car permit place? Also do you know if this road would take us straight to San Miguel de Allende Gto? Thanks so much for any info.