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Reefhound


Dec 26, 2010, 4:04 PM

Post #26 of 40 (13170 views)

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Re: [lwmosher] Texas Border Crossing

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Look on google maps, it is labeled Blvd Luis Donaldo Colosio


Altahabana


Dec 27, 2010, 6:48 AM

Post #27 of 40 (13118 views)

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Re: [S & C] Texas Border Crossing

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Yes very easily. Bridge #2 is called the new bridge and it connects directly with I-35 to San Antonio. The old bridge, #1, is about 6 blocks west of #2 and is less travelled. I mentioned staying at the hotel La Posada and I also asked the staf which would be better and they said the old bridge has less traffic on it.
From La Posada you can see both and everytime I looked i saw a lot more traffic on the new bridge. The morning I crossed it looked like at least 20 in line on the new bridge and nothing on the old. When I crossed there was one car in the declare line and nothing else.
If you check out google earth you can see both bridges and the Migration building in between both of them. You can also see the easy access to the NL bypass on the right side.


As someone who crosses every day I see little utility in using Bridge 1. It is used mostly by local residents and not by people who are crossing and then travelling on to the interior.

Outside of the holiday season there are minimal lines crossing into Mexico on either of the two downtown bridges and the wait time on Bridge 2 is rarely more than 5 minutes outside the evening "rush hour" which extends from about 4-8 p.m. When traffic backs up on Bridge 2, it is almost always backed up on Bridge 1. Because there are more vehicle lanes and more Aduana gates at Bridge 2, traffic gets processed through more quickly than on Bridge 1. The vehicle permit station serves both bridges so travelers who need the permit and tourist visa have to go there anyway regardles of which bridge they use.


(This post was edited by Altahabana on Dec 27, 2010, 6:55 AM)


dmhaun


Dec 28, 2010, 6:57 PM

Post #28 of 40 (13051 views)

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Re: [markherron@me.com] Texas Border Crossing

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I drove solo from Austin this morning and now spending the night in Matehuala, after eating the best Arrachera en el mundo, at the Palms Motel. Went straight down i35, crossed at Bridge #2, got the green light, stopped at drive-in combio for pesos, got the green light at the 18k Aduna check-point and had a bright, sun-shiny drive. A tiny stretch (20 feet) of the Saltillo cuota is still one-lane and, from the looks of the hole, it may remain that way. Traffic was heavy-ish but no slow-downs, no radar traps and no one was driving while on their cell phone. Magical Lake Patzcuaro awaits me tomorrow. Feliz viaje, David
PS The weather is fabulous in Central Mexico. Bring your sun-block, but leave your snow boots and rain coats at home.
.
The Michoacan Net
Supporting the Arts in Michoacan
http://www.LakePatzcuaro.org



rvcycleguy

Jan 3, 2011, 9:54 AM

Post #29 of 40 (12911 views)

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Re: [markherron@me.com] Texas Border Crossing

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Mark,

My wife and I are have just completed a trip to Guanajuato in colonial region of the country. We live in Houston and I did as much research as I possibly could for the safest crossing. I will agree with some here who have replied that Eagle Pass/Piedras Negras was very safe. We drove our Tundra pick-up and carried our cruiser style motorcycle in the truck bed. We left Houston at 10pm Sat the 19th of Dec. Arrived at Eagle Pass at 4am Sunday. Its like 150 miles to Laredo from San Antonio and 149 to Eagle Pass from SA. We rested up a bit for a couple of hours before crossing at 7am. Bridge #2 opens at 7am. No line or wait period. Simple process of driving across. The next checkpoint is 30 km south on 57 which is the same highway number that you turn right on from IH-35 south of SA.

We had already received our car and motorcycle permits form the Houston office of the Mexican Consulate. You can also get it online with advance planning. It may take 3-4 weeks to get it in the mail. We stopped at the checkpoint and the all papers were in order and we received our Visitor Visa. No trouble, no hassles at all. We were on the road to Monclova and then Saltillo in less than on hour after arriving the checkpoint. We arrived Saltillo by 12pm and decided to push ahead to Matehuala. Arrived there by 4pm and stayed overnight. I would recommend the Las Palmas Motel. Monday morning we drove into Guanajuato by 11am.

We stayed for 8 days, rode the motorcycle everyday to Dolores, Leon, San Miguel de Allende, etc. We packed up and left GTO at 6am drove back to Piedras Negras by 5pm same day using highway 54 through Zacatecas, Saltillo, Monclova and the the border. No stops for inspection, no hassles, no issues of any kind. We were across the International bridge in less than an hour and that was due to the USA not having enough lanes open to accommodate the traffic line.


balthisar

Jan 4, 2011, 7:54 AM

Post #30 of 40 (12843 views)

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Re: [rvcycleguy] Texas Border Crossing

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We stayed for 8 days, rode the motorcycle everyday to Dolores, Leon, San Miguel de Allende, etc. We packed up and left GTO at 6am drove back to Piedras Negras by 5pm same day using highway 54 through Zacatecas, Saltillo, Monclova and the the border. No stops for inspection, no hassles, no issues of any kind. We were across the International bridge in less than an hour and that was due to the USA not having enough lanes open to accommodate the traffic line.

Thatís great news! I've been fretting about the return trip myself. I drove down here a year-and-a-half ago via Eagle Pass, back before everyone started worrying about the borderlands. I'm planning to leave from Leon at 5 am, with a goal of getting to Eagle Pass before 6 pm (dark), and so that sounds completely feasible!

Can I ask, why the route through Zacatecas? I've driven down here before via that route, but have since become more comfortable with Lagos-Ojuelos-SLP and getting onto Hwy. 57.

Also, what would you say your normal rate of speed was on open roads?


rvcycleguy

Jan 4, 2011, 10:15 AM

Post #31 of 40 (12812 views)

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Re: [balthisar] Texas Border Crossing

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Maybe I have the highway numbers mixed up a bit. We decided to come back/travel north through Aguascalientes, Zacatecas, Saltillo and Piedras Negras because we had gone south through PN, Saltillo, Matehuala, and SLP on the way to Guanajuato. The road/bridge construction in Saltillo is still on-going. Just wanted to see the other road north, vary it up a bit and actually, I thinks its faster then through SLP and Matehuala. We had gone out of our way to use PN to and from Houston, meaning more miles than necessary and more time on the road.
Watch for the detour signs that take you off the highway and then you have to use the return to get to the north side of the construction area to access 57 to PN.

I also choose to not use the bypass in Monclova.


take care and be safe.


rvcycleguy

Jan 4, 2011, 10:31 AM

Post #32 of 40 (12810 views)

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Re: [markherron@me.com] Texas Border Crossing

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In response to your concern about a packed SUV driving in Mexico? I have just enjoyed a 10 day stay in Mexico and I noticed thousands upon thousands of packed trucks, SUV's, cars, vehicles with trailers, all packed to the gills with products, stuff from the USA. Almost every single vehicle I saw on the road during the last 2 weeks of Dec. was loaded to the max with gifts, merchandise, belongings, etc. License plates were vehicles from all over the US driving down for their traditional holiday family gathering...

And here I was nervous about traveling with my Toyota Tundra loaded with my big shiny chrome acessorized motorcycle and all my gear for 10 days. I did cover the bike with a custom cover so as not to be so obvious, but I just got into a caravan of vehicles making there way down the length of the country and felt as safe as I would be on the US highway. I could get jacked in any city USA with the load Im was carrying.


balthisar

Jan 4, 2011, 6:32 PM

Post #33 of 40 (12759 views)

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Re: [rvcycleguy] Texas Border Crossing

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The road/bridge construction in Saltillo is still on-going.

Is that along Hwy 57 (the route you came down on) or along Hwy 54 (the route you went back on)?


In Reply To
Watch for the detour signs that take you off the highway and then you have to use the return to get to the north side of the construction area to access 57 to PN.

Whereabouts is this? Is this part of the bridge construction you mention in Saltillo, or something closer to PN?


In Reply To
I also choose to not use the bypass in Monclova.

I've nothing but bad things about the bypass! I just drove through the city on the way down, which was okay because I needed to find a bank or grocery store with an ATM at the time.


rvcycleguy

Jan 5, 2011, 5:26 AM

Post #34 of 40 (12734 views)

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Re: [balthisar] Texas Border Crossing

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In Saltillo from Zacatezas, the detour that gets you on 57 to Monclova is bridge construction. very confusing.


Altahabana


Jan 5, 2011, 5:46 AM

Post #35 of 40 (12730 views)

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Re: [balthisar] Texas Border Crossing

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The infamous Monclova Bypass is a truck route that is mostly used by commercial vehicles which service the industrial plants and maquiladoras that ring the western side of Monclova/Frontera. It was not designed/intended to serve as a periferico or loop road around the metro area for passenger vehicles, like those found in some larger Mexican cities located on major highways. Until I read some threads a couple of years ago about rogue cops stopping and extorting traffic fines from foreign motorists I had no idea it was being used by ex-pats/gringos in transit who apparently don't like stopping at traffic lights.


Monclova is one of the least confusing cities in Mexico I have driven through. Highway 57 (Blvd. Harold Pape) runs staight through the city without any turns. The center of the city is east of the road you travel. There are a number of traffic lights but Blvd. Pape is multi-lane and can easily accomodate any size passenger vehicles, including oversize RVs. There are many good local restaurants on Pape for those who need something to eat.




(This post was edited by Altahabana on Jan 5, 2011, 5:47 AM)


rvcycleguy

Jan 5, 2011, 7:52 AM

Post #36 of 40 (12710 views)

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Re: [Altahabana] Texas Border Crossing

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yes, I am aware that the bypass or industrial road is not the route to take through Monclova. My wife saw the sign the other day as we were headed north to PN and she said to take it... I looked and saw that there were trucks lined up at the light to go that way and the surface road was beat up from heavy use, so I said, no way!

We also wanted to stop at a local liquor store on the main drag there and also use the ATM at one of the banks on the corner near the center of town.


lwmosher

Jan 8, 2011, 2:33 PM

Post #37 of 40 (12579 views)

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Re: [Altahabana] Texas Border Crossing

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On our recent trip to Queretaro we crossed on Bridge 2 at Nuevo Laredo on Dec 30 at 6:30 am with no wait. Getting to the Immigration and Vehicle Permit was a little confusing because there were a few people milling about the streets after the bridge crossing wanting to "help out" and one person shouted to go to the second stop light. The second stop light is more than a few blocks away from Bridge 2, where you make a wide U-turn on Colosio so you can come back on the road toward Immigration and Vehicle Permits between Bridge 2 and Bridge 1. We had received the vehicle permit in advance, so the only real delay was at Immigration, where they stamped my wife's FM3 without delay and gave her entrance and exit papers. Because my FM3 had been initially stamped (about 16 months ago) on the wrong page (and it had subsequently been renewed by the consulate) the immigration people at the Vehicle Permit building did not want to stamp my FM3 or give me any papers, so they sent me to some more "senior" people at the Mexican Immigration Office at Bridge 1. The gentlemen at Bridge 1, in turn, told me resolve the matter in Queretaro, which I ultimately did before I left by air to return to the US.

At the Customs Station away from the border zone, our SUV (loaded to the gills with a car top carrier) was inspected and we were charged about $150 US for import duty/tariff based upon our detailed spreadsheets showing used values of each item in each box. The customs officer seemed polite and fair and deducted from the total value our individual allowances and also deducted some books that were not subject to the duty/tariff.

We were not stopped after that Customs Station, although we saw that the military had stopped some people a few miles down the road from the Customs Station who had not been stopped at the customs station.

The road around Saltillo was a little confusing because it was newer than the maps on our Garmin and we were a little confused by the toll booth exit and the road signs that had been recently changed. We thought at first that we wanted to go in the direction of Saltillo, but eventually determined that we needed to go in the direction of Zacatecas for a ways. After getting away from Saltillo it was smooth traveling, although we were getting short on cash due to the fees paid at customs, the tolls, and the gas stations that did not take credit cards. The first ATM that we found near our main road (Highway 57) was outside San Luis Potosi right on the highway.

We made it to Queretaro about 7 pm.


Reefhound


Jan 8, 2011, 3:02 PM

Post #38 of 40 (12574 views)

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Re: [lwmosher] Texas Border Crossing

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The one part that confuses me is about being referred to the immigration office at Bridge 1. I thought there was only one immigration building in Nvo Laredo and it sits exactly between bridge #1 and #2 and serves both?


Altahabana


Jan 8, 2011, 6:14 PM

Post #39 of 40 (12546 views)

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Re: [Reefhound] Texas Border Crossing

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There is an immigration office at Bridge 1 which is in the building to the right of the Aduana inspection tables. You cannot use it if you are getting the vehicle permit. Most people who use it are crossing on foot and are going to one of the bus stations.


balthisar

Jan 20, 2011, 8:44 AM

Post #40 of 40 (12292 views)

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Re: Texas Border Crossing

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I just wanted to mention that we made the trip from Leon to Eagle Pass on the 10th, and the border region was completely uneventful.
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