Jul 31, 2010, 6:30 PM
Post #1 of 5
Zacatecas to McAllen TX 7/25/2010 and back 7/28/2010
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Here is a report of a trip from Jerez de Garcia Salinas near Zacatecas City to Harlingen, TX via Zacatecas, Concepción de Oro, Saltillo, Monterrey Periférico, Cadereyta, Reynosa, Mission, TX to Harlingen, TX. I will talk about distances, times, road conditions, NARCO problems, and yes border crossing times.
First of all I went to
and printed the route data in English but Kilometers from the Mexican government. Then as we accomplished the major steps, I compared actual times with the times on the Government site. I found a very good correspondence except between Cncepción de Oro and Saltillo.
Second, the Luis Echeverría Períferico in Salltillo, as well as the main highway from Saltillo to Monterrey, all within the city of Saltillo, are still under construction and for both going North and coming South there is a long detour, which even though well signalled is a potential getting lost point.
Third, road conditions were excellent all the way. We traveled mainly at 68 mph (108.8 kph) set on the cruise control. This is just l.2 kph below the 110 kph maximum set for most of the distance .
The total distance from Jerez to McAllen, TX is so close to 500 miles that I will use that figure. We traveled in a Honda CRV-EX 2006 4 cyl which takes just over $400 pesos to fill the tank completely and we used Magna gasoline. We left Jerez at 7:00 AM on Sunday morning 7/25/2010 after filling the tank and we stopped for gas at Concepción de Oro ($350P) and again at Cadereyta ($280P). There was a military stop just south of CdeO which has been there for years. Another military stop at Rocky Mountain on the Coahuila frontier, also for years. Another just north of the Check Point in Reynosa. We were waived through at all check points. All obviously Government. We encountered NO Narco problems anywhere. We arrived in Harlingen, TX with sufficient gas to wait and fill the tank the next day.
Now as to details.
From Jerez to the Zacatecas exit was about 40 minutes. On to Morelos and then to the Villa de Cos truck stop where we stopped 40 minutes for breakfast. I forgot to measure times to Villa de Cos from Morelos. However the highway is all new 4 lane divided with barrier. Also from the Villa de Cos truck stop to San Turbicio where we arrived at 9:53 AM is also 4 lane divided. the two lanes going North are the old highway Mex 054 and while in good condition the surface is not new so it tended to be rough in some sections. The highway is still under construction on to Concepción de Oro. It is 4 lane divided until about 25 minutes south of CdeO and then reverts to the old 2 lane but good surface until CdeO. We stopped there for about 10 minutes for a pit stop and to gas up. The Government road site shows time from SanT to CdeO as 36 minutes while we found it to be 56 minutes, an error of about 20 minutes.
CdeO to the Rocky Mountain military stop at the Coahuila frontier is all two lane, good surface, but about 1/3 mountain driving.
From the Coahuila frontier on into Agua Nuevo the road is wide two lane with wide shoulders. Most of the surfaces are new. There is construction still going on in a few places but not an impediment. We got to the General Cepeda intersection by 11:10 just 4 hours and 10 minutes from Jerez including one pit stop and one breakfast stop. From General Cepeda intersection to the Saltillo exit to Monterrey was another 10 minutes or so and we arrived at Ramos Arizpe by 11:45. From Ramos Arizpe we took the new cuota to the Monterrey Períferico ($28P); along the Periférico 4 lane divided are two toll booths ($125P) and ($97P). Be careful at the exit at Benito Juárez as the speed limit drops from 110 to 50 and then 30 kph very suddenly and the cops of Benito Juárez tend to stake out that exit to exact mordia for breakfast or snacks. To Cadereyta 4 lane divided there is another toll ($38P) and then you are on the cuota to Reynosa 4 lane divided (toll ($192P) at the China intersection at about KM 120. There is a restaurant El Hijado at about km100. Also a Pemex. Restaurant is expensive but good.
At Reynosa we took the Anzalduas Bridge Mission TX exit which completely bypasses the city of Reynosa and arrived at the bridge at 2:37 PM. When we crossed there in Mid May at about the same time it took us 5 minutes as there was no traffic at all. This time the crossing took an hour and ten minutes. The normal crossing time at the Reynosa-Hidalgo entry (14 lanes of traffic) is just about an hour. We no longer see any advantage of taking the Anzalduas Bridge unless you are travelling WEST on Interstate 83. However the turn in of tourist permits is easier there. Be careful not to pass the unmarked entry to the facility nor to put yourself in the line for temporary import permit removal unless that should be necessary.
McAllen to Harlingen is another 50 miles EAST about an hour on I83.
We came back the same way except for entering at the Hidalgo-Reynosa crossing where we got a red light and were detained for 20 minutes. Boring trip since we have made it so many times.
Again, no NARCO problems along the way, no physical problems along the way. Some minor repair work from Alex on the Monterrey Periférico and on the Saltillo-Monterrey cuota. No impediments to travel.
This is a long report but I hope it helps someone. jerezano.
(This post was edited by jerezano on Jul 31, 2010, 6:47 PM)